Franklin Park Conservatory lights up with Holiday spirit and a whole schedule of holiday fun during the holiday season. Start a tradition of visiting FPC for Conservatory Aglow and Holiday Blooms.
You can also enjoy the other offerings such as live music, gingerbread display, and more during the Christmas season.
Conservatory Aglow returns this holiday season with both new and classic displays to shine a light on Franklin Park Conservatory and Botanical Gardens. This holiday lights exhibition runs from Saturday, November 18, 2023 – Sunday, January 7, 2024.
The daytime experience, Holiday Blooms, will be open 10am-4pm and during Conservatory Aglow. Separate tickets are required for Conservatory Aglow, which is open 5-9pm. Reservations are strongly recommended. Popular ticket times will sell out.
Holiday Blooms at Franklin Park Conservatory
The inside of the Conservatory is full of holiday magic. Delight in extravagantly themed vignettes featuring hundreds of colorful, unique poinsettias and the famous 10’ poinsettia tree.
Outdoors in the Grand Mallway and Scotts Miracle-Gro Foundation Children’s Garden, container gardens are creatively styled for the winter, as you make your way to the lit up Paul Busse Garden Railway.
The Paul Busse Garden Railway is now a full-scale exhibition transformed into a holiday destination decorated with glowing lights.
Let the music of the season bring cheer to your Holiday Blooms experience on select Saturdays in December with Holiday Performances. All performances will begin at 2pm, providing a background of musical entertainment.
No audience seating will be provided for these performances. Performances included with admission. See schedule here.
Holiday Blooms is included with general admission, and are on display through January 7, 2024. Tickets are available to reserve online now; reservations are highly recommended.
Conservatory Aglow at Franklin Park Conservatory
The evening Conservatory experience will be twinkling, glowing, and magical thanks to thousands of lights presented in stunning outdoor displays.
See new displays such as lights synchronized to holiday music, and immersive light displays. Get active with outdoor illuminated games and a dance celebration, or enjoy some family time playing tabletop games in festive outdoor igloos.
Other returning favorites include musical light show, larger-than-life Gingerbread House, the wintry color themed Light Tunnel, Ornament Trees, and the whimsical Whirly Tree.
This year, the lights and sights extend into the interior Conservatory! Paths of candlelight lead guests through the biomes and past Dale Chihuly’s illuminated installations. You can roam the entire facility during Conservatory Aglow, so you’ll enjoy all of the exhibitions throughout the property.
Enjoy refreshments sold by rotating food trucks and cash bars from 5-9pm each evening.
Live Entertainment during Conservatory Aglow
From 6-9 pm on select evenings, musicians, acrobats, ice carvers, dancers and more will put on roaming or walk by performances during Conservatory Aglow. See full schedule here.
December 16 and 17: Santa & Live Reindeer
Musical Performances at Conservatory Aglow
Starting at 7pm on select dates, a variety of musical guests will perform indoors.
Friday, December 1: Scioto Valley Chorus
Friday, December 8: Imani & Halle
Saturday, December 9: The Molly Winters Duo
Friday, December 15: Bryden String Quartet
Friday, December 22: Urban Strings Columbus Youth Orchestra
Sunday, December 31: Alex Burgoyne Quartet
courtesy of Franklin Park Conservatory
Conservatory Aglow is an after-hours special engagement and is not included with general admission.
Special Engagement Admission Rates for Conservatory Aglow
Conservatory Aglow Evening Admission Rates (5-9pm)
General Admission (ages 13–59): $26
Seniors (ages 60+): $22
Children (ages 3-12): $15.50
Museums for All (SNAP, EBT, WIC and Medicaid Participants)2: $3
Conservatory Aglow Evening Member Rates (5-9pm)
Member (ages 13–59): $13, (ages 60+): $11, (ages 3-12): $7.75
Member Holiday Party & Preview Nights
It’s a great time to become a member at Franklin Park Conservatory! Members get 1/2 priced admission to special engagements, and they can visit Conservatory Aglow first!
Reservations are required for these special member nights – they WILL fill up!
FPC Member Holiday Party
November 17 from 5 pm – 9 pm. The entire Conservatory will be open for members to explore. Refreshments will be available from the Garden Café, Aloha Tacos food truck and a cash bar. Botanica Gift Shop & Greenhouse is offering 20% off all regularly priced merchandise for members.
Conservatory Aglow Member Appreciation Nights
November 20, 21 and 22: Members get FREE admission to Conservatory Aglow on these preview nights. Advance reservations strongly recommended, Preview Nights will fill up quickly.
Details about these events and registration, HERE.
Holiday Programming and Exhibits
New This Year! Ice Skating Rink
December 1-14, 2023
Strap on some ice skates and take a few laps around the new ice skating rink, sponsored by Ahlum & Arbor Tree Preservation. Using synthetic ice, the rink will operate regardless of the temperature outside. Guests can bring their own skates or borrow some on-site.
Annual Gingerbread Competition and Display
December 1-30, 2023
Consider yourself a gingerbread architect? Enter the Conservatory’s Annual Gingerbread Competition. This year’s theme is “Toyland”. Guests can view the creations during Holiday Blooms and Conservatory Aglow in December, and vote on their favorite! Click here for details.
Open to all, this special Conservatory Aglow evening is presented in partnership with the Jewish Community Center. Celebrate Hanukkah, the “Festival of Lights”, with children’s crafts, activities and entertainment. Learn more about the traditions surrounding the holiday.
The evening festivities will include a public lighting of the menorah at 7pm. The rest of the activities will be available during the duration of the event, 5-7:30pm.
