Lewis and Clark were both hobbled during their great expedition—Clark from resentment at his second billing and Lewis from a lego slipped into his hiking boot by Clark. Enjoy noncompetitive nature excursions with today's Groupon: for $9, you get one adult admission to Longwood Gardens in Kennett Square (up to an $18 value). Tickets for students aged 5–18 or any age with valid student ID are normally $8, and children aged 4 or younger are admitted for free. This Groupon expires on March 31, 2012.
The exquisite Longwood Gardens and conservatory ensconce guests in a menagerie of indoor and outdoor flora with a storied past. From January 20 until March 25, an Orchid Extravaganza mimics springtime with thousands of orchids woven into living curtains and a 13-foot arch of white phalaenopsis blooms that follows the curvature of the conservatory's windows. Twenty climatically correct indoor gardens nourish blossoms such as begonias, roses, and vain forget-me-nots that cling to the sleeves of departing visitors. Venturing outside, guests can discover hardy winter beauties such as hollies and topiaries and tour the historic Peirce-du Pont House for no additional charge. Throughout the year, the conservatory hosts a barrage of educational and entertaining events for children and adults, many of which are included with the cost of admission.
Though Longwood Gardens owes its current incarnation to the tireless efforts of industrialist, philanthropist, and conservationist Pierre du Pont, the property’s history stretches back to precolonial days. The Peirce family purchased the land from William Penn himself in 1700, and by the end of the century the Quakers had already begun developing an arboretum on the premises. In the century that followed, the homestead was purchased by an ambitious 36-year-old du Pont in 1906. Throughout the next 30 years, du Pont built a legacy rife with extravagant European-style fountains, a picturesque 600-foot garden walk, and 40 indoor and outdoor gardens. Today, visitors experience a bit of du Pont’s passion for the tropical flora of the Americas during jaunts through the property’s 1,077 colorful acres, where they run into everything from flowering trees and delicate hybrids to carnivorous pitcher plants and an 86-acre Meadow Garden. In addition to cultivating lush flora, the garden’s stewards also encourage growing minds with an ever-changing roster of events, such as internationally acclaimed musical acts and immersive educational experiences.