For the second time, we visited the Nemours Mansion and Gardens in Wilmington, DE for their Christmas display. While the mansion is always beautiful, during Christmas time it truly takes on a personality of it’s own as each room is expertly designed after a certain theme – often time using historical references as inspiration. To this day, it’s one of my personal favorite museums to visit during this time of year as the decorations are new every year.
However, there are some things we did not know that if you’re planning to go, I would encourage you to consider when visiting during this time of year.
BRING A SMALL BAG:
This probably goes without saying, but there are some pretty priceless (as in they cannot be replaced) items that one swift knock by your purchase can send it shattering into the abyss. Make sure you bring a small bag that you can easily either place on your back or wrap around your front. While the house is large enough you won’t really bump into anything, accidents can happen if you’re not careful.
GO STRAIGHT TO THE MANSION:
Although the museum and activities at the main building are pretty cool, I’d prioritize heading to the mansion, because you can easily spend a couple of hours there – especially if it’s your first time going. Once you purchase your tickets, head straight to the mansion to get a head start on some pretty impeccable views.
I would recommend making a stop back to the main building, but I think the main appeal of the museum is truly the mansion in all of its grandeur.
EAT BEFORE YOU GO:
To my knowledge, there is not a cafe on site where you can grab a bite to eat near the mansion. If you end up getting the munchies, you’ll probably have to grab something from the Gift Shop or wait until you’re back to the parking lot. I’d recommend eating your fill either before you go or taking a couple of quick bars to munch on while you’re around the mansion.
TRY TO CATCH THE BUS TO THE GARAGE:
Depending on the weather, it may be in your best interest to try to catch the trolley that takes you to the mansion to the garage. On the day we went it was pretty cold, so instead of talking that 5-7 minute walk to the garage, we opted to hop on the trolley instead. They run pretty frequently and the people employed at the mansion are usually kind enough to allow you to wait inside for it.
IF YOU’RE GOING DURING A BUSY TIME OF THE YEAR, GO LATER IN THE DAY:
While normally I would recommend visiting the mansion early so that you have an opportunity to explore the gardens during the warmer months, if you’re going during the holiday season, I would recommend going later in the day so that you’re able to enjoy the museum with a smaller crowd. The museum can get a bit crowded, especially during the annual holiday display. By going around 1 or 2 pm, the crowd is a little bit smaller, but there’s still plenty of time to enjoy the mansion and explore what it has to offer.
VISIT SOME OF THE OTHER DUPONT MUSEUMS:
If you can afford it, I would encourage you to visit the other holiday displays happening less than a few miles away from Nemours at some of the other DuPont residences. There’s Winterthur, which has a Yuletide display about a 20-minute drive away from Nemours. Longwood Gardens, owned by Pierre DuPont is one of the most sought out places in Pennsylvania to visit during the holiday season because of the beautiful light display. Hagley, another Dupont residence, even has holiday decorations this time of year. If you’re looking for other places to enjoy to truly get an idea of how influential the DuPonts were, these are great places to start!
Those are our tips for visiting the Nemours Mansions & Gardens for the first time! We’d love to hear from you!
Have you ever been to Nemours? If so, what are some things that impressed you while there? If not, are there mansions close to you that are similar to the Dupont mansions?