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 20, 2021 – Sunday, January 9, 2022.
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. Capacity is limited and reservations are strongly recommended. Popular ticket times will sell out.
The inside of the Conservatory will be filled with holiday magic. Delight in extravagantly themed vignettes featuring hundreds of colorful, unique poinsettias and our famous 10’ poinsettia tree.
Highlights this year are the famous poinsettia trees and two themed vignettes: Brilliant Blizzard and Joyful Comfort. 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 that has been transformed into a holiday destination decorated with glowing lights.
On select dates at 2pm, live music will be performed in the Conservatory. See schedule below.
Holiday Blooms is included with general admission, and are on display through January 9, 2021. Tickets are available to reserve online now; reservations are highly recommended.
The Conservatory will close from 4-5 for cleaning. Due to limited capacity, reservations are strongly recommended, as popular days and times will sell out.
The outdoor Conservatory experience will be twinkling, glowing, and magical thanks to thousands of lights presented in stunning displays.
The musical light show and larger-than-life Gingerbread House return to accompany brand new light displays including a reimagined Topiary Collection.
Other returning favorites include the wintry color themed Light Tunnel, Starry Night Bonsai Courtyard, Ornament Trees, and the whimsical Whirly Tree.
Entertainers and musicians will perform in the gardens on select evenings to enhance the experience. Enjoy refreshments sold by The Conservatory’s Garden Café and Food Truck and other local food trucks from 5-9pm each evening.
You can roam the entire facility during Conservatory Aglow, so you’ll enjoy all of the exhibitions throughout the property.
Check out the holiday vignettes and poinsettias of Holiday Blooms in the Dorothy M. Davis Showhouse or the Annual Gingerbread House Competition in the Grand Atrium. Every night, Light Raiment II projects a rainbow of colors onto the historic John F. Wolfe Palm House, and 19 installations of Dale Chihuly glass are placed throughout the interior of the Conservatory.
Santa, Reindeer & Cookie Decorating: On December 18 and 19, see Santa and two live reindeer out in the gardens. Visitors will also be able to decorate a packaged sugar cookie ($2 per cookie).
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): $22
Seniors (ages 60+): $19
Children (ages 3-12): $12
Conservatory Aglow Evening Member Rates (5-9pm)
Member (ages 13–59): $11
Member (ages 60+): $9.50
Member (ages 3-12): $6
Conservatory Aglow Member Holiday Party and Free Preview Nights
Member Holiday Party: November 19, 2021 from 5 pm – 9 pm
The annual members-only Holiday Party is the first chance to experience Conservatory Aglow before it opens to the public. The entire Conservatory will be open for members to explore. Food and drinks will be available from the Garden Café & Conservatory food truck, Pitabilities food truck and a cash bar. Botanica Gift Shop & Greenhouse is offering 20% off all regularly priced merchandise for members.
Member Preview Nights: November 22, 23, 24 from 5 pm – 9 pm
Admission to Conservatory Aglow is FREE for members only on November 22, 23 and 24. Making reservations in advance is strongly recommended, Preview Nights will fill up quickly. Members receive 50% off Conservatory Aglow admission for the rest of the season.
The Conservatory is closed all day on Thanksgiving and Christmas, and closes at 4pm on Christmas Eve.
The conservatory follows local advisories regarding facial coverings.
Holiday Performances and Exhibits
Annual Gingerbread Competition and Display
Consider yourself a gingerbread architect? Enter the Conservatory’s Annual Gingerbread Competition. This year’s theme is “There is no place like home for the holidays”. Guests can view the creations during Holiday Blooms and Conservatory Aglow from December 1-31, and vote on their favorite! Click here for details.
Holiday Performances at Franklin Park Conservatory
Let the music of the season bring cheer to your Holiday Blooms experience on select Saturdays in December with Roaming Holiday Performances. All performances will begin at 2pm and will roam the interior of the Conservatory for an hour, providing a background of musical entertainment. No audience seating will be provided for these performances. All performances are included with admission.
November 20: Madgrils – Hilliard Davidson High School’s premiere choir performs selections from their holiday and winter concerts.
December 4: The Music Men & Jen – Entertaining the young and young-at-heart, the Music Men & Jen, a mixed barbershop quartet strives to have fun and to perform songs from a span of eras and genres.
December 5: Above The Noise – Olentangy Orange High School’s a cappella show choir will sing select holiday favorites.
