If you are searching for that perfect vacation place to take your family to this summer, a trip to Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens in Pittsburgh, PA may be just the ticket! A self-guided walking tour throughout the building as well as the grounds provides a full day of fun, learning and amazement!
Before you leave your home, the most important item you will want to bring with you is your camera. From the moment you arrive to the end of your journey, Phipps does not disappoint! The abundance of exotic flowers and plants will leave you wanting to take snapshots every three feet. From cacao bean trees and bromeliads, to cacti and waterfalls, one cannot help but marvel at the nature and beauty that surrounds them. For those of you wanting to try a taste of a bromeliad, the easiest one to find is in your local supermarket – a pineapple! Descriptions of what you are seeing are provided next to each specimen, along with the name of the flower, plant or tree. You can even find exotic masks and wood huts in various parts of the building that add an African American feel to the displays.
Perhaps most importantly is the wealth of knowledge that is provided for visitors as they amble throughout the Conservatory and Botanical Gardens. Although it may be a challenge to see everything in one day, it can be done! Pacing yourself is important, and stopping to take in the natural beauty of each room is imperative. Nestled amongst some of the plants are Chihuly sculptures that have been in place since a previous exhibit in 2007. These massive, colored glass sculptures are breathtaking to look at and add yet another dimension, in terms of art and nature coming together to make a statement.
Once you reach the upper level, you can step outside and view the Center for Sustainable Landscapes. The Center produces all of its own renewable energy. It also recycles all of the water used throughout the building. It serves as a model and an enticement to implement green efforts in your own home, and to help sustain the earth.
If your appetite is getting the better of you, no need to worry. You can grab a bite to eat at Café Phipps and enjoy all the benefits of a green restaurant that serves fresh, healthy foods and uses recyclable paper products.
Offering a wide variety of educational programs, a few of the classes offered at Phipps include Sustainable Horticulture, Floral Design, and Botanical Art and Illustration. Children might also enjoy Story Time, camp, and even field trips designed especially for Girl Scouts!
You may find it hard to pull yourself away from Phipps once you have finished your tour. A stop at the gift shop will help you take home a small piece of memorabilia. These include magnets in the shape of various flowers they have on display and a wide assortment of trinkets, books and items for the home.
What are you waiting for? Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens is a wondrous place to take your family to this summer. Get your camera ready, close your mouth when it drops in awe, and behold the beauty and magic of nature.