Ready or not, the holiday season has arrived, and the Wilmington & the Brandywine Valley area is fully prepared for the festivities. This region is renowned for its array of holiday events, performances, and attractions brimming with seasonal cheer. If you've yet to encounter the area's enchanting holiday magic, take a moment to discover these five captivating holiday adventures awaiting you just minutes away from Interstate 95.
1. NOËL at Nemours Estate
Wilmington’s own version of the French “Versailles”, Nemours Estate, is one of the region’s five du Pont mansions. Nemours was a gift from Alfred I. du Pont gifted to his lovely wife, Jessie. Today, its French-inspired formal garden, reputedly known as the largest of its kind in North America, is perfectly preserved. Each year the estate celebrates the holiday season with a blend of authentic period decorations mixed with modern design, multiple Christmas trees, garland, wreaths, and so much more.
Nemours Estate puts on its holiday best starting November 14th and running through December 30th, 2023.
2. Yuletide at Winterthur Museum, Garden and Library
Winterthur Museum, a 175-room estate set in the rolling hills of the Brandywine Valley, is another example of the du Pont family’s legacy in Wilmington. This year’s Yuletide features custom fashion by local designers Shawn Pinckney and Asata Maisé Beeks, whose creations reﬂect the history of Winterthur and the design sensibilities of H. F. du Pont and Ann Lowe. Explore the house decorated in all its ﬁnery with signature traditions, including the show-stopping Dried Flower Tree, artistic Christmas trees inspired by Ann Lowe gowns, and a spectacular table set for Christmas dinner. Tradition, style and surprise await around every turn. Special holiday programs will take place throughout the season.
Winterthur’s Yuletide will begin November 18th and runs through January 7th, 2024.
3. A Very Retro Longwood Christmas
Longwood Gardens, the Brandywine Valley’s renowned botanical garden, celebrates the season with their annual “A Longwood Christmas.” This year, nostalgic holiday memories are brought to life in the "Retro Christmas" display, November 17th through January 7th, 2024. Marvel at playful trees draped in shimmering tinsel and vintage ornaments. Reminisce at the vintage Christmas street scenes and, of course, stroll through the gardens with more than half a million dazzling lights to guide you. Timed entry tickets are required.
4. Holidays at Hagley: “Treasures and Traditions”
Hagley Museum is home to 235 acres of beautiful landscape featuring the du Pont family’s first U.S. home and the original powder mills, which made the family a household name. During the holiday season, the renowned home is transformed to celebrate and honor the French holiday traditions the family would have enjoyed during their days in France. This year, the estates’ “Treasures and Traditions” theme features Holiday Home and Garden tours, the 6th annual Gingerbread House Competition, Santa Days, Holiday Night Tours, and more.
Holidays at Hagley are on view November 24th through January 1st, 2024.
5. The Brandywine Railroad
The Brandywine Museum of Art, known for its renowned work by three generations of Wyeth artists, celebrates the season with trees of all sizes gorgeously decorated with hand-made critter ornaments made by volunteer staff. But the centerpiece of the season is the unmatched Brandywine Railroad! The O-gauge model train and its 2,000 feet (about twice the height of the Empire State Building) of track with more than 1,000 moving pieces includes a miniature town, farm, factories, drive-in movie theater and even a carnival. Also on view this year is a Victorian dollhouse featuring 11 rooms and filled with hundreds of miniature objects ready to delight visitors of all ages. Do not miss this magical holiday adventure!
The Museum fills with holiday cheer from November 18th through January 7th, 2024.
The holidays would not be complete without the mention of Christmas in Odessa and The Spirit of Christmas in Historic New Castle. These two colonial towns are the perfect addition to round out your Greater Wilmington holiday adventure. Plan your #VisitWilm holiday getaway today (and be sure to tag @visitwilmingtonde on all social platforms).