A new decade brings new beginnings and improved classics to Longwood Gardens, Brandywine Valley’s own 1,000-plus-acre botanic garden, features meadows, gardens, and woodlands filled with magnificent history and a beautifully elegant aesthetic. With its jaw-dropping, award-winning horticulture displays, this New Year can only mean bigger and better happenings for this Greater Wilmington attraction. See what’s to come in 2020 with Longwood’s event-filled annual calendar.
With five spectacular seasonal displays and nearly 600 daily horticultural, educational, performing arts, and holiday programs set for the New Year, the gardens are ready to make your next #VisitWilm adventure an amazing experience.
Home to the most significant fountain collection in North America, Longwood’s Main Fountain Garden will continue to dazzle guests with daily fountain shows and Illuminated Fountain Performances on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday evenings beginning May 7th. The popular Wine & Jazz Festival also returns Saturday, June 6. Other returning favorites include the spring bulb display showcasing more than 250,000 bulbs in spectacular bloom; a year-round performing arts series featuring concerts and other performances; and the popular holiday display, A Longwood Christmas.
Orchid Extravaganza: January 18–March 22
Longwood transforms its Conservatory into an orchid oasis as colorful blooms cascade down walls, spill from containers, and hang from above throughout Longwood’s 4.5 acres of indoor, heated gardens. In early March, Longwood’s famed blue-poppies (Meconopsis 'Lingholm'), known for their unique blue hue, return to the Conservatory for a limited time. Longwood has successfully produced a crop of blue-poppies each winter since 2003. Outdoors, vibrant witch hazel blooms punctuate the landscape and entice guests to stroll the beautiful winter landscape.
Spring Blooms: March 28–May 3
Relish being outdoors as Longwood’s 1,100 acres herald the arrival of spring. Enjoy the award-winning outdoor bulb display, culminating in a rainbow of more than 250,000 spring bulbs blooming in the attraction’s famed Flower Garden Walk and Idea Garden. Flowering trees, shrubs, and other burgeoning blooms herald the arrival of spring throughout the landscape.
Festival of Fountains: May 7–September 27
Summer at Longwood makes a splash as the Gardens’ fountain collection jets to life. The Main Fountain Garden offers jaw-dropping performances daily and extended hours for Illuminated Fountain Performances on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday evenings. Enjoy the Open Air Theatre fountains, which perform daily, as well as the picturesque Italian Water Garden, which offers a cool respite from the warm summer sun. The wildly popular Fireworks & Fountains Shows will return with six new shows: May 24, July 2, July 18, August 8, September 6, and September 26.
Festival of Fountains also features the Gardens in their summer splendor. Flowering annuals and perennials abound, as well as a breathtaking Waterlily Display showcasing aquatic plants from all over the world. Walk in the expansive Meadow Garden, enjoy a shaded stroll among Longwood’s historic trees, and sit under the stars with family and friends in the popular Beer Garden.
*General admission tickets for Festival of Fountains and tickets for the Fireworks and Fountains Shows go on sale April 6 at 9 a.m.
Autumn’s Colors: October 1–November 15
The Gardens embrace the harvest season with pumpkins and thousands of chrysanthemums indoors and out. The attraction’s Miniature Garden Railway delights young and old with fanciful cars and engines. The fountain shows continue daily through November 1, with Illuminated Fountain Performances every Thursday, Friday, and Saturday evening through October 31.
Chrysanthemum Festival: October 22–November 15
Longwood’s horticulture expertise is spotlighted as chrysanthemums are crafted and grown into extraordinary shapes, some taking as long as 18 months to complete. The highlight of the display is the Thousand Bloom Chrysanthemum, a single chrysanthemum that boasts more than 1,500 uniform blooms on a single plant.
A Longwood Christmas: November 20, 2020–January 3, 2021
Thousands of poinsettias, towering Christmas trees, and fragrant flowers transform Longwood’s Conservatory into a toasty warm holiday wonderland. Outdoors, more than 500,000 decorative lights glitter in more than 100 trees as part of a display that won top honors as the best botanical garden holiday light display from USA Today and 10Best in 2018 and 2019. In addition, colorful fountain displays set to holiday music enchant and mesmerize, while evening choral concerts, strolling carolers, and organ sing-alongs fill the Gardens with the festive sounds of the holiday season.
Year-round in the Gardens
There is something new to discover every day of the year at Longwood Gardens. The indoor Children’s Garden is home to innovative water features, secret stairways, whimsical sculptures, and an amazing palette of plants to inspire imaginations of all ages. The Meadow Garden offers 86 acres and more than 3 miles of walking trails. Three imaginative treehouses delight the young and young at heart. Longwood’s education programs encourage gardening at all levels. Classes and lectures on garden-related subjects are offered year-round in addition to student programs for those interested in horticulture as a profession. For more information visit longwoodgardens.org.
About Longwood Gardens
In 1906, industrialist Pierre du Pont (1870-1954) purchased a small farm near Kennett Square, Pennsylvania to save a collection of historic trees from being sold for lumber. Today, Longwood Gardens is one of the world’s great horticultural displays, encompassing 1,100 acres of dazzling gardens, woodlands, meadows, fountains, a 10,010-pipe Aeolian organ, and a 4.5-acre conservatory. Longwood continues the mission set forth by Mr. du Pont to inspire people through excellence in garden design, horticulture, education, and the performing arts through programming that includes exhibitions, musical performances by leading artists, renowned horticulture education programs, horticulture research, environmental stewardship, and community engagement. Open daily, Longwood is one of more than 30 gardens in the Philadelphia region known as America’s Garden Capital.
Whether you’re young or young at heart, a novice or an expert in horticulture, there is something for everyone to enjoy at Longwood Gardens. We can’t wait to see you there!
Be sure to share your visit with us by using #VisitWilm.