If you live in Philadelphia, it’s likely that you are familiar with the lavish and verdant expanse of Longwood Gardens, Pierre du Pont’s extraordinary legacy. Featuring over one thousand acres of beautifully cultivated gardens and picturesque landscapes, the property is an absolutely stunning place to visit any time of year, but particularly in the summer months.
This summer, the curators at the gardens have brought on board British installation artist Bruce Munro to design a 23-acre light show, which accompanies the already magnificent evening-scapes at Longwood. Entering the gardens around dusk feels like stepping into the world of Shakespeare’s Midsummer Night’s Dream. Families and couples alike wander through fields and forests dotted with softly glowing orbs that resemble organic shapes taken from the surrounding flora. In a large field, giant lantern-like pillars of color illuminate the garden’s familiar spaces in new and innovative ways. Inside the Conservatory, which resembles a 19th century Parisian train station, the exhibit continues with chandeliers that drip and shimmer, resplendent with light. Whether you have been to the gardens before, or whether this is your first time, Munro’s installation captures a truly fantastical dimension of the gardens that is a real pleasure to experience for people of all ages.
Accompanying Munro’s light installation, Longwood Gardens invites guests to spend an entire evening exploring and learning with such events as Light Nights, smART Nights and Culinary deLIGHT Dinners and Wine Dinners. Friday, September 14 is the final Light Night this season, offering family friendly activities including lantern-crafting and star gazing sessions. If you are interested in the cosmos, don’t miss SmART Night’s featured guest speaker Kristina Lynch, professor of Physics and Astronomy at Dartmouth College, who will be giving a lecture on the evening of Thursday, September 20. On September 9, Longwood Gardens invites guests to dine at a Late Summer Harvest Dinner. After dinner, guests will have ample time to explore the Munro installation at their leisure. Although summer is coming to a close, do not miss this wonderful opportunity to spend a cool September evening relishing the last magical nights of summer at Longwood!
Light: Installations by Bruce Munro: June 9 through September 29, 2012
Light Night, family friendly activities with light: Friday, September 14, 2012
SmART Night with Professor Kristina Lynch: Thursday September 20, 2012
Late Summer Harvest Dinner: Sunday September 9, 2012 at 6 p.m.
Wines from South America and Chile: Friday September 21, 2012 at 6 p.m.
GARDEN HOURS (including Munro Installation)
Sunday-Tuesday: 9 a.m. – 6 p.m. (After Sept. 1, gardens close at 5 p.m.)
Wednesday-Saturday: 9 a.m. – 11 p.m. (After Sept. 1, gardens close at 9 p.m.)
1001 Longwood Road
Kennett Square, PA 19348
TICKETS: Free for members.
Regular Admission (includes Munro installation): Adults $18, Seniors $15, Students $8.
Children under 4 are free
Light Night, included in regular admission fee
SmART Night, included in regular admission fee, reservation recommended, call 610-388-1000
Late Summer Harvest Dinner, $150 per person, $135 for members
Wines from South America and Chile, $97 per person, $85 for members