Tag Archives: holidays

Insider’s Guide to Longwood Gardens

7 Dec

I’ve sung the praises of Longwood Gardens before, it really is a family favorite for us. Whenever we have a “what should we do today” kind of day we usually end up strolling through the gardens.

Right now is my favorite time of year at Longwood Gardens, Christmas time. I can say without a doubt that Longwood Gardens does Christmas like no other; the lights, the sounds, the smells, it’s all part of the experience.

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Today I want to share my tips and tricks for Longwood Gardens and more importantly A Longwood Christmas.

Become a member!

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If you live anywhere near Longwood Gardens or visit the area a few times a year it’s worth it. For the average family of four the membership will pay for itself in less than three visits. Family in the area but you’re not? Get a membership! How fun would it be to take the in laws out when you go to visit them?

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There’s more than just admission included with your membership. How does 10% off at The Garden Shop, the restaurants, classes and guest tickets sound? 15% off the performing arts concerts and 20% off the Fireworks & Fountains tickets. But that’s just the tip of the iceberg. Throw in member’s only events, free things like lectures and Walk & Talk and your membership is paying for itself even faster. Here’s a tip not many people know, your Longwood Gardens membership also gets you discounts at retailers¬†throughout the tri-state area.

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Go during the week whenever possible.

To get the most out of Longwood Gardens you want to visit during the week. Not only will it save you money (if you haven’t taken my advice and purchased a membership), you’ll also be able to see and enjoy more. That’s right, it’s cheaper to go during the week and it’s also less crowded. Remember that membership I told you to get? If you had one you could go on Monday for members only Mondays and avoid the crowds even more.

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Less crowds mean it’s easier to get around the gardens and you don’t have to feel like you’re part of a herd. When it’s easier to get from place to place you can get there faster which of course means you can see more and get the best bang for your buck.

To really get the best Longwood Christmas experience you really need to go during the week. I know this from personal experience.

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Our little family is slowly collecting some wonderful Christmas traditions and Longwood Gardens has been one of them since before the boys. If your visit to Longwood Gardens doesn’t get you in the holiday spirit NOTHING will. Even a Scrooge like me enjoys Christmas when Longwood Gardens is a part of it.

Have you been to Longwood Gardens before? Seen the Christmas display? Feel free to share your experience here.



Disclaimer: I was given a family membership and a wonderful evening at Longwood Gardens in exchange for this post. That being said, these are MY thoughts and opinions and I’d love Longwood Gardens and think you should too no matter what.¬†


Black Thursday?

12 Nov

A lifetime ago I was a retail manager. The holidays quickly became something to dread with long hours and often times mean people. Where’s the holiday spirt people?

Fast forward to today…

The hours are even crazier. In my days in retail, the earliest we opened was five or six in the morning. Of course that was after staying open until eleven or twelve the night before.

It seems like every year the stores are staying open later and opening earlier. In recent years the trend has been for stores to open at midnight on Friday. Do people really shop that early? The news reports of people being trampled say YES.

This year I was shocked and appalled to see that some stores are opening as early as eight in the evening on Thanksgiving. You. Have. Got. To. Be. Kidding. ME!!!

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Is nothing sacred anymore? Thanksgiving is the ultimate family holiday, where families can come together around a delicious meal to slow down and give thanks for the blessings they have.

I have two problems with stores opening on Thanksgiving day.

First, the stores need employees to run, you better believe the people who made the decision to open on Thanksgiving will be home with their families. Most of these employees are not given a choice to work the holiday and it would not be surprising to find out that these employees are making straight pay not time and a half (although on that I am not sure). To me, this move shows where the powers that be priorities lie and it’s not with their eomployees.

Next, what kind of example is this setting for the next generation? What is more important, material goods or family? I feel it sends a mixed message to young people.

I’m not so much against Black Friday. I’ve tired it and it’s not really my thing but some people make a fun excursion out of it…More power to them. My issue is with Black Thursday. Major retailers should not be interrupting a holiday by tempting shoppers with good deals. It’s shameful.

Here’s my challenge to you. Boycott Black Thursday. I know, I’m not usually the boycotting kind of girl, but at some point you have to say enough is enough. Instead of shoveling that slice of pumpkin pie down your throat as you run out the door in search of those “Doorbuster” deals, stay home. Be with your family and enjoy the moment. Tomorrow is another day. If these retail chains don’t see enough profit they might choose to stay closed next Thanksgiving.

I’ve always felt that the seasons are rushed. We hadn’t even made it to Halloween before stores started decking the halls. The moment Christmas is over you’ll see resort wear in all the windows. Life is rushed enough as it is, why are we rushing our way through the seasons?

What are your thoughts? Are you excited to head out on Thanksgiving in search of the perfect gift or will you wait it out for Black Friday or Cyber Monday? Share your thoughts here…

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