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Greenville & Hockessin Life

Winterthur: Delaware’s holiday home

Dec 07, 2022 01:04PM ● By Tricia Hoadley
Photos by Moonloop Photography
Text by Richard L. Gaw

In what may have been her most well-recognized and quoted verse, the author Marjorie Holmes wrote, “At Christmas, all roads lead home. The filled planes, the packed trains and overflowing buses all speak eloquently of a single destination: home. Despite the crowding and the crushing, the delays, the confusion, we clutch our bright packages and beam our anticipation.”

As Delawareans ease their way into the holidays, all roads may still lead home, but not without a visit to another home – a spectacular one steeped in history and architecture that every holiday season unfolds like Yuletide memories.

 has become the over the river and through the woods traditional visit for several generations of Delawareans. From the decorated splendor of Henry Francis du Pont’s former home to an ever-changing bounty of activities and displays, Winterthur is a gift-wrapped present for the senses and the soul.

New this year at Winterthur is a toy train display, featuring all-metal, large-scale Standard Gauge toy trains. Introduced by Lionel in 1906, these trains reflected America’s fascination with the new technologies of railroads and electricity at the beginning of the 20th century.

The creative Christmas trees displayed at the White House have inspired this year’s Yuletide displays. Jacqueline Kennedy debuted the first themed White House Christmas tree in 1961, that featured decorations inspired by the classic Christmas ballet The Nutcracker. Since then, each First Lady has displayed decorations that celebrate American history, creativity, and their causes.

 A six-foot, large-scale gingerbread version of Winterthur will also be on display. The gingerbread house will be made by Bredenbeck’s Bakery in Chestnut Hill, Pennsylvania. Bredenbeck’s was founded in 1889 and their custom cake creations have been featured on TLC and the Food Network.

Yuletide at Winterthur runs through January 8, 2023 and will be open daily from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., and for self-guided tours from 10 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Winterthur will stay open late on Wednesdays in December for evening tours, live jazz, and a different workshop each week, from a wine tasting to a chocolate tasting, and more. The Museum Store is open daily for holiday shopping, featuring unique home décor, gifts, jewelry, and more that celebrate Winterthur’s beauty, indoors and out.

Winterthur Museum, Garden & Library is located at 5105 Kennett Pike, Winterthur, Del. 19735. To learn more, visit, or call 302-888-4600.

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