Last year, Jamie Hess of @NYCFitFam and her family headed 30 minutes south from their home in West Chester, Pennsylvania to Wilmington, Delaware for a holiday day trip.
Du Pont estates, art museums and a train ride! The family’s itinerary is one that everyone can enjoy annually.... and why we simply had to share it on our blog! If you’re looking for family fun, seasonal events and attractions to enjoy, be sure to save this itinerary.
Stop 1: Brandywine Museum of Art
On the way into town from West Chester, Jamie and her family stopped in to see the intricate train display at the Brandywine Museum of Art. A museum known for its holdings of the Wyeth family of artists, also houses an incredibly detailed O-gauge model train exhibit with over 2,000 feet of track each holiday season. And in 2022 the train exhibition will celebrate its 50th anniversary. The Brandywine Museum of Art makes the perfect starting point to any journey through the Brandywine Valley.
Need the perfect spot for brunch as you travel to your next stop? Check out Centreville and Greenville, Delaware for classics like Buckley’s Tavern, BBC Tavern & Grill and Centreville Place: Market + Cafe!
Stop 2: Hagley Museum and Library
The Hess family’s second stop in their Brandywine Valley holiday tour was a du Pont estate, that served as the the family’s first ancestral home in the U.S. We like to call it Hagley Museum and Library. Dressed for the season, the home showcases how the du Pont family celebrated Christmases of yesteryear. Visitors looking for a different type of architecture can tour Hagley’s barn where local would-be bakers display creative gingerbread houses awaiting your winning vote. Hagley’s barn also plays home to the jolly old elf himself, Santa, on specific days.
Stop 3: Wilmington and Western Railroad
Following a morning of Santa fun and holiday charm, comes an evening of color and wonder on board the Wilmington and Western Railroad. The Holiday Lights Express, pulled by their diesel locomotive, brings seasonal fun to the rails. This hour and a half ride takes passengers through the gorgeous Red Clay Valley to view homes lit for the holiday season. And did we mention the train itself is covered in thousands of twinkling holiday lights? It’s a sight to see.
Need the perfect spot for dinner before resting your heads? Check out downtown Wilmington’s Market Street for new food finds like The Quoin Restaurant inside the new Quoin Hotel, Wilma’s and Bardea Steak.