Holidays in the Brandywine Valley: Nemours and Longwood Gardens
Wednesday, November 29, 2017 - 7:00 a.m.
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Holiday lights at Longwood Gardens
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Join decorative arts specialist Erin Kuykendall for a festive holiday tour of two beautiful du Pont family properties in the Brandywine Valley: Nemours Mansion and Gardens, the beaux arts-style estate designed by the New York architectural firm of Carrère and Hastings in 1909, and Longwood Gardens, established in 1906 and celebrated today for its impressive collection of botanicals and half-a-million holiday lights.
On the way to Nemours, Kuykendall offers an overview of the du Pont family's long history in the region. The visit begins with a guided tour of the lavish holiday-decorated interiors, with more than 70 elegantly furnished rooms featuring an impressive collection of French antiques and American paintings. Take time to explore some of the 300 acres of formal gardens and vistas, the finest example of the formal French landscape style in America, before ending with a look at the large du Pont collection of antique automobiles.
Afterward, enjoy a 3-course lunch at the nearby Mendenhall Inn, located on land purchased by the du Ponts in the early 20th century. After a guided tour, spend the afternoon and evening exploring the conservatories and outdoor spaces of Longwood Gardens, including a dazzling light and musical performance at the Italian-style outdoor theater and fountain. Get in the seasonal spirit as you listen to carolers, watch choreographed light and fountain displays, and see more than 50 decorated Christmas trees before returning to Washington.
Fringe stop at about 7:30 a.m.
Departs Mayflower Hotel, DeSales St side
1127 Connecticut Ave NW
Fringe: I-495, Exit 27 Carpool lot