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“If you're not into china patterns and antiques, steer clear...”

Winterthur Museum, Garden & Library
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Owner description: Once a Du Pont family country retreat, this estate's spectacular gardens surround a 175-room mansion housing the world's finest collection of American decorative arts from 1640-1860.
Babylon, NY
Level 5 Contributor
72 reviews
16 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 53 helpful votes
“If you're not into china patterns and antiques, steer clear...”
Reviewed July 13, 2010

I was excited to see one of the famous DuPont family mansions, until we got to the house. The tram ride was lovely, and the guide was very knowledgeable and friendly. Since it was summer, there wasn't much in bloom - a better time to visit would be in April/May. Still, it was a nice ride up to the house. The guides inside the house were not very helpful. We were told to see a short introductory film, but were never told where it was playing and were ushered so quickly to get on the next tour of the house that we never wound up getting to see it. The house tour guide, while very knowledgeable about the furnishings, was a little demeaning to a few of the guests in our group of about 10. One woman was eating a piece of hard candy and asked her to spit it out and when the woman told her that she had just put it in her mouth and that she would chew it - the guide told her that she will hold the tour and wait until she swallowed it. As mentioned in other reviews, we had to stay huddled in out small group and the guide treated us like we were little children. That we might touch something or something might "disappear" she kept saying. The tour focused too much on the different kinds of china and wallpaper in the house...no history on the DuPont family, why they settled in Deleware, nothing...very boring and very disappointing. Save your money....you don't need to go to Winterthur to be belittled...

5 Thank jespo2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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East Coast USA
Level 1 Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
“Could have been better...”
Reviewed July 8, 2010

Others have described the procedure- parking, visitors center, tram, etc. adequately, so I'll get right to "the good, the bad, and the ugly."

The good: I was excited because photography was allowed (yea!) The dimly lit rooms, the pretty decorations and the gloomy day outside all created a wonderful atmosphere. The guide was knowledgeable. The grounds were beautiful even in December.

The bad: The house tour is brief!! We took the Yuletide tour- extra $$. The group of (maybe 10) all big adults, meant it was hard to see. The dim lighting, the crowd, and the speed of the tour meant it was difficult to photograph. Only near objects were lighted by the flash and this spoiled the effect of the Christmas trees.

The ugly: When I tried taking photos as part of the group, the guide complained of a personal problem and that the flash bothered her eye! So I lagged to the end of the line to get a shot without bothering her. Then she became unpleasant, insisting that we bunch together. She moved us at 'full speed ahead'! Outside on the grounds tour tram, we were told there would be a tram driving by every 15 minutes, so OK to get off and look around. We tried the Enchanted Woods, but no tram returned! After 45 minutes we walked back. We boarded another grounds tour tram, but this time the driver insisted on zipping down the vinyl sides. There were only 2 other passengers, I asked about taking photos, about leaving a space in the zipper. She said there were stops for photos. Her stops were "slow downs"!!! The vinyl was never raised. It was not raining, only a drizzle. Disgusting and a total waste of time. Needless to say, we did NOT try getting OFF again!

Though SOME staff members were helpful, the atmosphere at Winterthur is basically that visitors are just an annoyance to be tolerated.
I would like to return someday, but not at Christmas. I'd like to see the grounds with flowers.

4 Thank SummerJade
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level 4 Contributor
35 reviews
3 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 20 helpful votes
“Very demeaning guide”
Reviewed May 29, 2010

We came from Kennett Square, PA on Rt. 52. There are no signs for the Estate until you get to the main gate. I guess it would cost money to put a sign up about a mile back? We arrived at 3:35pm. Was greeted by a very nasty woman that said YOU were TOO late for the Estate tour that left at 3:15. ok. She then said you could pay the total amount and do the gardens. I don't think so. She said YOU would have to come back tomorrow and the first tour is at 10:15. Her attitude was very disturbing. We came back the following morning and found a very, very nice lady at the check in area. She said the pass would have been good for 2 days. We weren't told that at all. She looked and saw who was working and then gave us a comp passes for the next year. That was very nice.
So, we got on the tram- the driver told us that we were at least 2 weeks too late to see anything. He drove 2-5mgh. The brakes were so nosiy we had trouble hearing him. We arrived at the Estate. The museum is very nice. The video of the estate is the same thing that the guide says about the rooms.
It was a group of 8 people and that was too much for such small areas to fit into. The group that we were with were senior citizens. The lady that was the tour guide was a senior citizen and her voice was very, very low. I asked her to speak up for the group and then she attacked me for not being able to hear. As we got off the elevator she was talking and waving her hands all around and closed the elevator on my hand. She really didn't care. She was a demeaning person and she was like a tape recorder. She kept getting lost in her speech. The rooms that you see for the general tour are not very many. We wish they had raised the price of the tickets and you would see more rooms. Maybe get the recording ones that the Biltmore uses for self guided tours. That way you can hear it and do it at your own speed.
The cafe had a very limited menu. We went out of the property and towards Wilmington and there are several strip malls to get sandwiches.
I think we would enjoy the estate more if they had left the lights on at a higher light. Once we started the tour- within about 2 minutes- they lowered the lights. It was dark outside and with all the trees that are outside- it was kinda a depressing tour. They had a huge sign with the donors of the new lighting system but had them way too low for a cloudy day. I hope they become more tourist friendly.

8 Thank Janmd4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level 6 Contributor
297 reviews
57 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 163 helpful votes
“You can easily spend half a day or more...”
Reviewed May 22, 2010

You can easily spend half a day or more exploring Winterthur. We found the basic one-hour tour of the fifth floor and a few bedrooms on the sixth floor satisfactory for our interests. The introductory film, located just inside the gallery, was well worth viewing. Galleries were also nice. Able-bodied individuals needn't bother with the tram in good weather from the visitor's center to the museum. It's a short walk through the gardens, which are lovely.

4 Thank LaChatNoir
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level 6 Contributor
117 reviews
49 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 75 helpful votes
“Enchanted Forest just okay.”
Reviewed August 5, 2009

I went today with my five and nine year old. You were not allowed to walk into the nest or walk over the troll bridge. They each had yellow plastic DO NOT ENTER tape at the entrances. The May Pole ribbons had been cut so that it was not useable. The mushrooms did not give off steam smoke....the motion detector lights didn't seem to work correctly. The whole thing was all earthy tone, and you really had to look for what the map was telling you that was there. For intance the serpant was merely the way a brick walkway was laid. We walked on it and right past it before we found ourselves well out of the Enchanted Forest. It was cute and all, but I feel no need for a return trip. I felt this way when I visited the Australia section of the National Aquarium in Baltimore. The Austrailian section was TOO SMALL an upgrade to be making such a big deal about. The enchanted forest felt the same way. Just dull in subject matter and it color. Longwood Gardens has a better, more colorful, children's addition. It is only a few miles away from Winterthur. Also, when you get to Winterthur, you park your car and walk to the cafe giftshop where most people board a tram to get to the forest or the museum. With Longwood, everything seems much closer with no time spent waiting for or riding a tram. Longwood is a better experience if you have to choose between the two.

2 Thank OnVacationToday
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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