Kennett Square, Pa–Longwood Gardens’ Festival of Fountains season opens May 9 with exciting new fountain performances, lively programming for the whole family, and glorious gardens showcasing summer’s beauty. Festival of Fountains runs May 9–September 29. 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 5-29. Admission is by timed admission ticket only. To purchase tickets, visit longwoodgardens.org.
Home to the most significant fountain collection in North America, Longwood’s fountains jet to life in the summer season. Longwood’s three fountain gardens perform daily with more shows than ever before. The Main Fountain Garden includes new Fountain Refresher 5-minute shows at 6:15 and 8:15 pm May-August. Evening Illuminated Fountain Performances in the Main Fountain Garden feature a selection of dynamic new shows including the musical revolution of the British Invasion, an encore to Night at the Movies with Night at the Movies II, a curtain raising ode to Broadway, an energetic Latin beats compilation in Bailando: Latin Rhythms, a tribute to Mozart’s genius, and a country music celebration with Straight Up Country. 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, the enchanting Italian Water Garden and Open Air Theatre fountains perform daily adding to the festive fountain atmosphere.
Longwood offers families hours of enjoyment, with indoor and outdoor gardens, three enticing treehouses to explore, and ample opportunity to roam and reconnect with the wonders of nature. Families can also enjoy these new Festive Friday evenings, designed with a host of themed family friendly activities, including a Behind the Scenes Tour: Under the Fountains on select nights:
Festive Friday: Art in the Gardens
Stroll the Main Fountain Garden and watch talented artists from Plein Air Brandywine Valley as they create works of art inspired by our Gardens. Throughout the evening, enjoy live music, special concessions, and inspiring fountain shows. When the sun sets, take in a Pictures at a Fountain Exhibition Illuminated Fountain Performance (9:15 pm) with select movements from Russian composer Modest Mussorgsky’s timeless works.
Festive Friday: Wish Upon a Star
Family fun can be found around every corner from the top of the Chimes Tower to scavenger hunts throughout the Main Fountain Garden. Round out this magical evening with a Be Our Guest Illuminated Fountain Performance (9:15 pm) featuring hits from animated classics including Aladdin, The Lion King, The Little Mermaid, and more. Children are welcome to dress in costumes from their favorite animated classics.
Festive Friday: A Night in Paris
You will feel like you are in the City of Lights without ever needing a passport. Stroll the allees of the Main Fountain Garden, happen upon busker-style performers, sip wine, and end your evening with the elegant Monet’s Garden Illuminated Fountain Performance (9:15 pm) featuring the sounds of classics from Debussy, Dukas, Ravel, and other celebrated French composers. This night will leave you with a certain je ne sais quoi.
Festive Friday: Brews & Bands
Experts from Victory Brewing Company will be on hand to talk brews and the brewing process to craft our signature beers. Savor special concessions including Victory beer flights, and rock out to a stirring salute to America with hits from Tom Petty, Miley Cyrus, and “The Boss” during the Rockin’ the Red, White, and Blue Illuminated Fountain Performance (9:15 pm).
Festive Friday: Hooray for Hollywood
Children are welcome to dress up in costumes from their favorite movies, grab a popcorn and enjoy Hollywood themed entertainment throughout the Gardens. Relish in silver screen hits during the Night at the Movies II Illuminated Fountain Performance (8:15 pm) with hits from The Greatest Showman, Bohemian Rhapsody, Grease, and more.
Fireworks & Fountains Shows
The astonishing awe of Longwood’s Fireworks & Fountains Shows return on six memorable evenings. Special tickets are required and are on sale now for these artistic shows combining fountains and fireworks choreographed to music:
To Philly, With Love
Sunday, May 26
Come Rock Around the Clock, do The Twist, and Raise Your Glass along to songs inspired by and performed by artists with strong ties to Oh, What A Beautiful City—our beloved Philadelphia.
Star Spangled Spectacular
Wednesday, July 3
Well-known patriotic music abounds as we celebrate America, featuring such songs as The Olympic Fanfare, The Winds of War, The Stars & Stripes, and more.
The Piano Men
Saturday, July 20
From Tiny Dancer to Uptown Girl, our fireworks soar and fountains sway to the iconic sounds of two of the greatest artists of all time—Billy Joel and Elton John.
Saturday, August 10
Tchaikovsky’s beloved ballet takes new flight in our graceful rendition of this poignant story of metamorphosis, romance, and tragedy.
Night at the Movies II
Sunday, September 1
You loved Night at the Movies … now get ready for the sequel featuring a whole new lineup of silver screen hits from The Greatest Showman, Footloose, Slumdog Millionaire, and more.
Queens of Soul
Saturday, September 28
Ain’t No Mountain High Enough to keep us from celebrating legends like Aretha Franklin, Diana Ross, Gladys Knight, and more in this incredible, soul-stirring tribute.
Colorful annuals and perennials abound with a rainbow of hues, creating a stunning display throughout the summer season. From the breathtaking Waterlily Display showcasing aquatic plants from all over the world, to a brisk walk in the expansive Meadow Garden, summer at Longwood shines. 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.
Music fills the Gardens throughout the summer as Longwood welcomes a stellar lineup of performers in the beautiful Open Air Theatre. Notable artists include Grammy and Tony Award-winning actor and singer Leslie Odom, Jr. on Sunday, June 23 and one of country’s pre-eminent singer/songwriters, Rosanne Cash on Sunday, June 30. The popular Wine & Jazz Festival returns Saturday, June 1. Special tickets required. For a full list of performances, visit longwoodgardens.org/summerseries.
Longwood’s popular 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 pm in September.
The Gardens’ full-service restaurant, 1906, is newly remodeled and offers fresh, seasonal fare with a focus on locally sourced and sustainable ingredients. Named one of the 100 Best Alfresco Restaurants in America by OpenTable, 1906’s menu highlights produce freshly harvested from the Gardens, as well as local farms. Through an innovative menu style, 1906 allows visitors to experience the past, present, and future of simple elegant dining.
Festival of Fountains runs May 9–September 29, 9 am to 6 pm Sunday–Wednesday, 9 am to 10 pm Thursday–Saturdays in May–August, and 9 am to 9 pm September 5-29. Admission is by timed admission ticket only. To purchase tickets, 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 1,100 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. 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.