Phipps Conservatory’s Winter Flower Show – A Festival of Trees

Last Updated on November 22, 2019 by Jeremy

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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.

The 2019-2020 flower show is themed Festival of Trees and features numerous decorated trees (both natural and abstract) as well as all of the gorgeous flowers we've come to love from the conservatory.

We got the chance to visit this one for a sneak preview before it officially opened for the 2019-2020 season, and wanted to share a few of our favorite rooms in this one!

The Broderie Room

The 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 Christmas

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 a table set for a feast that is being enjoyed by forest creatures. When enjoying this one, be sure to look around many of the trees (in the front and back) to see some other woodland animals as well, including cardinals flying around one tree!

The Sunken Garden

The Sunken Garden for Christmas

The Sunken Garden really embraces the theme of Festival of Trees for this year's show as there are a number of unique trees that really invite you in to take a deeper look. There are trees made entirely of poinsettias, a tree decorated with plant seeds and watering cans, and trees made out of picture frames full of photos from past Phipps exhibits!

If there is one room you will want to spend a lot of time in during this show to examine the designs more, it will most certainly be this one.

The Outdoor Light Garden

Phipps Light Garden
*Outdoor photos from 2018. 

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!

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 available in advance and are highly recommended. We suggest arriving at Phipps at around 4:30pm to enjoy the indoor gardens with slightly fewer crowds while also being able to explore the outdoor Light Garden once the sun goes down (and then return inside to see it when it is completely dark outside)!

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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