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WILMINGTON, DELAWARE...Celebrate the holidays with the du Ponts.  From November to January the magnificent du Pont mansions and gardens in Greater Wilmington and the Brandywine Valley are dressed for the season.  Located midway between New York City and Washington, DC and less than thirty minutes south of Philadelphia Airport, the area is readily accessible by car, train or air and is the perfect place to get into the holiday spirit.

Begin your visit at Hagley Museum & Library where E.I. du Pont settled in 1802 and began harnessing the power of the mighty Brandywine River to produce high quality gunpowder, thus laying the foundation for the DuPont Company.  From November 28 to January 6, Eleutherian Mills, the ancestral home of five generations of the du Pont family, is decorated with dried flowers, fruits, ribbons and fresh greenery and open for guided tours.  This year's Holidays at Hagley celebration showcases nineteenth century pastimes and pursuits and is open daily from 8:30AM to 4:30PM.  Twilight Tours are offered on December 9, 16, 23 and 30 at 5:00PM, 5:30PM and 6:00PM.  Advance reservations are necessary for the Twilight Tours; call
302-658-2400 X 261.

Winterthur Museum, Garden & Library, the former home of Henry Francis du Pont and his world-class collection of American decorative arts, is decorated for Yuletide from November 22 through January 4.  This year's celebration explores how Henry Francis and his family celebrated the holidays and takes an interesting peek at wedding customs including the evolution of the wedding cake, wedding gifts and honeymoon customs.  Timed tickets for Yuletide tours can be obtained at or call (800) 448-3883.  Open admission to the Costumes of Downton Abbey Exhibition is an added plus.  Be sure to allow enough time to browse in Winterthur's fabulous gift shop located across from the mansion and take advantage of Delaware's tax-free shopping.

Beautiful throughout the year, Nemours Mansion & Garden is spectacular during the holiday season.  Built at the beginning of the twentieth century in the style of a grand Louis XVI chateau and filled with incredible antiques, artwork, sculpture and tapestries, the lush Yuletide decorations add a magical dimension to A. I. du Pont's 70-room mansion.  Nemours offers guided holiday tours from November 8 through December 31.  Reservations are a must; call (302) 651-6913.

Christmas blooms at Longwood Gardens, Pierre Samuel du Pont's horticultural extravaganza, from November 27 through January 11.  Thousands of poinsettias, towering Christmas trees and fragrant flowers transform the Conservatory and its four acres of gardens under glass.  Outside, more than 500,000 decorative LED lights glitter in the trees and delight visitors. Timed tickets for entry are available at or (610) 388-1000 but the length of garden visits is not restricted.

Many area hotels offer special packages, so come for the day and stay for the night.  See for more details or call Greater Wilmington Convention & Visitors Bureau at (800) 489-6664.

The Greater Wilmington Convention & Visitors Bureau is a non-profit organization founded in 1978, chartered by the Governor of Delaware, the New Castle County Executive and the Mayor of Wilmington. Its mission is to serve as the community's customer-focused destination marketing organization, generating economic growth through leisure travel and meetings development by aggressively marketing attractions, facilities, amenities and services for visitors.