Botanical Conservatory in December

Fireside Christmas exhibit
November 27 – January 5
To recreate the warm and cozy feeling of a traditional Christmas celebration, the Conservatory Showcase will be filled with red poinsettias and elements that spark feelings of nostalgia for the happy family holiday of yesteryear. Did you ever lie in bed straining to hear Santa’s reindeer on the roof? Leave cookies and milk for a late-night visitor? Celebrations that brought together gatherings of family and friends, were decorated with homemade ornaments, and anchored us with food, music, and hope. A comfortable family room vignette with fireplace and Christmas tree will provide a delightful backdrop for photographs. Regular Conservatory admission applies: $5/adult, $3/child; ages 2 and under free. For more information, phone (260) 427-6440 or visit our website at www.botanicalconservatory.org <http://www.botanicalconservatory.org> . Sponsored by PBS 39, WAJI Majic 95.1 FM, and the Eric and Mary Baade Charitable Trust.

Conservatory Extended Holiday Hours
November 28-December 20
The Conservatory will be open until 8 pm on Thursday and Friday evenings from Thanksgiving through Christmas. Enjoy an evening downtown at the botanical gardens, done up for the holidays. The gift shop and sales garden are also open until 8 pm.

$1 Night
Thursday, December 5, 5 – 8 pm
On the first Thursday night of the month we offer $1 admissions, 5-8 pm, for adults and children. Babies and up to age 2 are still admitted free. Enjoy the evening hours in the Fireside Christmas exhibit at a special discount. For more info, call (260) 427-6440.

Evergreen Centerpiece Workshop
Friday, December 6, 9 – 10:30 am
Saturday, December 7, 9 – 10:30 am
Create a beautiful centerpiece for your holiday table from fresh, mixed evergreens. Conservatory volunteer Penny Krebs will talk you through the process of turning cut, fragrant branches of balsam, cedar, boxwood, and pine into an arrangement you’ll be proud to call your own. The centerpiece incorporates a candle chimney, ribbon, and pine cones in a lush and fragrant design. Fee includes all materials mentioned as well as a stroll in the holiday gardens. Bring garden gloves, clippers, an 8-9” taper candle, and any extra accents you want to include. Ages 16-adult. Registration deadline: November 27. Min.12. Max. 13. Fee: $29/public; $26/Conservatory member or volunteer. For more information, call the Conservatory at (260) 427-6440. To register, call the Parks & Recreation Department at (260) 427-6000.

Santa & the Reindeer
Saturdays before Christmas (December 7, 14, 21), 12 – 4 pm
Santa and two of his reindeer will greet the children while Mom and Dad take pictures to capture the moment. Explore the Conservatory in its holiday glory; this year’s theme is “A Fireside Christmas”. Regular Botanical Conservatory admission: $5/adult, $3/child age 3-17; children 2 and under free. Sponsored by PBS 39 and WAJI Majic 95.1.

Conservatory Member Holiday Night
Friday, December 13, 5 – 8 pm
Conservatory members are invited to a special evening open house. Enjoy some light holiday refreshments and beverage compliments of the Conservatory, relax to the holiday sounds of Mike Conley’s acoustic guitar and vocals, then stroll the gardens indoors and out to experience all the holiday exhibits. Not a current member? You can register or renew that evening: $35/individual, $50/family. For more information or to enroll by phone, please call (260) 427-6440.

Science Fun: Blubber, the Best Insulator?
December 21, 11am & 1pm
Join us the third Saturday of each month as we investigate a different topic with fun and family-friendly experiments, demonstrations, and activities – most of which can be repeated at home. Each program lasts 45-60 minutes and is appropriate for ages 5 and up. Participants in NISTEM (www.nistem.org) can also earn points for attending. Preregistration is not required and the program is free with regular Conservatory admission. In December, it’s cooold outside! So come in to the Conservatory and warm up for this Science Fun. We’ll experiment with what will keep you warm this winter and what’s just plain cold. See who can stand the cold and find out what materials might help you stay warmer longer while building the best insulator. Drop-in program; no reservations needed. Free with regular Conservatory admission. For more info call (260) 427-6440.

Dancing Holiday Lights
Through December 26
Best viewed Thursday and Friday evenings, 5 -8 pm
Dress for the weather so you can enjoy the synchronized holiday lights set to music outdoors in the Terrace Garden. Walk under twinkling arches to enter a space of sound and holiday rhythm, where instrumental and vocal treasures come to visual life as lighted spheres, trees, arches, and scrolls take up the beat. You might find yourself dancing in the snowy night. Light show walk included in regular Botanical Conservatory admission: $5/adult, $3/child age 3-17; children 2 and under free.

Family Garden Close-Up: Holiday Countdown
December 28, 11am-1pm
Get a closer look at our plants and gardens on the fourth Saturday of the month with short walks, crafts and snacks. We will visit one of our gardens to discover a different feature. You’ll get the opportunity to see what the Conservatory truly has to offer as you learn fun, valuable information, especially entertaining for families with young children. No pre-registration required; regular Conservatory admission applies. With the New Year right around the corner, what better way to spend it than counting down at the Conservatory? We won’t just be counting numbers, we’ll be counting PLANTS! Find out which plants have been here the longest and which ones are newer to our beautiful indoor collection. All this counting is enough to make your stomach growl so a snack will be on hand as well. Make sure to COUNT yourself in on this one! Drop-in program; no reservations needed. Free with regular Conservatory admission. For more info call (260) 427-6440.

Piñata Paradise
Through December 8
Piñatas, a traditional feature in Mexican birthdays and Christmas parties, are a creative outlet for everyday artists. Enjoy the Conservatory’s imaginative holiday piñatas, showcased in our Desert Garden. Scores of entries are designed and decorated by area children, community groups, and others who want to share the holiday spirit. In mid-December, these candy-filled creations are donated to children’s agencies for their holiday celebrations. This exhibit is included in regular Conservatory admission. Sponsored by PBS 39 and WAJI Majic 95.1 FM. For more info, call (260) 427-6440 or visit www.botanicalconservatory.org <http://www.botanicalconservatory.org/> .

Art Displays: Through December – Greg Becker, acrylic
Greg’s passion for art has been with him since his beginnings in a one-stoplight rural Indiana town. After high school Greg completed a Commercial Art degree with a Fine Arts minor at the University of Saint Francis. He is currently an art director here in Fort Wayne. Greg’s art display may be viewed during public hours. Regular Conservatory admission applies: $5/adult, $3/child age 3-17, free for children 2 and under. For more information, call (260) 427-6440.

Discovery Corner: ‘Tis the Season
Daily in the Discovery Gallery
Our youngest visitors are always welcome to visit the Discovery Corner behind Woody the Talking Tree where they’ll find stories and activities relating to a monthly theme. Our materials are all safe and suitable for kids in pre-K through 1st grade. Adults are encouraged to read aloud to their young learners and explore ideas together. The Discovery Corner is free with general admission; no preregistration required.

Conservatory Gift Shop & Sales Garden
The Conservatory gift shop offers an array of unique and educational toys, gifts, books, plants, and garden accessories, perfect for holiday and hostess gifts. The Conservatory’s outdoor Sales Garden features seasonal plants, garden ornaments, and home décor within a fenced garden. Your selections can be paid for in the gift shop. The gift shop and sales garden are open during public hours; Conservatory admission is not required.