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 2017 show we made our way to the conservatory at night 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 2017 Winter Flower Show, the following were a selection of our favorite displays.
The Broderie Room
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 green and white winter 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 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 stack of Christmas storybooks closer to you in the foreground!
The Serpentine Room
For most, the Serpentine Room, is a passing through point as you make your way through the different areas of Phipps Conservatory. For us, this room is a favorite as the elegant designs are often the essence of the current flower show.
Being a winter show, this means the room is full of hand crafted Christmas and beautiful red poinsettias everywhere you look! This one has a New Years theme so be sure to look out for the subtle references to the festivities of the last day of the year!
The Sunken Garden
The Sunken Garden room at the Winter Flower Show looks like it is set for a beautiful Christmas dinner, with you and your party being one of the honored guests!
In all honesty, we really wish there was a dinner party in this room after the season ended as it would be perhaps the perfect ambiance for a meal- exactly what they were going for.
The Outdoor 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.
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. Timed entry tickets are available for purchase in advance and are highly recommended as this event often puts Phipps at capacity. 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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