Saturday, December 15, 2018

Day 313 Phipps Conservatory “Let it Glow”- Relax and Share the Wonder of the Season

The weeks surrounding  the Holiday Season often involve that panic rush feeling "to get it all done.” We forget as my blog inspiration book, “Everything I Learned About Christmas, I Learned From A Little Golden Book”, reminds us that Christmas should be a “time of wonder, a time like no other time of the year.”   At Phipps Conservatory,  the beauty brings back the wonder of the season as you navigate through the 8 rooms of nature infused with lights, Christmas trees and  poinsettias,  as well as 6 permanent  botanical  gardens.

It is so magical that I have decided to make experiencing the winter wonderland at the Phipps an empty nest tradition. It is even better to share this magic with friends and family making memories and even getting that perfect Holiday card picture.

Penguins in East Room
The ascetics found in natural beauty have a way of relaxing the soul. The plants, flowers and lights always put me in the holiday spirit.  That being said, the experience is so much more enjoyable when you are not following a line of people through the 14 rooms and the Outdoor Garden.

Outdoor Garden at night, a must see

Try going after 9 pm or  week day to avoid crowds
This is the second year that the Conservatory is trying a new timed ticketing reservation system.  We went on a sold-out Saturday night. At first we were part of  a continual line of spectators but it  seemed to clear out after 9:30 pm.  To have a more peaceful experience, visit on a week day or latter in the evening  on the weekends since they are open nightly until 11 pm (we empty- nesters don’t have kids to worry about).  

"Let it Glow" seemed extra spectacular this year, maybe because it offset some of the unfortunate recent current events and the lack of Pittsburgh sunshine. In fact, my friend who needed a little push to attend, soon perked up with excitement to discover  what  would be found in each room. His  favorite was the Cuba Exhibit  in  the Tropical Forest that intermixed plants native to Cuba and was adorned with 250 feet of lights.  

We discovered  20 decorated Christmas trees and 2,300 poinsettias scattered  throughout the Conservatory,  Storybook characters in the Serpentine room, flowered penguins in the East Room and a Fraser Fir that glistened like a star  towering  up 22 feet over a reflecting pool in the Victoria room. We went at night and enjoyed the 25,000 LED lights inside the Conservatory and  the glistening 62,000 square- foot illuminated Outdoor Garden (see map here ).

Story Book, Serpentine Room
As I looked around everyone seemed to be smiling and in “awe” of something. Maybe it was the 23 different varieties of Poinsettias or  maybe it was the huge train layout depicting the history of Phipps' past that produced the smiles.  Whatever it was, “Let it Glow”sure gave us the needed  feeling of wonder just like a child discovering something beautiful and new. It will  keep the wonder in your Christmas Season no matter how you enjoy it.

Spiritual Source
And amazement seized them all, and they glorified God and were filled with awe, saying "We have seen extraordinary things today" (Luke 5:26)

Other Sources

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