DELMARVA Attractions

Longwood Gardens

Besides kayaking as often as possible, we enjoy visiting and identifying sites and events throughout DELMARVA. Our latest trip, while technically in PA, was to Longwood Gardens in Kennett Square, PA.

Various local publications reviewing the remodeled musical illuminated fountain show at Longwood Gardens give it high marks. With the show running only through late  October, we scheduled and purchased our timed ticket for a Saturday evening.

Entering the park at our ticketed time of 3:30 pm a friendly guide encouraged us to return to the car and bring in our lawn chairs. Excellent advice, and she was so helpful, as were all the guides. Areas around the fountain garden are clearly marked for blankets, chairs and standing. Guides make sure everything stays orderly. Placing our chairs in a front row, we spent the next few hours touring the garden and eating dinner.

Our visit occurred on a gray and overcast day; terrible for photography, but still the beauty of the place shown through. One can wander for hours through flower gardens, around ponds, along wooded trails and even stroll through a meadow.


The Main Conservatory highlights every trip to Longwood Gardens. Seasonal floral  displays showcase beautiful settings. With chrysanthemums being the fall focus, the conservatory displayed an exceptional variety. Usually massed in groups, the impression is amazing.


The Peirce-du Pont House allows one to delve further into the history of Longwood Gardens. The glass conservancy he built between two wings of the house is ingenious. Any garden or nature lover would love to have such a room.

Even in late October the flower gardens shone in all their beauty.

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A not to miss part of the visit is the Grotto and historic Pump Room. The Pump Room features extensive historical information on the original design of the fountains. The story is fascinating.

Now we reach the highlight of our visit. The Illuminated Musical Fountain Show. In 2014 the fountains closed for updating and redesign, finally reopening in 2017.

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We returned to our chairs after dinner. ( See the note below about dining options.) The crowd began to build, but directions from the staff ensured everyone was in the proper place.

The Main Fountain features 1,719 jets soaring as high as 175 feet. Shows, 12 minutes in length set to music, occur at regular intervals throughout the day.  But we were there for the 30 minute Illuminated Musical Fountain Show, which began promptly at 7:30 p.m. Words and/or pictures do not do this justice. Click here for a video produced by Longwood Gardens which provides a glimpse of the fountain show.   Suffice it to say, this is an experience we will seek again. Did I mention the part where fire comes out of the fountains?

Longwood Gardens is on our repeat visit list, with a Christmas trip being planned.

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Nighttime Fountain Show

Dining Options: 1906 Fine Dining (requires reservations); The Cafe (cafeteria style); Beer Garden. The dining venues were extremely crowded the evening of our visit. Kudos to Longwood Gardens for their experience in serving crowds. We chose to stand in a long line at The Cafe. Twenty minutes later we were inside, choosing our meal and easily locating a table in a quiet dining area. The food is not standard cafeteria style, but features a changing menu based on local options. The autumn menu featured items with apples, butternut squash and cabbage. Note: outside food and beverage are not allowed into Longwood Gardens.

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