Kennett Square, Pa. –Jaw-dropping fountains that jet as high as 175 feet, gardens burgeoning with colorful summer blooms, exotic day- and night-blooming waterlilies, towering trees offering shady respite from the summer sun, and live music in the most spectacular outdoor settings. Guests can experience all this and more during Festival of Fountains at Longwood Gardens May 7–September 30.
Longwood’s popular Main Fountain Garden returns for a second season after wowing more than 600,000 guests last year with its 1,719 jets twirling and dancing to music. The fountains perform daily at 11:15 am, 1:15 pm, 3:15 pm, 5:15 pm. At night, Illuminated Fountain Performances return featuring a selection of dynamic new shows and past favorites. New fountain shows include the rhythmic Carmina Burana, the soulful Sounds of Motown, a contemporary take on American classics in the American Songbook Reimagined, and the jazz-infused In The Mood. Illuminated Fountain Performances are Thursday-Saturday evenings at 9:15 pm May–August and at 8:15 pm in September. In addition to the Main Fountain Garden, Longwood is also home to a collection of other fountain gardens, including the enchanting Italian Water Garden and Open Air Theatre fountains, which also perform daily, adding to the festive fountain atmosphere.
Festival of Fountains features the Gardens in their summer splendor. Flowering annuals and perennials abound, as well as the breathtaking Waterlily Display that showcases aquatic plants from all over the world. Guests can also embark on a brisk walk in the expansive Meadow Garden or enjoy a shady stroll among Longwood’s historic trees. The outdoor Children’s Corner offers our youngest guests a garden designed just for them, while the Idea Garden is a showcase of plant combinations, innovative vegetable gardens, and unusual plant varieties to inspire guests to try at home.
The Beer Garden returns Thursday–Saturday evenings offering alfresco dining and Longwood Signature Brews created by Victory Brewing Company using ingredients grown at Longwood. Regional artists perform live in the Beer Garden from 6–9 pm May -August, and 5-8 pmin September.
Longwood offers families hours of enjoyment, with indoor and outdoor gardens designed just for young guests, three enticing treehouses to explore, and ample opportunity to roam and reconnect with the wonders of nature. Families can also enjoy these special weekends with a host of family friendly activities:
Meet Us In The Meadow
Saturday, June 23
11 am–4 pm
Longwood’s expansive 86-acre Meadow Garden is host to a day dedicated to learning more about pollinators and their important role in nature. Meet Us In The Meadow includes family friendly activities, live blue grass music, and the chance to learn tips and tricks from our experts that you can take home to your own garden.
Thursday, July 12–Saturday, July 14
Free with Gardens Admission
Celebrate Founder’s Weekend by going behind the scenes at some of our founder’s favorite garden spots. Try your hand at our Italian Water Garden, stand onstage at our Open Air Theatre, climb the Chimes Tower for a view from the top, and enjoy a series of films about our Gardens yesterday and today.
Fireworks & Fountains Shows
May 26, July 1, July 21, August 11, September 1, and September 29.
The astonishing awe of Longwood’s Fireworks & Fountains Shows return on six memorable evenings. Special tickets are required for these artistic shows combining fountains and fireworks choreographed to music. Tickets include all-day gardens admission and are on sale now for these shows:
Sounds of Summer
Saturday, May 26
Celebrate summer’s arrival with iconic anthems of the season from The Beach Boys, The Go-Gos, Justin Timberlake, and more. This upbeat show will get you in a feel-good, summer state of mind.
Hooray for the Red, White, and Blue
Sunday, July 1
Join us for this stirring salute to America featuring hits from Tom Petty, Whitney Houston, Bruce Springsteen, and more musical legends.
Saturday, July 21
Find yourself transported to the artist’s graceful Giverny landscape amid sounds of the classics from Debussy, Dukas, Ravel, and other celebrated French composers.
Happy Birthday, Leonard Bernstein
Saturday, August 11
Celebrate musical mastermind Bernstein’s 100th birthday with selections from some of his most famous works including West Side Story, On the Town, Candide, and other quintessential compositions.
Be Our Guest
Saturday, September 1
Themes from your favorite animated movie classics—including Aladdin, The Lion King, The Little Mermaid, and more—delight the young, and young at heart, during this magical performance.
Solid Gold ‘70s
Saturday, September 29
Take a bell-bottomed step back in time to the disco decade featuring iconic music from The Bee Gees, Kool and the Gang, Donna Summer, and more cool cats you’ll really dig.
Music fills the Gardens throughout the summer as Longwood welcomes a stellar lineup of performers including Grammy and Tony Award-winning singer Audra McDonald, viral pop sensation Scott Bradlee’s Postmodern Jukebox, and many more in our beautiful Open Air Theatre. The popular Wine & Jazz Festival returns Saturday, June 2. Special tickets required. For a full list of performances, visit longwoodgardens.org/
Festival of Fountains runs May 7–September 30. The Gardens are open 9 am to 6 pm Sunday–Wednesday, and 9 am to 10 pm Thursday–Saturdays for Illuminated Fountain Performances in May–August, and 9 am to 9 pm September 6-30. Admission is by timed admission ticket only. Members may visit anytime, but require free timed reservations after 3 pm, Thursday–Saturday evenings. To purchase tickets or make Member reservations, visit longwoodgardens.org.
About Longwood Gardens
In 1906, industrialist Pierre du Pont (1870-1954) purchased a small farm near Kennett Square, PA, to save a collection of historic trees from being sold for lumber. Today, Longwood Gardens is one of the world’s great horticultural displays, encompassing 1,083 acres of dazzling gardens, woodlands, meadows, fountains, 10,010-pipe Aeolian organ and 4.5-acre conservatory. Longwood continues the mission set forth by Mr. du Pont to inspire people through excellence in garden design, horticulture, education and the performing arts, through programming that includes exhibitions, musical performances by leading artists, renowned horticulture education programs, horticulture research, environmental stewardship and community engagement.
Longwood Gardens is on US Route 1 near Kennett Square, PA, 30 miles west of Philadelphia. Timed admission tickets are $23 for adults; $20 for seniors (age 62+); $12 for students and free ages 4 and under. Group rates available. The Gardens open at 9 am. Details can be found at www.longwoodgardens.org.