Several Longwood highlights converging

Several seasonal highlights will overlap briefly at Longwood Gardens, increasing visitors’ viewing experience.

Progress continues on the restoration of the Main Fountain Garden at Longwood, a project expected to be completed in the spring.

Progress continues on the restoration of the Main Fountain Garden at Longwood, a project expected to be completed in the spring.

“Nightscape: A Light and Sound Experience” is winding down. The innovative mix of light, sound, imagery, and music was introduced in 2015 as a way to fill the void created by the 2½-year restoration of the Main Fountain Garden, which anchored summer displays and fireworks.

Nightscape will run through Saturday, Oct. 29, and will not be returning next year, Longwood Gardens officials have said. The Main Fountain Garden is expected to reopen in the spring with new, state-of-the-art technology and features.

In the meantime, Longwood guests can spend the day enjoying the whimsical Garden Railway and the beauty and bounty of Autumn’s Colors, an exhibit that runs through Nov. 20. Then, as darkness falls, Nightscape comes alive. Optimal viewing time in October begins at 7 p.m.

Autumn Colors

Autumn's Colors, an exhibit at Longwood Gardens, runs through Nov. 20. Photo courtesy of Longwood Gardens

Children of all ages will enjoy the Pumpkin Playground, on view through the end of October. Young guests are invited to roll, pick up, move, and play with a variety of pumpkins in this interactive area in the Idea Garden. Don’t miss the chance to have your picture taken with the largest pumpkin in our display, which tops 800 pounds.

On Oct. 22, visitors can also savor the arrival of the Chrysanthemum Festival, which transforms Longwood’s four-acre conservatory into a vibrant visual feast of 80,000 colorful chrysanthemums. The much-anticipated Thousand Bloom Chrysanthemum will dominate the show, as this single chrysanthemum plant is grown to produce more than a thousand uniform blooms.

Mums will dominate the conservancy at Longwood Gardens during the Cry

Mums will dominate the conservancy at Longwood Gardens during the Cry

Nightscape is on view Wednesday through Saturday evenings from 6 to 11 p.m. through Saturday, Oct. 29. Special tickets, which include all-day admission, are required and should be purchased in advance. Admission is $27 for adults (ages 19 and up); $17 for students (ages 5 to 18); and free for ages 4 and under. Members do not require a ticket, but do require a free reservation, which can be obtained online.

During Nightscape, visitors are encouraged to take a break in the Longwood Beer Garden. A partnership with the Victory Brewing Company, it is open Wednesday through Saturday evenings from 6 to 10:30 p.m. and features live music from a rotating roster of regional performers on Thursdays from 6 to 9 p.m. Longwood's fall signature brew is Longwood Seasons: Fruit House Ale, created by Victory Brewing Company using three varieties of peaches from the Longwood Idea Garden and seven varieties of nectarines from the Estate Fruit House.

Ricardo Rivera, the creator of Nightscape, discusses the process that led to the installation.

Ricardo Rivera, the creator of Nightscape, will participate in a panel discussion about the exhibit on Friday, Oct. 7.

On Friday, Oct. 7, visitors will have one last chance to hear from Ricardo Rivera, Nightscape’s creator. He will participate in a panel discussion at 7 p.m., the last of the Artist & Friends series. Rivera will be joined by urban technologists and artists, who will discuss cutting-edge topics inspired by the technology, art, music, and design of Nightscape. Guests will learn about the vision and inspiration for this innovative display and have their tech questions answered during a Q&A with the experts.

Nightscape is a rain-or-shine event. If rain threatens, guests are encouraged to bring umbrellas to view the outdoor portion of the display, and comfortable shoes are recommended in any weather. Seeing Nightscape in its entirety takes more than an hour. Visitors who are unfamiliar with the gardens might want to arrive early enough to visit the display sites during daylight, which will make their nighttime transformation even more striking.

Longwood Gardens dates back to 1906, when industrialist Pierre S. du Pont purchased a small farm near Kennett Square to save a collection of historic trees from being sold for lumber. Today, it is one of the world’s great horticultural displays, encompassing 1,077 acres of gardens, woodlands, meadows, fountains, a 10,010-pipe Aeolian organ and 4.5-acre conservatory. Longwood is located on Route 1 near Kennett Square. For more information, visit or call 610-388-1000.



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