Holiday Magic

Wilmington and the Brandywine Valley is the perfect place to get in the holiday spirit. When our gorgeous historical mansions and gardens are all decked out for the holidays, even the biggest Grinch will have a hard time resisting the draw of the season.

If you still have some shopping to do, start your day at Christiana Mall, whose nearly 200 stores are guaranteed to have the right fit for everyone on your list. And because there’s no sales tax in Delaware, you’ll be saving enough to treat yourself to something too.

After you’ve checked everyone off your list and checked it twice, linger for lunch with one of the mall’s 33 food vendors or make the short drive to Newark, whose Main Street is lined with locally owned restaurants like Caffe Gelato or Hamilton’s on Main.

In this Itinerary

Spend your afternoon with one of the season’s most eye-popping spectacles: the Longwood Gardens holiday spectacular, A Longwood Christmas. Hundreds of thousands of sparkling lights spreading holiday cheer every night. Marvel at playful trees draped in gorgeous baubles and shimmering tinsels or make precious memories as you stroll the conservatory’s dazzling displays of holiday color.

If you can spend another day, don’t miss Yuletide at Winterthur. Decking the halls is a full-time job at Henry Francis du Pont's 175-room home, Winterthur Museum, Garden & Library, which is known for housing the most significant collection of American antiques. While the theme of Yuletide changes each year, signature traditions include the show-stopping Dried-Flower Tree. In fact, look for a colossal tree in seemingly every room on the tour — each more beautiful than the next.

In this Itinerary

Caffé Gelato

  • 90 E. Main St.

The restaurant includes a 1,500 bottle wine cellar with over 100 varietals and a vibrant 10-seat granite top bar. The atmosphere is warm and inviting with amber lighting…

Hamilton's on Main

  • 102 E. Main St.

Everyday elegance. Approachable fine dining, craft cocktails, beer and wine served in a rustic chic setting in the heart of Main Street. Whether you are celebrating, gathering…

Or, if you’re traveling with kids, spend a few hours at the Brandywine Museum of Art in Chadds Ford, PA. It’s renowned for hosting work by three generations of Wyeth artists, but around Christmas time, children delight in the museum’s toy train exhibit. The remarkable Brandywine Railroad O-gauge model train travels nearly 2,000 feet of track and contains more than 1,000 pieces that chug through a small village, a farm, factories, a drive-in movie theater, and even a carnival.

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