Photo by Paul Weigman

Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens

Through January 10
Various times

For the perfect antidote for the damp gray days of December—and beyond—head to the wondrous Winter Light Garden and Flower Show at Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens.

Photo by Paul Weigman
Photo by Paul g. Wiegman.

Providing us all with a much-needed winter warmer, the magical holiday favorite is again flooding the Oakland destination with an infusion of light, color, shape—and song. One of the best places to bask in the glow of the holiday season, the Winter Light Garden and Flower Show is open to the public of all ages through January, 10th.

This year’s edition is inspired by the iconic Christmas carol, Deck the Halls, which dates back to a 16th-century Welsh melody and contains lyrics by John Jones and Thomas Oliphant. Bringing the cherished carol to life—and to light—the rotating exhibition spaces are packed with artful arrangements containing coloring LED lights, decorated fir trees, whimsical props, and, of course, plenty of seasonal favorites such as vibrant poinsettias, aromatic paperwhites, flashy amaryllis and more. Not to miss is the jaw-dropping massive evergreen set amidst the the pond of the Victoria Room.

Photo by Daniel Lu
Photo by Daniel Lu

Capturing the the spirit and message of the age-old holiday tune, this year’s Winter Flower Show was designed by Terra Design Studios, LLC. The youngest flower and fauna fans should be on the lookout for some tiny troll figures hidden throughout the displays, reflecting Phipp’s creative twist on the song’s traditional lyrics: “troll the ancient yuletide carol.”

Further augmenting the festive atmosphere are the site’s immersive Winter Light, Outdoor and Discovery Gardens. Sparkling with luminous orbs, trees and bona fide fountains of light, the Winter Light Garden was designed by Phipps Exhibit Coordinator Jordyn Melino.

For what is perhaps the most magical experience of all, head to Phipps after-hours for one of the seasonal Candlelight Evenings, open until 11 p.m. through January 10th. Visitors will have the rare chance to experience the tranquility of the Winter Flower Show by evening light, and while there, can enjoy live musical performances, dine at Café Phipps, wander through the outdoor Winter Light Garden, and shop for unique holiday gifts.

View a schedule of events and hours for the Winter Flower Show and Winter Light Garden at Phipps.

Looking for more events? Read our 10 Pittsburgh events not to miss in December feature.

Jennifer has worked at the Mattress Factory, Brooklyn Museum of Art and Dahesh Museum of Art and is co-author of Pittsburgh Signs Project: 250 Signs of Western Pennsylvania. She also is co-coordinator of Handmade Arcade. Musically, she is in a band called The Garment District and is a founding member of Brooklyn's The Ladybug Transistor.