Several area holiday attractions opening this weekend
In case you haven’t noticed, it’s almost Christmas time, and here are four places to jump-start your holiday spirit, no matter what your tastes.
“Yuletide at Winterthur”
Winterthur Museum, 5105 Kennett Pike, Winterthur
Nov. 21 to Jan. 3.
$5 to $20 (free for Winterthur members)
Celebrate Christmas DuPont Family-style at the annual “Yuletide at Winterthur” holiday display.
This year, the annual exhibition celebrating the holiday traditions of Henry Francis du Pont and his family will feature a special tribute to the 30th anniversary of the “Dried Flower Tree,” which organizers say is “more majestic than ever” in 2015.
Also new this year is a tree celebrating the Winterthur Garden in autumn, inspired by the colors of the season and H. F. du Pont’s boyhood collections of rocks, shells, and other” trophies of the natural world.”
You can also enjoy concerts, caroling, jazz, and wine throughout the season with Winterthur's special Yuletide programming, a complete list of which is available at Winterthur.org.
“A Brandywine Christmas”
The Brandywine Conservancy, 1 Hoffman's Mill Road, Chadds Ford, Pa.
Nov. 27 to Jan. 7.
$6 to $15 (free for members; individual event ticket prices vary)
At the Brandywine Conservancy’s 2015 “Brandywine Christmas” display, visitors can check out a huge collection of O-Gauge toy trains travelling through a Christmas wonderland on over 2,000 feet of track.
There’s also a collection of rare antique dolls dressed in period clothing, plus thousands of whimsical “Critters” ornaments and decorations, handcrafted by Brandywine volunteers from natural materials, which are displayed on trees that soar up through the museum's three-story atrium.
Events and programs will take place throughout the holiday season, from performances by area musicians and local school choirs, to a special “Polar Express” pajama night. The museum will remain open until 9 p.m. on Thursdays in December, with holiday entertainment and programs.
“A Longwood Christmas”
Longwood Gardens, 1001 Longwood Road, Kennett Square, Pa.
Nov. 26 to Jan. 10
$10 to $27 (see online for times)
Part of another former du Pont estate, “A Longwood Christmas” at Longwood Gardens has become one of the region’s largest and most popular holiday displays.
The event features Longwood’s four-acre heated Conservatory decked out with 16,000 seasonal plants, and elegantly decorated trees sparkle with fountain-inspired glass ornaments, including a 24-foot Fraser Fir adorned with 2,000 crystal ornaments.
The Music Room features two 15-foot trees decorated with dried waterlilies, hydrangeas, peonies, and yellow roses, all preserved from gardens at Longwood.
Outside, over 500,000 outdoor lights adorn 124 trees decorated in classical and free-style forms, and fountains dancing day and night to holiday music in the Open Air Theatre.
Free and ticketed holiday-inspired performances also occur throughout the holiday season. For a complete listing of performances, and to view tickets and entry times, visit longwoodgardens.org.
“Herr’s Christmas Display”
Herr Snack Foods, 10202 Baltimore Pike, E. Nottingham, Pa.
Nov. 26 to Jan. 3
For the past 27 years, the Herr Family – owners of Herr’s Snack Foods in Nottingham, Pa. – have decorated their acres-wide campus for the holidays, and boy do they go all out.
The display, open free to the public, is a simple directed car drive through the grounds, where over 400,000 lights are displayed in a variety of designs, from eye-watering color sets to “cootie” bugs and Mr. Potato Head.
Herr’s also features their “Christmas Snacktacular,” which takes place at the Visitor’s Center Saturday, Dec. 12 to Saturday, Dec. 19, with special activities occurring each day and/or evening.
A complete calendar listing of holiday events is available online at herrs.com/WhatsNew/SpecialEvents.html, or by calling 800-284-7488.