Looking for a new twist on hearts and flowers? Enjoy lei-making, chocolate-scented blooms and more at the Orchid Show
GLENCOE, IL (January 14, 2014) – Give your valentine a Hawaiian getaway with a trip to the Orchid Show, the Chicago Botanic Garden’s first month-long exhibition of one of the world’s largest and most diverse flowering plant families. Visitors attending opening weekend on Saturday, February 15, and Sunday, February 16, can imagine themselves in a romantic, tropical locale featuring more than 10,000 sensational orchids in floor-to-ceiling displays of colorful, fragrant blooms – including the chocolate-scented Sharry Baby (Oncidium) while listening to live Hawaiian music, making leis from fresh flowers and enjoying hula dance performances.
The Orchid Show will offer sensory delights, provide opportunities to learn how orchids have adapted to life on six continents and explore the cultural and historic connections between people and orchids. Leave winter behind as you tour the Garden’s Greenhouses and Galleries and exhibition halls of Regenstein Center, filled with brightly colored orchids cascading from archways, climbing up columns and luring you close to the branches of orchid “trees.” While enjoying the tropical sensations, guests can learn fun and fascinating facts about the orchid family and the importance of protecting the native habitats of these remarkable plants.
Orchids grow in a dazzling array of conditions, surviving at sea level to heights of 13,000 feet, and growing on trees, rocks and in semi-aquatic environments. The vast majority of orchids are found in tropical or semi-tropical climes, but more than 200 species are native to the United States and Canada. Of these, 45 have been identified in Illinois. Visitors can discover ways the plants survive in niche ecosystems and the elaborate strategies they have evolved to attract pollinators.
The cultural influences of orchids will be explored in a series of special activities, classes and events. The Garden’s Lenhardt Library will offer a special exhibition, Exotic Orchids, a collection of rare volumes devoted to orchids, as well as host-free orchid talks and orchid-themed story times for children. Family weekend classes include vanilla ice-cream making and tropical terrariums. Click here for the most recent information about scheduling and registration requirements for these classes.
The Illinois Orchid Society will host its annual Spring Show from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday, March 8, and Sunday, March 9, in Nichols Hall. The society will also coordinate an Orchid Marketplace in Burnstein Hall each weekend during the exhibition.
Take away a piece of the show with one-of-a-kind products made using images from the Garden’s own Rare Book Collection of the Lenhardt Library. Bags, scarves, home accent pieces, and more are available for purchase at the Garden Shop or online.
Show orchids will be available for purchase at the end of the exhibition. Members only can begin shopping on Wednesday, March 19. The sale will open to the general public on Thursday, March 20, and will continue through Saturday, March 22, or while supplies last. Hours are from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Special events include:
- Members-Only Night from 5 to 7:30 p.m. on Wednesday, February 26. Tickets are $8 for adults; and $6 for seniors over the age of 62 and children ages 3 to 12. Children under age 3 are free.
- An Evening with Orchids Tasting Night, from 6 to 8 p.m. on Thursday, March 13. Enjoy a cocktail tasting and evening view of the show. Advance tickets are $25; day-of tickets, $28. Members receive $5 off each ticket. Standard parking fees apply.
Tickets for the Orchid Show can be purchased online or in person at the Visitor Center. Prices are $10 for adults, and $8 dollars for seniors over the age of 62 and children ages 3 to 12. Children under age 3 are free. Members receive $2 off each ticket.