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Where to Embrace Sweater Weather around the Main Line

We all need some nice, calming fall vibes. Here’s where to get them.

If 2020 was already a mess, November 2020 is a whole garbage dump and we’re only like a week in. We’re in between holidays, it gets dark at like 5 pm, and… well, you know. Anyway, sitting in your house doomscrolling is not helping, so if you have it in you to go outside, breathe in some fresh air, and look at some pretty foliage, I say go for it. Grab a sweater, and let’s go.

Chrysanthemum Festival (and beyond) at Longwood Gardens

Festival through November 15

1001 Longwood Rd., Kennett Square


Thousands of carefully nurtured and trained chrysanthemums are on display in Longwood Gardens’ Conservatory, including the Thousand Bloom Chrysanthemum—a single plant bearing more than 1,000 sunny yellow blooms on a single stem. The festival goes through November 15, but even if you miss it, you can still enjoy fall feels with fountain shows, the Garden Railway, and more. Then, on November 20, A Longwood Christmas begins to light up the gardens with beautifully adorned trees.

Book a Private Hayride at Highland Orchards

1000 Marshallton-Thorndale Rd., West Chester


Enjoy a leisurely tractor-pulled hayride around the scenic Highland Orchards in West Chester. Advanced reservations are required, and wagons hold up to 30 adults or up to 35 children. You can opt for just a hayride, or add on a campfire experience with treats. Apple cider donuts from the market are a must!


Photograph courtesy of Brandywine Conservancy

Holiday Magic at Brandywine

October 31—January 10

1 Hoffman’s Mill Rd., Chadds Ford


Returning early this year with exciting new additions and features, the model Brandywine Railroad has been a holiday family favorite for generations. Slightly modified this year to provide a safe and socially distant experience, the Brandywine Railroad will still feature plenty of trains, miniature details and the engaging elements that everyone loves—including interactive components operated by hands-free foot pedals.  In addition to the Brandywine Railroad, see Ann Wyeth McCoy’s dollhouse, which features six rooms filled with three-dozen dolls and hundreds of miniature objects that will delight visitors of all ages. After seeing the whimsical display, explore the rest of the museum, including expansive views of the Brandywine River and changing colors of fall. Reserved tickets are required to ensure social distancing.

Shop (or Just Admire) Seasonal Décor at Terrain

914 Baltimore Pike, Glen Mills; and 138 Lancaster Ave., Devon


Terrain is always a favorite for seasonal inspiration (and some gorgeous photo ops, especially at the spacious Glen Mills location). If you just can’t wait for the holidays, visit starting November 14 when their tree yard opens. Plus, the Glen Mills location will have a weekly Market that weekend, featuring some favorite makers and artisans offering their most special wares, as well as Terrain décor and lighting. Live music will accompany the festiveness, and some weekends you can even do holiday photos and kids’ activities. Look out for some snow at the market too—they’ll have the snow machines running to create some winter magic! Both locations also have restaurants that are scenic and delicious—and the Devon location has patio seating if you’re not comfortable dining indoors.

Photograph by Laura Swartz.

The Saturday Club’s Holiday Market Sidewalk Sale

November 14, 10 am—2 pm

117 W. Wayne Ave., Wayne


Kick off your holiday shopping season early by supporting locally-owned small businesses. This yearly event showcases local artisans, business owners, and entrepreneurs. For enhanced safety, this event will be held outside with social distancing protocols and mask requirements. The market will also be cashless—credit cards or Venmo are accepted.


Lead photograph by Mairin Petrone.

Contributing Writer