Winterthur Gardens – Winterthur, DE

Winterthur consists of a museum, library, and gardens. It’s located north of Wilmington, Delaware. Winterthur contains 1,000 acres of land, which includes meadows, streams, ponds, and a 60-acre garden. Henry Francis du Pont designed the gardens.

Winterthur Daffodils

The gardens have hours in the spring, summer, and fall. They also have a special event during the Yuletide season. Check their website for hours and ticketing information.

Winterthur Parking

Using a GPS to navigate to the entrance of Winterthur, we had some issues and appeared to be driving around the border of the gardens, unable to find the entrance.

Winterthur Parking Lot Entrance

We realized we turned too quickly off of Route 52. We should have continued south on this main road until we saw signs for Winterthur. Following the signs, we found the entrance which winds around to a large parking lot.

From the parking lot, there is a long ramp which leads to the Visitor’s Center. Purchase tickets online, or upon arrival at the Visitor’s Center. As with most places, they encourage you to buy tickets online, especially during the popular visiting times.

Winterthur Hill to Entrance
Entrance Ramp to Winterthur Visitor’s Center

After checking in at the Visitor’s Center with online tickets, there an option to take the tram, take the shuttle, or walk to the main section of the gardens. The tram is a tour which includes some stops to hop on and hop off. The shuttle drives between the Visitor’s Center and the Galleries.

Winterthur Shuttle
Winterthur Shuttle

The highlight of visiting Winterthur with children is the children’s garden, called the Enchanted Woods. It is located a short walk from the Winterthur Galleries and Library, where the shuttle drops off passengers. However, you can take the tram to a stop close to the Enchanted Woods, too.

Enchanted Woods

This portion of the garden is for children to explore. It’s designed as if it were created by fairies. There’s a tulip treehouse, bird’s nest, frog hollow water play feature, upside down tree, faerie cottage, and more.

Winterthur Cottage

There are many structures, water features, and other fun places to explore in the Enchanted Woods. When creating the children’s garden in the 1990s, artifacts and objects from the original farm were preserved and added to the garden. This includes columns from the rose garden, benches, and millstones.

Winterthur Children's Garden
Tulip Treehouse Entrance to Enchanted Woods

After visiting the Enchanted Woods, there are many more areas of the garden to explore. Depending on the timing of your visit, there could be daffodil fields, azalea woods, and magnolia bend. To determine what’s in bloom when you’re planning to visit, check out Winterthur’s Instagram account.

Winterthur Reflecting Pond
Reflecting Pool with Tulips in Bloom

Guided tours are available of the house and the gardens. Since we were traveling with children, we found it best to explore on our own. If planning to do a tour, be sure to book online in advance.

Winterthur Gardens – Tips for Visiting

Bring refillable water bottles, as filling stations are located throughout the gardens.

Winterthur Bottle Filler
Reusable bottle filler

If your child may enjoy the water play in the Enchanted Woods (mushroom mist sprayers and a water trough), bring extra clothes.

Winterthur Mushrooms
Misting mushrooms in the Enchanted Garden

Picnics in the garden are a fun way to enjoy the scenery. Bring a blanket to picnic on the grass or use a table by the museum galleries to enjoy the views. You can bring your own food or purchase from the Pavilion Café.

Some of the walking may be over rougher terrain and grass. If your child needs a stroller, a jogging stroller may be the best bet. It is still navigable using a regular stroller.

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Post Author: karenbeth24