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12.16.2018

Holiday Splendor at Phipps Conservatory's Winter Flower Show

There is nothing else quite like exploring the botanical gardens of Pittsburgh's Phipps Conservatory during the holiday season. This 125 year old Pittsburgh institution is always beautiful, but especially when it is decked out for the holidays. From the Christmas trees, to the lights, decorations, model railroad, and more, Phipps is filled with pure magic during the holidays. 
Due to the popularity of their holiday event, you now have to reserve a time slot for entry into the gardens so the crowds are evenly dispersed at peak times. This system was successfully integrated a number of years ago at eastern PA's stunning Longwood Gardens
We showed up early in order to grab a bite to eat at the delicious Cafe Phipps. I had the amazing Chicken Moambe Congo Stew, and Brit had the Pulled Pork Sliders. From the delicious foods, to the great drinks, including coffee, spiked coffee, fruit spritzers, and more, the food offerings at the Cafe are fantastic. We took our time and had a great meal while we waited for our scheduled time.
The Palm Court was recently restored closer to its original style, with the addition of stunning LED lighting into the new window panes. Ornamentation and architectural details that were lost over the years were restored, and the results look incredible. The glass is crystal clear again, and the building is even more stunning to see at night from the outside. For more details on the project, check out this article. 
Aside from the stunning flora, Phipps is a destination for its collection of world class glass sculptures. Works from Chihuly, Fräbel, and Gamrath adorn the gardens. Shown here is Paint Brushes, by Chihuly. 
There is something even more remarkable than usual about the way they decorated the trees this year. Adornments include the use of live amaryllis, succulents, bird feathers, and more.
The trees marking the way to this year's giant tree in the Victoria Room.
An entire Christmas Tree made of succulents.
Along with another made entirely of poinsettias. 
The anthropomorphized displays of animals throughout the museum were really cute. This common theme throughout this year's display felt like Dogs Playing Poker coming to life in the form of penguins, rabbits, squirrels, bears, and more.
This year's giant tree, and its reflection in the Victoria Room
The stunning Broderie Room
The Desert Room cacti always look so exotic
The Garden Railroad looks especially great this year, with it celebrating scenes from the surrounding Schenley Park over the 125 years of Phipps Conservatory.


Now checking out the holiday lighting of the outdoor gardens. The newly restored Palm Court looks incredible from the outside.
The modern styling of their lights really provides a festive and non-traditional look to their displays. It really makes these displays a must-see for anyone who loves holiday displays. 
I could watch the lighting of the Palm Court cycle for hours. 
Notice the ornate decoration at the top of the roof. That decoration is referred to as the Ogee Crest, which was restored in the recent renovation after the original was torn off during a storm in 1937. The room was impressive before this renovation, but now it is nothing less than stunning and a fine example of an elegant greenhouse from the Victorian Era.
Phipps is a wonderland of light during the holidays.

Our favorite room in the conservatory is the Sarris Orchid Room. This room looks radically different depending upon the time of day that you visit. Certain aspects of the orchids are accentuated with daylight, and other aspects are highlighted with evening lighting. We highly recommend seeing them during the day and at night.
More of those anthropomorphized animals! 
Some squirrels sitting down for tea and a pack of bears just hanging out.
A gingerbread house, with fresh fruit subbed in for candies.
Overall, the 2018 edition of the Winter Flower Show at Phipps Conservatory is absolutely phenomenal. It runs through January 6th. Reservation times will be needed through January 6th and you can get them through this link.
Looking for a decent and inexpensive gift, and looking to support our page? Check out our 2019 Pennsylvania Calendar, which is only $9.99, plus shipping, through the dropdown menu at the bottom of this article. More information is available at this link

Also available is our book on Pennsylvania's historic amusement parks, Great Pennsylvania Amusement Parks Road Trip. It features Knoebels, Kennywood Park, Hersheypark, Dorsey Park, Waldameer, DelGrosso's, the currently idle Lakemont, Dutch Wonderland, Idlewild, and Conneaut Lake Park.

2019 Pennsylvania Calendar and PA Amusement Parks Book Options

 

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