Franklin Park Conservatory

At the Franklin Park Conservatory Columbus Ohio is proudly home to there are more than 90 acres of international manicured gardens to be discovered including several different habitats to explore such as Himalayan Mountains, Japanese Gardens and a Tropical Rainforest. One of the favorites is the attentively cared for Bonsai Garden. Many visitors opt for a full tour of the facility for an eye full of brilliant color and fantastic scents.

The conservatory is two miles east of downtown Columbus Ohio and is quite an artistically crafted sight to see. Due to its significant history it's listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The Chihuly Collection and Blooms and Butterflies are the two major exhibitions at Franklin Park Conservatory.

Many special events and classes take place at Franklin Park such as fun summer programs for youth, tai chi amid the breathtaking gardens, fascinating butterfly education programs, watercolor painting classes and more. Each year there is the Antiques and Gardens Fair, Christmas celebrations with festive displays and Plant Society sales and shows. The Franklin Park Conservatory also rents out six unique spaces for weddings, meetings and other social affairs. Community gardening is promoted through the conservatory instilling appreciation for green spaces in community areas that are often not used and need some care and attention.

On the over 90-acre grounds of Franklin Park Conservatory Columbus Ohio hosted the first Ohio State Fair in 1874. Later in 1886, the State Fair was relocated and Franklin Park was deserted for the next nine years. The authentic and beautiful glass conservatory was built in 1895 and opened up for locals and visitors to enjoy.

Different types of animals were housed in the building from 1927 through 1929 and were then taken to the Columbus Zoo when it first opened. The first horticultural exhibition called AmeriFlora was held at Franklin Park showcasing many different kinds of flora starting in 1992 which became one of the most popular events in Ohio.

The very first butterfly show kicked off at the conservatory in 1994 being the first of its kind in the entire country. An artist named Dale Chihuly, famous for his glass sculptures, agreed to showcase his work in 2003 through 2004 and Franklin Park organizers could not believe the response! People were in awe of these intricate and vibrant works of art. Franklin Park decided to buy almost all of the collection and keep it on permanent display. Viewing the exhibited sculptures remains a favorite of things to do for visitors from all around the world.

Visiting hours are 10:00am to 5:00pm daily. Adult admission is $14.00, senior and student tickets are $11.00, children 3-17 are $7.00 for tickets and children under 3 years of age get in for free, as well as members. The best time to go is during the week as it tends to get crowded on the weekends. If visiting Franklin Park Conservatory on a weekend try arriving around the time the facility opens.

Every exhibition is included in the rates but be sure to check rates before buying tickets. There is convenient complimentary parking on site as well as one restaurant. When visiting Franklin Park Conservatory Columbus Ohio offers the Museum of Art on the Broad Street as well which is well worth a visit and rounds out a day trip perfectly.

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