This is a special event that’s part of Conservatory Aglow on December 11. Guests should reserve Conservatory Aglow tickets on that date to attend.
Holiday programming for families at Franklin Park Conservatory
Conservatory admission is not included with any of the following programming. You must register for General Admission tickets for the Conservatory, as well as any special events that require registration.
Sweet Turkeys Program
Wednesday, November 22 from 11 am – 2 pm
This visitor favorite program is back at the Conservatory! Listen to a story about the turkey that got away, and make a turkey-shaped sweet treat. Registration is $5 for the entire experience and spots are limited. Registration is required for all guests, including members!
Create a Gingerbread House
Friday, November 24 from 11 am – 4 pm
Head to The Wells Barn on a horse-drawn carriage for an afternoon of gingerbread fun! Create a mini gingerbread house with graham crackers, icing and candy. Guests must register for a time slot in advance, based on how many houses a group wants to create. The fee is $10 per gingerbread house.
Breakfast with Santa at Franklin Park Conservatory
December 2-3, and December 9-10, 2023 from 8 am – 12 pm
Registrations are required for all guests, including members, and are available now!
“Catch” your breakfast from Katie’s Pancakes who will be onsite flippinag pancakes. Enjoy all the pancakes and sausage you can eat, plus fresh orange juice or coffee and a visit with the big guy himself, Santa!
Kids are encouraged to bring a letter to Santa that they can drop in his bag. Registration costs are $24 per guest, $18 per child (3-12) and free for children 2 years and under.
A reservation to Breakfast with Santa does not include admission to the Conservatory. If guests would like to visit the Conservatory they should reserve tickets online or at the Visitor Center.
Christmas Break Entertainment
The Conservatory does an amazing jobs at offering fun and engaging programming between Christmas and New Years for families. Included with admission; no reservations required.
Tuesday, December 26 at 11 am and 2 pm: Celebrate Kwanzaa with Tony West and the Imani Dancers
Wednesday, December 27 at 11 am: Realm of Reptile
Thursday, December 28 at 11 am and 2 pm: The “Super-Duper” Magic Show with Erica Carlson and her hedgehog Hedgie
Friday, December 29 at 11 am and 2 pm: The Bubbly Lady with Wonderful World of Bubbles
Saturday, December 30 at 11 am and 2 pm: Comedy Juggling Show with Matt Jergens
Noon Years Eve!
Saturday, December 31, 2023 from 11 am – 1 pm
Goodbye 2023, hello 2024! Make a party hat, play some games and get ready to dance as we do a celebratory countdown with a one-of-a-kind bubble stomp. So everyone can celebrate, we’ll do it all again with a countdown to 1pm. Details.
Shop at the Botanica Gift Shop & Greenhouse
The Botanica Gift Shop features plenty of great gifts, including nature-themed decorations for the home, as well as unique plants, pottery, terrariums, stationery, jewelry and children’s toys and books.
Open daily during regular hours, with extended hours on select days. Members always get 10% off. Upcoming sales listed below!
Hot Shop Sale: November 3-5. Glass artwork from the Hot Shop is buy one get one free. Limit one per customer.
Black Friday Sale: November 24. 10% off full-priced items for all visitors
Pop-Up Holiday Ornament Shop: December 1-3 from 10am-4pm
The Pop-Up Holiday Ornament Shop returns for a second year! Shop for beautiful glass ornaments and holiday-themed glass items. All of the products for sale are hand-crafted in the Conservatory’s Hot Shop or by local artists.
After Christmas Sale: December 26-January 8: 50% off all holiday-themed merchandise
In-person art and gardening programs
A select number of art, culinary, and gardening programs for adults are available virtual and on-site at an additional fee. See the options on the calendar. These make great gifts!
Admission to the Franklin Park Conservatory
Regular admission for 10 am – 5 pm (4 pm during Conservatory Aglow)
- $23 for adults (ages 13-59)
- $19 for seniors (60+)
- $15.50 for children (ages 3-12)
- Free for 2 years and under
Franklin Park Conservatory discounts
Community Days at the Conservatory: On the first Sunday of each month, the Conservatory will be free for residents of Franklin County and the City of Columbus during regular operating hours of 10am to 5pm. November 5, December 3, January 7.
This does not apply to special engagements like Conservatory Aglow
Columbus Member Advantage discount: Members of select attractions and museums in Columbus will receive a $3 discount at Franklin Park Conservatory through the Columbus Member Advantage program. Partners include: Columbus Museum of Art, Columbus Zoo and Aquarium, Franklin Park Conservatory and Botanical Gardens, LEGOLAND® Discovery Center Columbus, Ohio History Center & Ohio Village, National Veterans Memorial and Museum, Pizzuti Collection, Wexner Center for the Arts.
Educator, Military & Student Discounts: Take 10% off any membership category if you are a full-time, active educator or an active or retired military personnel. Present current teacher or military identification at the Visitor’s Center to qualify for this discount. Students (with valid ID) receive 10% off the Individual membership.
FPC passes at the Library: Conservatory Membership Cards are available for checkout at the Martin Luther King and Shepard branches of the Columbus Metropolitan Library. With an active library card, patrons can check out a temporary Conservatory membership card that will grant up to two adults and six children free admission to the Conservatory for 2 days.
Access Pass discounts: The Conservatory provides special discounts to qualifying families to make programming and special events avaialble to all. See website for specific discounts
Franklin Park Conservatory
1777 E Broad St
Columbus, Oh 43203
The Conservatory is open every day of the year except Thanksgiving, Christmas Eve and Christmas Day.
photo via Franklin Park Conservatory
Need more holiday fun in Columbus?
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