A new summer of fountains and fun opens at Longwood
● By J. Chambless
The Longwood Gardens Festival of Fountains season
opens on May 9 with new fountain performances, programming for the family, and gardens
showcasing summer’s beauty.
The Festival of Fountains runs all summer, through Sept. 29. The three fountain gardens perform daily, with more frequent shows for visitors. The Main Fountain Garden includes new five-minute shows at 6:15 and 8:15 p.m. from May through August. Evening illuminated fountain performances in the Main Fountain Garden feature new shows Thursday through Saturday evenings at 9:15 p.m. (May through August) and at 8:15 p.m. in September. The Italian Water Garden and Open Air Theatre fountains have shows daily as well.
For families, Longwood has interactive indoor and outdoor gardens, three treehouses to explore, and ample opportunity to roam. Families can also enjoy new Festive Friday evenings, designed with a host of themed family friendly activities.
Art in the Gardens
Stroll the Main Fountain Garden and watch talented artists from Plein Air Brandywine Valley as they create works of art inspired by the gardens. Throughout the evening, there will be live music, concessions and fountain shows. When the sun sets, take in a “Pictures at a Fountain Exhibition” illuminated fountain performance at 9:15 p.m., with selections by Mussorgsky.
Wish Upon a Star
Family fun can be found around every corner from the top of the Chimes Tower to scavenger hunts throughout the Main Fountain Garden. Round out this evening with a “Be Our Guest” fountain show at 9:15 p.m., featuring hits from Disney musicals. Children are welcome to dress in costumes from their favorite animated films.
A Night in Paris
Stroll the Main Fountain Garden, watch busker-style performers, sip wine, and end your evening with the elegant “Monet’s Garden” fountain show at 9:15 p.m., with music by Debussy, Dukas, Ravel, and other celebrated French composers.
Brews & Bands
Experts from Victory Brewing Company will be on hand to talk brews and the brewing process to craft Longwood’s signature beers. Savor special concessions including Victory beer flights, and rock out hits from Tom Petty, Miley Cyrus and Bruce Springsteen during the “Rockin’ the Red, White, and Blue” fountain show at 9:15 p.m.
Hooray for Hollywood
Children are welcome to dress up in costumes from their favorite movies, grab a popcorn and enjoy Hollywood themed entertainment throughout the gardens. The “Night at the Movies II” fountain show at 8:15 p.m. features songs from “The Greatest Showman,” “Bohemian Rhapsody,” “Grease” and more.
Fireworks & Fountains Shows
Special tickets are required and are on sale now for these shows combining fountains and fireworks choreographed to music: To Philly, With Love (Sunday, May 26, 9:15 p.m.); Star Spangled Spectacular (Wednesday, July 3, 9:15 p.m.); “The Piano Men: Billy Joel and Elton John” (Saturday, July 20, 9:15 p.m.); “Swan Lake” (Saturday, Aug. 10, 9:15 p.m.); “Night at the Movies II” (Sunday, Sept. 1, 8:15 p.m.); “Queens of Soul” (Saturday, Sept. 28, 8:15 p.m.).
Music fills the air throughout the summer as Longwood welcomes a range of performers in the Open Air Theatre. Notable artists include Grammy and Tony Award-winning actor and singer Leslie Odom, Jr., on Sunday, June 23; and one of country’s pre-eminent singer/songwriters, Rosanne Cash, on Sunday, June 30. The popular Wine & Jazz Festival returns Saturday, June 1. Special tickets are required. For a list of performances, visit longwoodgardens.org/summerseries.
Longwood’s popular Beer Garden returns Thursday through Saturday evenings, offering alfresco dining and Longwood signature brews created by Victory Brewing Company using ingredients grown at Longwood. Regional artists perform live in the Beer Garden from 6 to 9 p.m. from May through August, and 5 to 8 p.m. in September.
The full-service restaurant, 1906, is newly remodeled and offers seasonal fare with a focus on locally sourced and sustainable ingredients. The menu highlights produce freshly harvested from the gardens, as well as local farms.
The Festival of Fountains runs from May 9 to Sept. 29, from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday through Wednesday; 9 a.m. to 10 p.m. Thursday through Saturday from May through August; and 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. Sept. 5 to 29. Admission is by timed admission ticket only. To purchase tickets, visit www.longwoodgardens.org.