December 11: The Grove City Chamber Singers – An adult community choir will perform a variety of secular and sacred music representing numerous genres.
December 12: Grace Notes – Columbus School for Girls’ competitive, advanced ensemble will sing a selection of their holiday concert favorites.
December 18: Ladies of Longford – The high-energy, all-women band serves up superb vocal harmonies and excellent musicianship with a unique blend of contemporary Celtic and traditional Irish music.
December 19: Winds Brilliant – A woodwind trio featuring Allison Trueman on Bassoon, Carl Cummins on clarinet and Peter Elliott on flute perform holiday selections to liven up the holiday mood.
Live Entertainment during Conservatory Aglow
From 6-8pm on select evenings, musicians, ice carvers, dancers and more will put on roaming or walk by performances during Conservatory Aglow. See full schedule here.
Holiday programming for families at Franklin Park Conservatory
Admission to the Conservatory 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 24 from 11 am – 3 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 $4 for the entire experience and spots are limited. Registration is required for all guests, including members!
Create a Gingerbread House
November 26-27 from 11 am – 3 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 can choose to participate in the gingerbread activity in the Wells Barn or take it to go. Regardless of location, all guests must register for a time slot in advance. At that time, guests will participate in the activity onsite or pick it up to take with them. The fee is $7 per gingerbread house.
Breakfast with Santa at Franklin Park Conservatory
December 4-5, and December 11-12 from 8 am – 11 am
Registrations are required for all guests, including members, and are available now!
Breakfast with Santa is back and totally reimagined! “Catch” your breakfast from Katie’s Pancakes who will be onsite flipping 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!
Reimagined Breakfast with Santa details:
- Timed ticketing, allowing for smaller amounts of guests on-site at one time.
- Tables spaced a minimum of 6’ apart; with seating spread between the main and basement floor of the Well’s Barn.
- Tables and highchairs will be sanitized between settings.
- Pre-packaged silverware and condiments.
- Beverages will be served.
- All staff and volunteers will be masked, guests will be required to wear masks when not seated.
Santa will be set up outside, physically distanced but within hearing and speaking distance. Bring your camera as the kids will get the opportunity to have a seat in Santa’s sleigh for a perfect photo opportunity! Kids are encouraged to bring a letter to Santa that they can drop in his bag. Registration costs are $20 per adult (13+), $15 per child (3-12) and free for children 2 years or younger.
Sunday, December 26 at 11 am and 2 pm
Tony West and the Imani dancers will celebrate the first day and principal of Kwanzaa: Umoja, meaning unity. Their performance will feature the vibrant style of West African drumming and dance. Performances are included in admission. Registration not required.
Fantastical Hedgehog Magic Show
Monday, December 27 at 11 am and 2 pm
Children’s entertainer, Erica Carlson, brings comedy, magic, and her famous hedgehog “Hedgie” together in this performance that’s fun for all ages. Performances are included in admission. Registration not required.
Comedy Juggler Matt Jergens
Tuesday, December 28 at 11 am and 2 pm
This international gold medalist juggler will thrill and captivate the audience with his one-man variety show of juggling, stunts, acrobatics and comedy. Performances are included in admission. No registration is required.
Wednesday, December 29 at 11 am – 2 pm.
Columbus favorite, Mark Berman, shares his love of all things creepy and crawly. This is an interactive, walk-up event and not a sit-down performance. Included in admission; registration not required.
Realm of Reptiles
Thursday, December 30 at 11 am and 2 pm
Marissa Dubina shares the riveting world of reptiles during this memorable experience. The shows includes appearances by a tortoise, lizard, and snakes! Included in admission. Registration not required.
Countdown to 12…Noon that is!
Friday, December 31 from 11 am – 1 pm
Goodbye 2021, hello 2022! Craft a party hat and do some dancing as we count down to noon with a one-of-a-kind bubble stomp.
Registration not required.
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 from 10 am – 5 pm, with extended hours on select days. Members always get 10% off. Upcoming sales listed below!
Hot Shop Sale: November 5-7. Glass artwork from the Hot Shop is buy one get one free. Limit one per customer.
Jewelry Sale: November 13-14. 20% off all Michael Michaud Silver Seasons jewelry.
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)
- $19 for adults (ages 13-59)
- $16 for seniors (60+)
- $12 for children (ages 3-12)
- free under age 2.
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 7, December 5, January 2.
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
photo via Franklin Park Conservatory