The Franklin Park Conservatory in Columbus Ohio – A Review

Several weeks ago, fellow bloggers Cindy, Jo and I, had a girls’ getaway weekend in Columbus, Ohio. On our last day we stopped by the Franklin Park Conservatory. Honestly, we were all feeling tired as we pulled into the Conservatory’s parking lot. Who knew The Conservatory would so capture our fancy and wake up our senses that we would stay there for hours viewing the exhibits and special events of the day!

Entrance of the Franklin Conservatory
Jo and Cindy outside of The Conservatory

I’ve been to several conservatories or botanic gardens over the years. I enjoy looking at all the gorgeous specimens of flowers. But I have to tell you, The Franklin Park Conservatory is really something special, and here’s why:

The Outdoor Grounds of the Franklin Park Conservatory

The grounds were lush, and beautiful! The Conservatory is just two miles outside of downtown Columbus, but the 28 acres of outdoor gardens and displays make you feel like you have traveled into the countryside somewhere. Close to the main building is the Scotts Miracle Grow Community Garden Campus. This four acre garden includes edible garden displays, a berry house, an apiary, fountains, a rose garden, and even cooking demonstrations! It’s a sight to be seen!

The Franklin Park Conservatory’s Chihuly Collection

“Chihula-what” you say? If you have not yet seen artist Dale Chihuly’s magnificent works of art, then you are in for a great surprise! The conservatory is home to 12 Chihuly installations, and I guarantee they will take your breath away! And, what makes these installations different from that of an art gallery, is that they have been incorporated into the flora and fauna within the conservatory’s gardens.

photo of Beth in front of Chihuli installation at The Franklin Park Conservatory
Me in front of one of the Chihuli installations
photo of chihuli chandelier
Now THAT'S a chandelier--Chihuli style!
photo of Chihuli ceiling at Franklin Park Conservatory

 The Franklin Park Conservatory’s Blooms and Butterflies Exhibit

This exhibit starts with large windows that allow you easily see right into the Emergence Center, where the butterflies are leaving their chrysalis’ for the first time. As we ate lunch, we watched a volunteer gently collect these newly-hatched beauties for later release in the Pacific Island Water Garden. There, the butterflies roam free with Conservatory guests. Butterflies are released daily at 1 and 3 pm.

picture of Butterfly at Franklin Park Conservatory
Butterfly at Franklin Park Conservatory

I’ve done this many times over the years, and I simply can’t get enough of these amazing creatures. The day we were there for the release, the butterflies were a-buzz, chasing each other about the large facility. The gorgeous blue morpho butterflies looked like someone was dangling them from a length of fishing wire, and tugging the string up and down – they seemed to almost hop in the air – breathtaking!

picture of Butterfly at Franklin Park Conservatory Columbus Ohio
Butterfly at Franklin Park Conservatory Columbus Ohio

The Franklin Park Conservatory’s Hot Shop – Glass Blowing Demos

This too, was a totally cool find at the Conservatory! We sat in amazement as a glass blower created a beautiful vase out of blobs of molten glass. I’ve never been so close to a glass blowing demonstration. The entire process was about a ½ hour, and was very interesting. Throughout the process, the artist shared explanations, ideas, and bits of info about his art. Truly amazing stuff! You can even purchase pieces made in The Hot Shop at the Conservatory’s gift shop.

photo of glass blower at The Franklin Conservatory

Visit Franklin Park Conservatory

Franklin Park Conservatory
1777 E. Broad St.
Columbus, Ohio 43203

Hours:  Daily 10-5pm, Wednesdays, 10-8pm.

Admission:  Adults – $11.00, Seniors and Students – $9.00, Children 3-17 – $6.00, kids 2 and under – FREE

Parking is also free

This was not a paid post. My own opinions were used based on my perceptions and experience. Thank you to Franklin Park Conservatory who provided us with the tickets for review.

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Beth celebrates the everyday wonders of life with a keen eye for deals, a flare for the color green, and an honest desire to share with her fellow moms here in town! Check out more of Beth's recent articles, and subscribe to our daily email/rss feed to see what she writes next!
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