Christmas at Longwood Gardens

This time of year, many towns and cities around the United States and Canada enhance their public spaces with Christmas decorations. Tourist attractions, too, are decked out in holiday finery: garlands, twinkle lights, wreaths and Christmas trees. At Longwood Gardens, just 30 miles outside of Philadelphia, the Christmas tradition is truly one to behold.

Originally founded as a Quaker farm in the 1700s, Longwood Gardens is one of the most illustrious public gardens in the United States today. It began as an arboretum and was developed in the 1850s into an elaborate showcase of gardens by the property’s new owner Pierre Du Pont, an industrialist who was very interested in conservation, farming, gardening and landscape design.

The gardens were opened to the public in the 1940s and have been a Pennsylvania landmark ever since. Their Christmas displays are a must-see each year. I urge you to visit their website to read more about the colourful history of this place and to potentially plan a visit to see the Christmas displays, which will be up until the 6th of January. Longwood Gardens is located on US Route 1, about 3 miles northeast of Kennett Square, PA.

All photos courtesy of Longwood Gardens.


Andrew Ritchie is the creator of Martha Moments, a blog devoted Martha-Stewart related content and her community of supporters. He lives and works in Toronto, Canada, and has been a longtime friend of Brent & Josh, Beekman 1802 and Sharon Springs. Each week he’ll scour the world (wide web) to find the 5 most beautiful things to inspire you. Follow Andrew on Pinterest.



by Andrew

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Sue Wimble

I, too, live close to Longwood Gardens so I never miss a visit at Christmas. All of the old DuPont estates in that area are stunning – Winterthur is one I visit every Christmas, too. I told Brent and Josh that they really should take time out to go to Longwood when they do a book signing at Terrain, it’s only 10 minutes away! I hope they can visit next year, when the new dessert cookbook comes out. They will love it!

Christine Coggeshall

When you walk into Longwood Gardens you feel as if “this must be what heaven looks like”.
It is stunning at Christmas and every time of the year. My husband and I celebrated New Year’s Eve there a couple years ago. Great memories.

Andrew Ritchie

Thanks for all the nice personal stories, everyone! I have actually never been to Longwood but fell in love with it through a friend of mine. I plan on going next year!


Longwood Gardens is a beautiful, amazing place any time of the year but I bet magical during the holidays!!

Diane Svatek

I have Quaker ancestors buried in the cemetery at the entrance to Longwoods Gardens. Have never visited at Christmas…will add it to the bucket list.


Been going here for the past couple Christmas Eve’s, going again this year. Longwood Garden’s is absolutely stunning and gorgeous.

Also not too far away from Longwood Gardens is the Nemour’s Mansion and Gardens which are gorgeous as well.


You are 100% correct! it is an amazing place year round but takes on an extra degree of amazing at Christmas.

Robin C.

I grew up about 1/2 hour from Longwood Gardens and was part of WPVI-TV’s “Best of the Class: 1999” which was filmed there. It is a sight to behold all year round, but is truly spectacular at Christmas. Though not particularly Christmas-y, the Orchid Room is my favorite. Just stand there and breathe through your nose. It’s amazing.


Not far from me. Every time I see pictures I equate Longwood Gardens almost to the Philadelphia Flower Show. Just a beautiful place!

Ken Newman

Andrew, this post brought back memories. There’s very little in this world more beautiful than Longwood Gardens at Christmas. For many years, when we lived closer to Philadelphia, my wife and I were Longwood neighbors and had season passes to roam the grounds throughout the seasons. We still make at least one pilgrimage down there every year just to keep us inspired as we work our gardens. The concerts are amazing. No matter how many times you visit Longwood, there’s always something new and you leave in awe of the place.