In Lancaster County, we’re fortunate to be within a short drive of a lot of great destinations. HersheyPark, the battlefields at Gettysburg, and the historical sites at Philadelphia are all readily accessible for day trips. An amazing nearby place our family has returned to time and again over the years is Longwood Gardens in Kennett Square.
It had been too long since we visited, so over the weekend my wife and I decided to pack up the boys and see the spring blooms in the gardens. I was excited for the boys to see Longwood, but also because I am an amateur photographer, I was eager to get back to what I call a “target rich environment” for photography. For those unfamiliar, Longwood Gardens is one of the premier botanical gardens in the United States with more than 1,000 acres of gardens (including a large indoor conservatory), woodlands, and meadows open to visitors year round. Longwood truly is spectacular, and offers an ever changing range of plant and flower life on display throughout the seasons as well as musical, holiday, and art events.
The tulips and daffodils were in full bloom as we walked through the Flower Garden Walk towards the treehouse on the lake. The boys enjoyed the intricate shapes of the topiaries, taking hundreds of photos of flowers with our iPhones, and exploring the nooks and crannies of the various Nature’s Castles Treehouses. They were also pretty impressed with the amazing fountains at the Italian Water Garden.
As a family we also spent a good deal of time in the conservatory not only exploring the various rooms (the orchid room is especially amazing), but in the Indoor Children’s Garden as well. They’ve really created an amazing space for kids. The little ones got to interact with some water (which they were dying to do up until that point), and the older ones got to participate in a scavenger hunt through the surprisingly intricate pathways within the children’s garden. As always, the flowers were amazing in this section as well.
We packed a picnic lunch and ate in a nearby area with picnic tables designated for Longwood patrons (it’s outside of the main gates and a short driving distance), but I’ve eaten in their on-site restaurant, The Terrace, before and the food is excellent.