Longwood Gardens welcomes the holiday season
● By J. Chambless
Inside and out, Longwood Gardens is decked out for the season from Nov. 22 to Jan. 6.
This year, “A Longwood Christmas”
pays homage to the Christmas tree with a display featuring
traditional favorites and inspiring new twists to the holiday symbol.
From festive firs suspended from above, to towering tannenbaums
adorned in unique ways, visitors can uncover the magic of the
Christmas tree reimagined from Nov. 22 to Jan. 6. Tickets are
available at longwoodgardens.org.
“A Longwood Christmas” extends both
indoors and outdoors. Inside Longwood’s warm, four-acre
Conservatory, a forest of floating trees embellished with crystals,
glass ornaments, and glittering baby’s breath hangs from above. The
Music Room is transformed into a book lover’s holiday haven,
featuring a rotating 18-foot Fraser fir draped in a garland of books,
with trees fashioned from hardcover books and decorative folded book
art adding to the holiday splendor.
Other highlights in the Conservatory include a 24-foot concolor fir garnished with red ornament swaths, amid a woodland of white frosted trees and winterberry holly. An ethereal glass “tree” made of 600 slivers of hand-cut green glass in various shades is suspended over a meadow of red and white amaryllis, hellebores, and kalanchoe. A whimsical 12-foot tumbleweed tree, among an array of succulents, evokes the spirit of the Southwest.
Outdoors, more than 500,000 lights
grace more than 100 trees throughout the gardens. New displays
include the Main Fountain Garden, where shimmering lighted conical
trees decorate the garden. Two 6-foot southern magnolia trees are
ornamented with natural materials found in the Meadow Garden, while
the popular Wildlife Tree is reinvented as a 15-foot conical tree
covered in 200 handmade birdhouses and decorated with edible
ornaments. The Gardener’s Tree showcases the gardeners’ spin on
the theme, featuring twirling ornaments, wind spinners and
Created by Longwood craftsmen and local artisans, three fire pits allow guests to warm up by the fire on chilly evenings.
In the Open Air Theatre, fountains dance day and night to holiday classics. Families will delight in Longwood’s outdoor train display as it travels past miniature Longwood landmarks that are lighted for the holiday season.
Throughout the season, Longwood’s grand Ballroom hosts free and ticketed holiday-inspired performances, as well as daily carol sing-alongs performed on Longwood’s pipe organ. The Strolling Olde Towne Carolers add to the holiday charm on select evenings, while Longwood’s historic Chimes Tower plays holiday music every half-hour.
For tickets and a complete listing of performances, visit www.longwoodgardens.org.
Admission to the Christmas display is by timed admission ticket, with tickets purchased in advance for a specific date and time. Members require free, timed member reservations every day if arriving after 2 p.m.