Longwood Gardens in Kennett Square is not only one of the best public gardens in the United States (it is consistently rated as the best garden in the US), it is also incredibly kid friendly! Check out this Kid Friendly Guide to see why we love Longwood so much and tips for how to maximize your visit!
Longwood is fun every season of the year and it would make a fantastic day trip or special event trip from pretty much anywhere in the Mid-Atlantic region. It is also super close to Philadelphia and would be a great addition to a family vacation to Phillie as well.
Main Garden Fountain
The Main Garden Fountains in front of the Conservatory are truly a spectacle. First of all, they are huge and with multiple types of fountains rolled into one overarching theme.
At the far end (from the Conservatory) there is a stone wall and grotto that is adorned with statues and other features that will make you feel like you are ancient Roman royalty.
Step inside the grotto and find the secret fountains inside!
Next to the main fountain garden, there is a lovely topiary garden. Your kids will love trying to figure out what the topiaries are supposed to be!
Theatre Garden and Rose Garden
If you turn right when you come out of the visitor center, the first garden you will see is the Theatre Garden. During the summer though you will recognize it as a rose garden.
The roses are so whimsical. There is a rose tunnel and your kids will love darting in and out of it, playing hide and go seek!
Open Air Theatre Fountain
The Open Air Theatre is just so much fun. Throughout various seasons, the fountains are synchronized to music and if you thought the fountains at the Bellagio were impressive… your socks will be knocked off with these fountains!
Flower Garden Drive
Acting like the main corridor of the gardens, the flower garden is always dressed up elegantly. With towering trees on both sides of the wide pathways, you will love seeing the seasonal flower displays.
Flower Garden Walk
Speaking of flower displays, the BEST time to see the Flower Garden Walk is in the spring (in my opinion). The gardens here are overflowing with tulips, daffodils, and other spring blooms. It is truly a feast for the eyes and honestly, it will immediately put you in a happy mood.
These spring gardens are so beautiful.
Italian Water Garden
The Italian Water Garden at the far end of the gardens is almost as large as the Main Garden Fountain. You can view the fountains from a platform at the front of the fountain area.
Or you can walk along the sides of the garden for a different vantage point.
If you take the main walking path around the gardens, you can’t help but see the large lake. You can’t swim in this lake. But there are some friendly ducks.
And this is a great place to chill out and just enjoy being in nature.
There are three super fun tree houses situated around Longwood Gardens. Your kids will love playing and exploring all three of them!
Canopy Cathedral Treehouse is next to Large Lake.
Lookout Loft and the Birdhouse are both located in the Forest Walk area of the gardens. There are so many fun features your kids will love exploring.
Use the binoculars to find wildlife. Or, just listen to the sounds of the forest. Your kids will think it’s such a grand adventure!
From the Italian Water Garden area, you can take a wooded path over a cute bridge the the Meadow.
This is a managed wetlands area with walking paths and trails that meander through open fields.
You really just have to see the Longwood Gardens Conservatory to believe it. It’s huge, with multiple rooms, pathways adorned with all kinds of flowers and plant life.
The displays change with the seasons, so every time you visit it will look different!
One of the rooms in the Conservatory that was recently renovated is the Orchid room. This room is an orchid lover’s dream. There are so many varieties of this fragile but lovely flower.
In the summer, Longwood Gardens cultivates ginormous Lily pads. This part of the Conservatory is still being renovated and will reopen in 2024.
I love how the Lily ponds are black, so the reflection of the pads are really so cool.
Even if you don’t need to use the restroom, you will want to find it, because the hall is covered with grass and plant life. It really is a grass wall.
If you are visiting Longwood Gardens with kids, this spot is an absolute must! The Children’s Garden, inside the Conservatory, is huge. There are playful fountains all over the garden. Some jump and squirt and play with your kids. Others are great to stick your hands in.
Some of the fountains are in the form of animals and other creatures like a pelican, frog, and more.
The best fountain however is the water dragon (or monster). This fountain will remind you of Where the Wild Things Are. There is a bucket of paint brushes and your kids can get lost in play painting the monster with water.
Throughout the Children’s Garden there are secret passages, fun photo ops, and more!
Longwood Gardens is not just a great place to visit during the warmer months. A Longwood Christmas is one of the most beautiful and elaborate Christmas experiences in the United States.
Everything in the gardens is decorated for Christmas. There are multiple Christmas lights tunnels.
The trees are decorated, and the empty Italian Water Garden Fountains have special lights shows.
Throughout the gardens there are hot cocoa stands, fire pits, and more.
The Fountain Theatre plays special Christmas music and there is a Christmas train inside the Peirce de Pont House.
But the best reason to visit during a Longwood Christmas are the exquisite decorations inside the Conservatory.
Oh. My. Goodness. Every year there is a different theme and every year Longwood outdoes themselves in bringing the theme to life!
The attention to detail in the gardens will put even the biggest Grinch in a festive mood!
And of course there are poinsettias everywhere!
Illuminated Fountain Performances
In the summer the Main Garden Fountains come alive with a totally spectacular water fountain show. This show is choreographed to different themes and runs 30 minutes.
It is a combination of music, playful fountains, and a lights show.
Another time of the year you will absolutely want to visit Longwood Gardens is in April and early May for Spring Blooms.
The gardens and Conservatory are both overflowing with gorgeous blooming trees, shrubs, and spring flowers like thousands of tulips! You might think you are actually in Holland!
Fantastic Dining Options
You won’t go hungry at Longwood Gardens. If you want to go fancy, you can reserve a table at 1906. But if you are visiting with kids, you will want to stick with The Cafe and the Beer Garden. Both dining areas are fantastic and they have all the kid’s favorite options, along with some delicious lunch and dinner options adults will swoon for. Check out the menu here!
Know before you go/FAQ
1001 Longwood Rd, Kennett Square, PA 19348
Click here for Google Map Directions!
Hours vary by season.
Spring- Wednesday–Monday: 10:00 am–6:00 pm
Summer- Sunday, Monday, Wednesday: 10:00 am–6:00 pm; Thursday, Friday, Saturday: 10:00 am–10:00 pm
Fall- Sunday, Monday, Wednesday: 10:00 am–6:00 pm; Thursday, Friday, Saturday: 10:00 am–9:00 pm
Christmas- Daily: 10:00 am–11:00 pm
Note: Except for Christmas, Longwood Gardens is closed on Tuesdays.
$13 for kids 5-18 (free for kids under 5); $25 for adults; $22 for seniors/active military/veterans
Yes! Very stroller friendly. Most of the walking paths are wide and paved, with minimal hills.
A typical visit will take 3 to 4 hours, including a visit to the Conservatory.
Nope! There is plenty of parking and parking is free.
Yes. You need to purchase advanced timed entry tickets online.