Pittsburgh Phipps Converatory
In the winter the conservatory has a really evening holiday lights festival that we have been to a couple times. They have a scavenger hunt for little kids at the check-in, a train display that entraps kids into a central room. There is also a room with an indoor vegetable garden and a "market" area for kids with plastic shopping items, toy registers, and shopping carts to entertain the toddlers.
|The current train theme is pirates! Argh!|
Don't be rushed in this place, take your time. I'll admit it is hard to follow that rule because there are areas with two-person-wide capacity walking space, so when it is crowded or there are a lot of little ones meandering through you feel like you have to hurry. But DON'T! There are hidden plants all over the place, little specimens hiding here and there. Plus, you paid to be here take your time, enjoy it.
During the winter season, the outside area is not open. If you go in the warmer seasons there is a couple super fun outdoor areas for kids to run around in, play with dirt and maybe even get a little wet from a fountain. Letting kids get dirty is one of the joys of being a kid right?!
There is a cafe downstairs and they use the conservatories garden and local sources to make delicious healthy food. As a budget Mom, we usually bring a sack-lunch or snacks then eat an early dinner. If you can indulge in the cafe do it, the food is really good.
I also use trips to Phipps to find gardening ideas, they have some nice, basic planter concepts.
In April they have a spring flower show and one of my favorites the Butterfly Forest! It has cases of secured chrysalises and sometimes you can catch a butterfly emerging. I also love going to the Conservatory at night. If you go into the butterfly room (the room with the rain-chain by the orchids) there are lots of frogs at night and if you are patient you can sneak around and find them hanging out being noisy.
I have always wanted to take a few of their Green Living classes, maybe this year I will follow through with that... we'll see!
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