O Christmas Tree…

It’s the holidays, which means time with family and friends, feasts, decorating your home, trimming the tree, exchanging gifts, religious fellowship, and making merry. It’s also a time to travel, to visit either new locations or old and familiar haunts. For me, the holidays also mean a trip to Kennett Square, Pennsylvania, for a festival of Christmas lights that I have attended for four straight years.

Hosted annually at Longwood Gardens (which I explored in a previous post), A Longwood Christmas is a festival of light and decoration, when seemingly every plant, tree, and shrub is covered in lights. Longwood uses hundreds of thousands of lights in their decorations, leading to one of the most beautiful holiday scenes that I have ever witnessed. The event runs through January 8th, 2017, and is a must-see attraction in the Philadelphia region.

Before tonight’s adventure, however, my holidays were a wonderful time with family. I had a terrific Christmas, full of joy, laughter, and way too much food. A friend is in town for the holidays, and we took trips to the New Jersey shore as well as a quick stop by the Palmyra Cove Nature Park, a little-known environmental studies center along the Delaware River where we had some up-close meetings with local wildlife. And then tonight we got in DH and headed 46 miles westward to Longwood Gardens, for a very special holiday event.

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McMillan’s Bakery. A veritable institution in South Jersey since 1939. For your holiday baked goods, accept no substitutes. DH, to the left…
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DH, parked at the end of Beach Avenue in Cape May, New Jersey the day after Christmas. Note the bulldozer in the background: the sand here is being replenished and the beach is being regraded to replace what has been lost to erosion. Also, if you squint and look in the distance, you can see the Cape May Lighthouse.
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Just stopping by to make sure the concrete ship hasn’t gone anywhere.
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Located on the banks of the Delaware River near the Tacony-Palmyra Bridge (which connects New Jersey to Philadelphia), the Palmyra Cove Nature Park is a little hidden gem for hiking and seeing wildlife.
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Go slow for deer!
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Lots of deer…
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And even more deer. Although seemingly habituated to humans, these animals are still wild and unpredictable. Not wanting to risk an accident, DH and I tiptoed around them.
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A Longwood Christmas!
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Everything is decorated. I mean EVERYTHING.
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The water fountain is used to create a musical light show. It’s very impressive!
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Every path is decorated to guide you through the park.
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Leading you to sights like this…
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…and this…
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…and this…
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…and this.
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On a chilly night with temperatures hovering around 30 degrees, you can warm up next to an open fire…
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…or do what we did, and stop at one of the hot chocolate stands around the gardens.
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Need a break from the cold? Stop by the Conservatory for warmth and a beautiful scene.
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Simply gorgeous.
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Sit down in the music room for some caroling and listen to music played on the Longwood Organ, a pipe organ composed of 10,010 pipes…
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…and then tour the interior of the pipe organ afterward!
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Saying goodbye at the end of a terrific night.
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73,556 miles. The voyage continues!

A Longwood Christmas is a wonderful event, and really helps to fill you with holiday cheer. It is a very popular, so you must purchase timed tickets in advance of your visit during the evening hours. Ticket prices begin at $30 for an adult, with discounts for seniors, students, and youth (children up to age 4 can enter for free). If you are in the Delaware Valley during the holidays, be sure to make this a destination during your trip. Thanks again for coming along on another Voyage of DH!

‘Til next time.

 

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