The holiday season has been off to an early start this year. Under pressure from the children the decorations went up the afternoon of Thanksgiving and within 48 hours the house went from reasonably autumnal to yuletide overload. I love it of course and even if it means we’ve finally all fallen victim to the day after Thanksgiving holiday commercialism, at least we’ll go down with a smile. With that in mind, might as well fire the holiday candle full flame and head down to Longwood Gardens for an early peek at the holiday display.
This wouldn’t be our first visit to the gardens during the holidays, we’ve been down before and to be honest I was a little nervous about the crowds on this trip. The last two visits managed to hit on some of their busiest days and with admission tickets sold out for Friday’s opening day I was holding my breath to see how Sunday would work out. I should have relaxed, it worked out great. We arrived around 3pm and were able to just fit into the main parking lot, showed our tickets at the gate, and then walked right in with plenty of smiles and not a single delay.
I usually have a plan of what’s to be done and seen, but now that the kids are older they’re far more determined to do and see what they want. There was a much faster pace as we rushed through the displays and barely noticed much more exciting things such as orchid displays, bonsai trees and carnivorous plants. There was also this odd fascination with organ recitals and Christmas carols, of which we were required to sit (and sing) through two full showings. This enthusiasm must not have gone unnoticed since by the end of the second session our organist, Rudy Lucente, invited the girl up to give her a close-up of the organ mechanics. What a thrill that was for our budding musician.
So the visit took on a different tone. I did get to explore the gardens for a bit before the sun set but the visit was more about enjoying the season than it was about examining every new plant.
Once we had a bite to eat and the sun went down it was time to re-explore with all the lights on.
For all the visits we’ve had this might be the first where we’ve sat through the fountain display. I’m a little embarrassed to admit that since the water, lights, and music were more impressive than I thought they could be…. did I mention I’m more of a plants person?
The decorated grounds are the highlight of the night though. I’d show more pictures but we really just spent our time wandering, sipping a warm drink, and enjoying the fact this was our first above the freezing mark visit.
What seemed like pushing the season turned out to be perfect. The two weeks since have flown by and I know this trip wouldn’t have fit in between other visits and snowy weather. Better to get it in while you can.
Give >their website< a visit even if you can’t make it yourself. I’ve left out so much and their photography is exceptional. You can also easily see if things are crowded and if tickets are selling out.
All the best as we begin to wrap up the year!