Longwood Gardens with kids
In February, we headed back to Philadelphia for a very quick, whirlwind of a trip (Friday to Monday) to visit family and meet my new niece. We met up with Mike’s family at Longwood Gardens in Kenneth Square, PA, about 45 minutes south of Philadelphia.
Longwood Gardens was once the private estate of Pierre S. du Pont (yes, those du Ponts) and is now one of the premier botanical gardens in the USA. I was very lucky to grow up with this so close, but I have only ever gotten to go to the gardens in the winter. Usually it was too cold to do anything but walk through the green houses and conservatory.
A lot has changed since I was there in 2003. They have an amazing tree house exhibit up that was supposed to be temporary, but once it was completed everyone wondered why they would ever tear them down. My 6-year-old niece and 4-year-old nephew loved them. The tree houses were large enough that all of us could walk around the houses and not worry about banging out heads. It wasn’t too cold either, so we were able to really enjoy our time outside.
Although Dek can never get enough of being outside, his favorite part was the new Indoor Children’s Garden in the Conservatory. The garden is very child friendly and has water everywhere. Dek’s squeals of joy echoed throughout the garden as he splashed his hands in fountains, painted walls with a wet paint brush and watched water jump from one pool to another.
I have never been so happy to have a full change of clothes in my bag. He was soaked, but he was happy and able to keep up with his older cousins and interact with them, which he rarely gets to do. The garden staff does have towels on hand and restrooms available for children to dry off and change.
Be warned though, this is by no means a water amusement park. You should not bring a swim suit. The children’s garden is actually very small compared to the rest of the property. It just has a lot of fountains and water activities that are the perfect height for a 17-month-old boy to do what comes naturally- splash around and make a fun mess.
One day I will have to get back to Longwood in the late spring or summer so I can really see it in all its glory, but for us it was the perfect day. Plus since it was winter, the crowds weren’t as bad. Always an added bonus. Oh and kids 4 and under are free.