Experience the setting of White Acre on Sunday, August 10, 2014 at an intimate dinner with Elizabeth Gilbert, the international best-selling author of Eat, Pray, Love and The Signature of All Things.

The house and gardens of Alma Whittaker's family estate, White Acre, in Gilbert's critically acclaimed novel The Signature of All Things were inspired by a very real colonial Philadelphia estate with a surprising horticultural history. At The Woodlands, you'll discover the amazing true story of William Hamilton, a gentleman botanist who cultivated his mansion-house and landscape in the English country style. Reminders of his horticultural influence are ubiquitous along city streets and in front gardens, as the tree and plant species he introduced to North America continue to be planted throughout the country (and perhaps in your own yard!).

Discover The Woodlands for yourself with Elizabeth Gilbert during An Evening at White Acre, a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to dine with the author of The Signature of All Things at the place that inspired the setting of her novel. Explore the impressive Federal-style mansion overlooking the Schuylkill River that is home to the fictional Whitacre family. Raise a toast in the stable where Alma spent her days researching moss as Liz reads from her favorite passages of The Signature of All Things. Dine under the stars with Liz as a warm summer breeze blows among the old-growth trees at this 54-acre historic site and arboretum in Philadelphia, and watch as the sun sets over the patined 18th century buildings.


An Evening at White Acre is an extraordinary opportunity to spend an evening behind the scenes at The Woodlands with Elizabeth Gilbert. On the evening of Sunday, August 10th, you'll have a chance to:

  • Take a tour inside the historic mansion and visit the special spaces of White Acre as imagined by Liz: the secret binding closet hidden in the study; Hanneke's basement quarters; and Alma's upstairs bedroom overlooking the river. 
  • Have a cocktail in Alma's study in the stable and talk with Liz about The Signature of All Things.
  • Enjoy a specially-prepared intimate dinner under the stars on the site of a once-famous colonial greenhouse and delight your tastebuds with homemade botanical ice creams prepared especially for this event.
  • Spend the entire evening with an internationally-acclaimed author and small group of like-minded friends and readers who love literature, history, and botany!

Important information

Please read below before purchasing your ticket(s). When you're ready, click the button to the right to join Elizabeth Gilbert at dinner for An Evening at White Acre!

  • This event will be held at The Woodlands, located at 4000 Woodland Avenue, Philadelphia, PA 19104.
  • This event will be held on Sunday, August 10th, 2014, beginning at 6 o'clock in the evening.
  • Tickets to An Evening at White Acre are extremely limited.
  • Tickets are not refundable, but are transferrable.
  • All funds from ticket sales support upcoming critical preservation projects for the stable building at The Woodlands.
  • $1,250 of your ticket purchase is tax-deductible. The Woodlands is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization and will provide you with a receipt for your gift.
  • Sorry, tickets for this event are no longer available. Please contact us at 215-386-2181 with any questions.

If you have any questions about this event, purchasing tickets, or would like more information about accomodations or things to Philadelphia, please contact us! You may reach us via phone at 215-386-2181, or by sending an email to, or by clicking the button below!


Can't make this event but want to give to the cause anyway? Hit the button below to make a donation today to restore the landmark buildings that inspired White Acre! All proceeds from An Evening at White Acre and donations made on this page directly support critical restoration projects for the mansion and stable buildings at The Woodlands.

Donate now to restore and preserve the inspiration for Elizabeth Gilbert's White Acre!

In case you missed it, check out the trailer for The Signature of All Things, filmed at The Woodlands!