Displays and smiles light up the night at Longwood Gardens
● By Richard Gaw
By Richard L. Gaw, Staff Writer
If Paris has long been considered The City of Lights, then "A Longwood Christmas" – an annual pilgrimage for thousands of visitors to Longwood Gardens – should at least be given consideration as The Village of Lights.
This year's exhibit, running until Jan. 10, is a love letter to the holiday, dotted with fountain shows, strolls along the Gardens' many pathways, and hundreds of trees sprinkled with a multicolored array of lights that guide visitors on a journey of imagination.
Throughout the day, guests can rest their legs while participating in organ sing-alongs in the Conservatory Ballroom, or enjoy a new fire pit at the Hourglass Lake Pavilion. A continuous fountain show at the Open Air Theatre is accompanied by festive carols, and guests can stop for a cup of hot chocolate near the Italian Garden, and enjoy the many fountain-inspired glass ornaments in the Conservatory.
The Garden Railway features four locomotives rumbling through a beautifully landscaped miniature village. Timed tickets are available at the Longwood Gardens website, www.longwoodgardens.org.
To contact Staff Writer Richard L. Gaw, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
Tips for visiting 'A Longwood Christmas'
Arrive by 2 p.m. and you’ll miss the evening rush of traffic.
To avoid lines, print member reservations and tickets at home, and show them upon entry. Guests may also open their print-at-home tickets on their smartphone prior to entering the Visitor Center.
Allow extra time for anticipated traffic, particularly between the hours of 3 and 7 p.m.
Parking is free and transportation from off-site parking areas to the Gardens is provided. Handicap parking with a permit is available in the main lot of Longwood Gardens.
The outdoor holiday lights come on at 3:30 p.m., and the Open Air Theatre fountain shows run continuously throughout the evening.
"A Longwood Christmas" is both indoors and outdoors. Dress accordingly and wear comfortable shoes.
Dining at The Cafe and 1906, the two Longwood Gardens restaurants, can be arranged by visiting www.opentable.com.
Many complementary admission tickets are not valid on Peak Days during "A Longwood Christmas."
(Source: Longwood Gardens)