This post is sponsored by the Greater Wilmington Convention and Visitors Bureau, however, all content and opinions are entirely my own.
The 2017 Wilmington and The Brandywine Valley Holiday Attractions are sure to bring delight to all those who visit!
After I moved away from Delaware, I realized just how much I took for granted. I missed out on a lot of fun activities, historic events, and even special holiday attractions. Since moving back, I’ve made more of an effort to make sure that my family enjoys all there is to do here!
We recently spent a weekend in Wilmington, Delaware and The Brandwine Valley to visit some of the many holiday attractions. In our two day, whirlwind of a trip, we got to ride on The Santa Claus Express, ice skate in the snow at the Riverfront Rink, tour the Brandywine River Museum, and walk through the historic houses of Odessa that were decorated for the holidays! We were also able dine at a few local restaurants including Ernest & Scott Taproom and Cantwell’s Tavern (which has been at the top of my list of places to try for quite some time now)!
And these activities are just a few of the many wonderful events that take place during the holidays here!
2017 Wilmington & The Brandywine Valley Holiday Attractions
Wilmington & Western Railroad Santa Claus Express
This is a must for family’s with children! The Santa Claus Express is a 90-minute round trip to Ashland, Pennsylvania aboard a Wilmington & Western Railroad historic steam train.
During the trip, Santa Claus makes his way throughout all of the train cars. Children get to visit with Santa to tell them their Christmas wishes, take photos, and enjoy a special treat!
The day we went was also the first snow of the season! The views very magical and my kids had a blast.
The Santa Claus Express is sold out for 2017, so be sure to mark your calendars to book early next year! At the time of this post, there are still tickets available for the Holiday Lights Express. Santa Claus does not make appearances on these trips. Reservations are required and can be booked through the Wilmington & Western Railroad website.
Riverfront Ice Skating Rink
After our trip on the Santa Claus Express, we had dinner at Ernest & Scott Taproom and then headed over to the Riverfront Rink to go ice skating!
The Riverfront Rink is an outdoor ice skating rink that is open 7 days a week from November 24, 2017 to March 4, 2018. Skate rentals are available, as are hot chocolate and a warming tent.
My 10-year-old son, Jaxon, had so much fun ice skating in the snow! He didn’t want to leave!
For more information about the Riverfront Rink, including special events, click here!
A Brandywine Christmas at The Brandywine River Museum of Art
The Brandwine River Museum is known for it’s extensive collection of Wyeth paintings, but during the holidays they hold A Brandywine Christmas.
A Brandywine Christmas includes a huge model train display with incredible detail. You’ll be amazed at all the little things you didn’t notice right away – like the alien space ship!
There are also Christmas trees decorated with “Critter” ornaments throughout.
You are still able to view the entire art collection as well.
The beautiful views of the river are the perfect setting for family photos!
For more information about the Brandywine River Museum of Art and their current events, click here!
Historic Houses of Odessa
The tour of the Historic House of Odessa, Delaware was my favorite part of the trip! I love old houses and both of the houses we were able to tour were built in the 1700’s.
The first house is named the Wilson-Warner House and was built in 1779.
I really loved the way they decorated the home so that each room told a portion of the story, T’was the Night Before Christmas, which was originally titled, “A Visit From St. Nicholas.” Our tour guide actually read the part of the story each room was decorated for and then told us more information about the home.
The second house we toured is named the Corbit-Sharp House and was built in 1774. On a non-Christmas tour, they do tell you a lot more of the history of the home, but for this tour, the focus was on all of the Christmas trees.
The different rooms of the home included Christmas trees decorated by volunteers to represent different holiday books.
To learn more about Historic Odessa, visit their website! And, be sure to check out Cantwell’s Tavern while you’re there! The menu includes locally sourced ingredients and is absolutely delicious!
Other Holiday Events in Wilmington and The Brandywine Valley
There are so many other special holiday events happening in the area. Some other highly recommended visits include:
- Yuletide at Winterthur
- A Longwood Christmas
- Holidays at Hagley
- Nemours Estate Holiday Tour
…and so many more!
To learn more about all of Wilmington and The Brandywine Valley holiday attractions, and to see the calendar of events, visit www.visitwilmingtonde.com.