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The main fountain gardens at Longwood Gardens are finally open! After 2 years of construction and tall fences restricting the area, the public can now visit the beautifully-renovated fountain area.
By the time I arrived at the fountains for my first visit, all of the seats near the conservatory were packed for the 11am fountain show, so I chose to wander around the fountains during the show. I loved the behind-the-scenes perspective!
One of my favorite things about this renovation is how friendly the fountain area feels now. Before, I felt like it was very hands-off and just for looking. Now, visitors can walk around the fountains at all levels, and it feels more like a park than a museum. The design is beautiful and functional, with lots of seating and shade. Last fall, I attended a lecture at Longwood about their aspirations for the renovation, and I really think they achieved their goals of art restoration, innovation, and welcome. I’m really looking forward to the next time my family is in town to visit, because my engineer dad and toddler niece will love the fountains!
Here are 5 tips for your visit:
1. Be prepared for the splash zone when you walk around the top-level terrace of the fountains. When the wind kicks up, the top spray carries really far.
2. Dress accordingly! I recommend rubber-soled shoes for kids because it can get slick on the terraces and walkways. Also, a rash guard or moisture-wicking clothes (or even a change of clothing!) would help in case of spray from the fountains.
3. Plan your visit to see at least 2 of the daily shows. The 12-minute shows occur every 2 hours with different music. At one show, get your seat early by the conservatory, and at another, walk around the fountains to get a better close-up view!
4. Scope out the calendar for illuminated fountain shows, which are free with garden admission but require a timed ticket or member reservation.
5. Don’t miss the grotto area underneath the terraces. The design is lovely, and it feels otherworldly down there!
I can’t wait to go back and check these items off my list:
● Explore the Historic Pump Room and Gallery
● Plan ahead to see an illuminated show — my top choice is the one set to Holst’s The Planets
● Take advantage of the water features! I just want to sit and read in the open-air patio area
Have you had a chance to see the new fountains yet?