Phipps Conservatory’s Winter Flower Show – A Festive Tradition

Posted By Jeremy in Events


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When it comes to holiday festivities, one of the best places in Pittsburgh to visit is Phipps Conservatory.  Their winter flower show, which begins the Friday after Thanksgiving and runs until early-January, is a celebration of the holiday season with festive art pieces, an array of gorgeous winter flowers, and some of the most beautifully decorated Christmas trees in Pittsburgh.

For our visit to the 2018 show we made our way to the conservatory at dusk to enjoy the outdoor Light Garden which is only open from 5pm onward when the sun sets over the city.

As with each flower show, we are drawn to some rooms more than others, both for their photographic beauty as well as the ambiance in general. From the 2018 Winter Flower Show, the following were a selection of our favorite displays.

The Broderie Room

Broderie Room at Phipps

No matter what flower show is going on, you can always expect the Broderie Room to be stunning. This room mimics a French chateaux garden with swooping walkways, central planters, and statues adorning the walls. During the winter flower show the gardens feature bright red poinsettias with other beautiful flowers adding a gorgeous contrast that works wonderfully with the statues.

We may not be in Europe, but spending a few moments in this room will certainly make you feel like you are there this Christmas season.

The East Room

The East Room at Phipps

The East Room is similar to the Broderie Room in that most of the display is blocked off from public access, such that you can appreciate the beauty of the room from a distance.

Rather than using the design of the room as a focal point, The East Room offers only subtle compliments to the winter flowers with a central stream, elegantly lighted Christmas trees in the background, and penguins partaking in fun activities like playing cards or practicing music!

The Victoria Room

Christmas in the Victoria Room

The Victoria Room is transformed in the Winter Flower Show to have what is perhaps the most stunning Christmas tree of them all. This tree towers over all others in the gardens and is covered with beautiful white lights that will simply make your jaw drop. (And on a personal note, this was our favorite room to shoot photos in, for obvious reasons.)

Christmas at Phipps

The Outdoor Light Garden

Phipps Light Garden

One of my favorite spots at Phipps during the winter flower show is, in fact, not even inside the conservatory at all!

The outdoor Light Garden is found in the sprawling outdoor wing of the conservatory, where every tree is adorned with lights, even more ornate Christmas trees and all-light trees can be found, and other specialty made lights are visible with either the conservatory or Pitt's Cathedral of Learning as a stunning backdrop.

Winter Light Garden

You may not be out in the Light Garden to appreciate the flowers that call the conservatory home, but we're more than okay with the alternative as the lights are simply spectacular.

Overall, there are many other features of the winter flower show that we could feature in this article, but as the case in most of our museum visits we do not want to give it all away. To see the rest, you'll just have to go visit!

Phipps Conservatory Winter Show

The Winter Flower Show at Phipps Conservatory is best viewed at night to experience the outdoor Light Garden which typically opens at 5pm; however, the conservatory is beautiful at any time of day. Timed entry tickets are required this year and must be purchased in advance. We recommended arriving at Phipps at around 4:30pm to enjoy the indoor gardens with slightly less crowds while also being able to explore the outdoor Light Garden once the sun goes down!

We'd like to thank Phipps Conservatory for inviting us to check out the winter flower show! As always, all opinions are our own.

After visiting Phipps Conservatory, head over to the Cathedral of Learning to check out their Christmas decorations! Or if you're looking for more activities during winter in Pittsburgh, click the previous link!

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