Longwood Gardens Opens Festival of Fountains May 11, 2023

Fountains shoot up in arched forms over a white stone facade in a garden during the day

Kennett Square, PA –Dancing fountains, performances under the stars, and beautiful gardens make the Festival of Fountains at Longwood Gardens magical. Running from May 11-September 24, 2023, the spectacular celebration of music, light, water, and nature includes unique garden experiences indoors and out. 

Iconic Illuminated Fountain Performances dance, soar, and delight in the Main Fountain Garden Thursday–Saturday evenings. New Illuminated Fountain Performances for 2023 include Put Me In, Coach, featuring a variety of sports-related tunes; Rachmaninov: Power and Passion; Shake It Off: Taylor Swift; Starman: David Bowie; To Infinity and Beyond, highlighting beloved songs from animated movie favorites; and Where the Heart Is, a showcase of coming-home hits by the likes of Bon Jovi and Ed Sheeran. Illuminated Fountain Performances are free with Gardens admission.

Before the fountain performances, guests can sit under the stars and enjoy live music and refreshing brews and pub fare in Longwood’s Beer Garden. Guests can enjoy a variety of selections from Victory Brewing Company, including the Longwood Seasons series brewed with ingredients grown at Longwood. Regional artists perform live instrumental music, including Hawaiian-Inspired Steel Guitar from Slowey & The Boats, Jazz Age Blues from Drew Nugent & The Midnight Society, Traditional Cuban Son by Conjunto Philadelphia.

Summer Performance Series
Festival of Fountains also features free and ticketed performances throughout the season. The summer kicks off with the May 12 Curtis Symphony Orchestra performance, marking the first time the full orchestra will perform at Longwood, and the only chance to experience the Philadelphia-based orchestra in the region before they embark on their Curtis On Tour West Coast engagements. 

Other summer performances include experimental folk-rock duo Watchhouse on June 7, Mexican power duo Jesse & Joy on June 18, and Grammy Award-winning singer songwriter Lila Downs on September 20. 

The season wraps-up with the return of the Wine & Jazz Festival on September 23. The stellar lineup of award-winning performers includes Chucho Valdés Quartet, Emmet Cohen Trio, Anat Cohen Quartet, Terell Stafford Quintet, The Dale Melton Trio, and High and Mighty Brass Band. In addition, guest can enjoy wines from around the world, including selections from France, Spain, Argentina, South Africa, and Italy, as well as an array of domestic vintages from California, New York, Oregon, Pennsylvania and more. The Wine & Jazz Festival is Saturday, September 23 from 2-9 pm and tickets are available now for $65 and $43 for designated drivers. Longwood Members receive a discount. 

For a complete listing of summer performances and to purchase tickets, visit longwoodgardens.org.

Festive Fridays 
Select Fridays throughout Festival of Fountains bring extra family fun during Longwood’s Festive Friday theme nights. During these special evenings, enjoy themed fountain performances, concessions, entertainment, and more. Plus, every festive Friday brings the rare opportunity to climb to the top of the Chimes Tower for a stunning view of Longwood’s 62-bell carillon and the surrounding landscape. 

The first Festive Friday theme of the season is “Bollywood Blockbusters” on May 26, celebrating the soul of Hindi film and featuring the Daksha Dance Troupe at 6:30 and 7:30 pm in the pumphouse plaza. It’s all about Music with the June 30 Festive Friday theme—"Make Some Noise”—where keyboards will be set up around the gardens for guests to play from 5-8 pm. Paying homage to the City of Brotherly, “It’s a Philly Thing” on July 14 highlights Longwood’s own collaboration with Victory Brewing Company and live music from Polkadelphia. “To Infinity and Beyond” on August 4 is sure to be an evening of fun for both the young and the young at heart when performers from the Philadelphia School of Circus Arts takeover the Pumphouse Plaza from 6–8 pm. And, on September 15, the “I’m a Believer” theme for Festive Friday brings family-friendly magic with The Give and Take Jugglers in the Pumphouse Plaza from 5:30–7:30 pm. Included with Gardens Admission, visit Longwoodgardens.org for more information. 

Celebrate Horticulture
From tall grasses to native perennials to showy tropical foliage and bountiful flowers—the natural beauty showcased during the summer season at Longwood shines daily. Vegetables and annuals bloom in the ever-changing Idea Garden, the Rose Garden springs to life, and fanciful forms delight in the Topiary Garden. Find shade under a tree in Peirce’s Woods or seek out the sun-drenched Meadow Garden where black-eyed Susans provide a vibrant visual show. The Conservatory dazzles with perpetual blooms, tranquil water features, and grand displays. 

During the month of May, Longwood hosts additional celebratory events highlighting plants and nature that are included with Gardens Admission. 

World Topiary Day
Saturday, May 13–Sunday, May 14
Longwood joins Levens Hall and Gardens (Cumbria, UK) and other gardens around the globe in celebrating the beauty, art, and joy of World Topiary Day on May 13 and 14. Delight in the fanciful cones, spirals, and whimsical shapes of Longwood’s Topiary Garden, which has been meticulously trained and cared for for decades.

Stories and Songs with Storyteller Charlotte Blake Alston
Saturday, May 20, 11 am, Open Air Theatre
Join storyteller Charlotte Blake Alston as she performs selections from her vast repertoire of stories and songs from the African and African American oral traditions using a variety of instruments. The engaging event is designed for all ages and is free with Gardens Admission.  

PA Native Species Day
Saturday, May 20, 11:30 am-5 pm
Join Longwood for the second annual Pennsylvania Native Species Day—which falls on May 18 but Longwood is celebrating all day on Saturday, May 20—with a variety of walks and talks, including a Meadow Ecology Walk; Wildflower Walk; Using Native Plants in Your Home Garden Walk; and talks that Explore Our Native Ecosystems. 

Festival of Fountains hours are 10 am–6 pm Sunday, Monday, and Wednesday, and 10 am–10 pm Thursday–Saturday, May 11 through August 30. The Gardens are closed on Tuesdays. Timed Admission Tickets required and should be purchased in advance. Timed Reservations required for Members Thursday–Saturday from 3:00 pm to close. 

About Longwood Gardens
In 1906, industrialist Pierre S. 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 1,100 acres of dazzling gardens, woodlands, meadows, fountains, a 10,010-pipe Aeolian organ, and grand conservatory. Longwood Gardens is the living legacy of Pierre S. du Pont, bringing joy and inspiration to everyone through the beauty of nature, conservation, and learning. Open daily, Longwood is one of more than 30 gardens in the Philadelphia region known as America’s Garden Capital. For more information, visit longwoodgardens.org.