Last Updated on May 24, 2021 by Jeremy
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There are good shows at Phipps Conservatory and then there are great shows at Phipps Conservatory.
Before checking out the 2021 Summer Flower Show, I wasn't quite sure where it would fall on the spectrum. But “The Hidden Life of Trolls” is not only one of the best summer shows that we can remember but one of the best they have ever done of any season!
Be prepared for some amazing animatronics, interactive experiences, and of course gorgeous flowers in this one!
Note: As with all of our museum posts, we do not like to give away every exhibit. In this one, we're only going to share a few of our favorite rooms and encourage you to visit to see the rest! We were guests of Phipps for this review.
The Palm Court
We often feature the Palm Court in our roundup of favorite rooms from the conservatory as it is the first room you see and sets the stage for the show ahead.
The Summer Flower Show in 2021 is no different. But where we normally discuss this room because of its flowers and central design (which are quite beautiful in this show as well), we have to talk about the pair of animatronic trolls that welcome you to the show.
These trolls are the first animatronic figures ever created for a Phipps show and really help set the stage for what you're going to experience next. Even better? They were built locally in Pittsburgh!
But as this show covers all troll lore, you'll quickly move on from the cartoony trolls and dive into seeing some historical troll types from around the world!
The East Room
The troll scenery extends into the East Room, one of just a few in the conservatory that is appreciated at a distance. Here you can see a troll throwing a large boulder at a church bell as in some lore they notoriously hate the sound of bells.
Beyond the troll, this one is always a favorite room of ours simply to appreciate the beauty of the flowers and the troll is simply a great way to top it all off!
The Victoria Room
As far as troll lore is concerned, you likely have heard of the trolls that turn to stone if they see the sun. The troll in the Victoria Room unfortunately fell victim to this curse and is eternalized in stone (and completely overgrown with ferns and flowers).
What is interesting about this particular exhibit is that Phipps now has contactless interactive scenes. Previously you'd hit a button, but now all you have to do is swipe your hand over a sensor. Whatever you do, make this troll sneeze. It is a lot of fun!
Notes for Visiting Phipps for the Summer Flower Show
Many of our local businesses are still adopting safety procedures for summer 2021, and Phipps Conservatory is no different. As such, to end this article we wanted to share a few of the updated rules for visitors.
Phipps Conservatory is currently implementing an online reservation system with timed entry and recommends booking tickets as early as possible (they will sell out, especially on weekends). When visiting the conservatory, masks are required at all times for guests two and older (even if you are vaccinated) and there is a recommended one-way path all guests should follow.
It is worth noting that this route incorporates some outdoor sections that all guests should pass through as well.
As with everything, these rules could also change and it is best to check their website for up-to-date information and requirements.
Overall, we were blown away by the troll imagery in the Summer Flower Show at Phipps. This is truly one of the most remarkable shows they've done to date and we highly encourage everyone to visit if they can.
But before we let you go, we have one final tip- be sure to look at the trolls from every angle possible. There are some great details that you may only be able to see from one side!
The Summer Flower Show at Phipps Conservatory runs through September 26, 2021. We'd like to thank Phipps Conservatory for inviting us to check out the Summer Flower Show! As always, all opinions are our own. Please note that advanced purchase, timed tickets are required to visit Phipps for this show.
After visiting the Phipps Summer Flower Show, be sure to take a walk around Schenley Park!