By Tate Marcinkoski
One of my favorite holiday traditions is to go to Longwood Gardens with my family. Some of you may know Longwood as the place with all of the flower exhibits, but during December the gardens are transformed into a spectacle of twinkling lights. We have visited every year since we moved to Wayne, and it is a highlight of the season for me.
When you first enter the grounds, you will notice that most of the trees are covered in beautiful colored lights. There are many kinds of lights used to decorate the trees — different shapes and both single colors like red, green, blue and white and multicolored versions. This year, Longwood used more than half million lights to decorate the trees. Wow, that is a lot of electricity!
In addition to lights, you will experience the new fountains, which opened this summer and are choreographed to music. The fountains turn different colors and, occasionally, the jets of water are topped with real flames.
Longwood also has a miniature railroad that is decorated for Christmas. It has trains from the “Thomas the Tank Engine” series and even Amtrak and Septa trains.
After walking around in the cold for a while, you will probably want a place to warm up. You can stop at one of the cozy fire pits, where there are sometimes carolers singing. If the fire pits don’t warm you, you can get hot chocolate and cookies in one of the heated tents. They also have pretzels and brownies, as well as special drinks and snacks for adults.
At the center of the garden, there is a huge, ornate greenhouse filled with tons of tropical plants. During the holidays, there are more than 50 evergreen trees inside, decorated with ornaments in different themes, including one magical tree that spins. Every year, Longwood has a special new display in the main atrium of the greenhouse. This year’s French-inspired design features hundreds of floating apples, cranberries and gilded walnuts in patterns so intricate that it is hard to believe they are made of real fruit.
Longwood Gardens is a magical wonderland during the holidays, but what I love about Longwood is that you can go any time of the year and see something completely new and amazing each season.
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