If you live in the New York City area or happen to be visiting, you should really think about checking out the New York Botanical Garden’s Orchid Show, now in its 18th year and running Saturday, February 15 – Sunday, April 19.
We have lived in the area for over 20 years now and I can’t believe we didn’t visit the NYBG until several years ago for their annual train show, which I am giving an early plug for. Trust me, you don’t have to be a kid or love trains to enjoy the magic. The Botanical Gardens offer 250 acres of gorgeous floral life to explore and with spring just starting to show it’s color and magnificence it’s so worth the trip.
The Orchid Show this year features the dazzling floral creations of Jeff Leatham, famed artistic director of the Four Seasons Hotel George V, Paris and floral designer to the stars. Each gallery of the exhibition in the historic Enid A. Haupt Conservatory is transformed into a different color experience and visual effect, like the turn of a kaleidoscope. The flowers are intermixed with the Botanical Garden’s standing exhibits.
Thousands of orchids provide bursts of forms and colors—in purples, reds, oranges, and hot pink—revealed through overhead arches, vine-inspired ribbons, mirrored sculpture, dramatic lighting, and other artistic embellishments.
You have two choices when exploring The Orchid Show. You can go during the day and enter at your leisure when they are open or go for Orchid Evenings. We chose the evening option. This lets you visit the exhibition after hours and enjoy music and performers amidst a sea of vibrant orchids cascading behind them. You can lose yourself in twists and turns of color at New York City’s most spectacular night out – a kaleidoscopic display of dazzling orchids, mirrored sculpture, dramatic lighting, and more.
We strolled through the stunning Conservatory, listened to DJ X-RAY, and marveled as the Orchid Dancers performed on their tippy toes. You can also enjoy specialty cocktails like the Dancing Lady, created just for Orchid Evenings at the cash bar. But, before we went in we warmed up at the fire pits in the Conservatory Plaza. On Saturday and Sundays you can also check out the Orchid Care Demonstrations and Orchid Exports Q & A.
Before or after the show, you should stop in at the NYBG Shop. They offer a variety of live plants for purchase, including tons of orchids right now. In addition you’ll find gardening tools and accessories, botanical books, prints, jewelry, room decor, table items, unique gifts, and bath and body products.
The Orchid Show is open 10 am – 6 pm Tuesday – Sunday through April 22. The Orchid Evenings are Fridays and Saturdays (March 14, 20, 21, 27, 28 and April 3, 4, 10, 11, 17 & 18) with scheduled entry times at 7, 7:30, 8 and 8:30 pm. You select your time when you purchase the tickets. The gardens close at 9:30.
General admission ticket prices are different for weekdays and weekends; $23 and $30 for adults. The Orchid Evenings is $39. Parking is $15 during the week and $20 on weekends.
If you want to grab a bite while you’re there, you have 2 options. There’s the more casual Pine Tree cafe or the Hudson Garden Grill. I haven’t eaten at either so I can’t offer an opinion.
I can, however, recommend heading on over to Arthur Avenue for some authentic Old World Italian food and shopping. It’s only about a 5 minute drive and well worth the trip. We ate at Mario’s and love the food, but more importantly, the atmosphere.
The NYBG is located in the Bronx, across from Fordham University. If you live in NY, you can take the 20 minute train ride from Grand Central on Metro North or take the subway. Be sure to check out the website for detailed directions.
For anyone who lives in the area and might want to go back for multiple visits during the different seasons, getting a 100% tax deductible membership might be the way to go. Prices start at $85 for an individual membership. You get free admission for an entire year, guest passes, parking passes, and discounts at NYBG Shop and on education programs. There’s also exclusive Member programs, including invitations to special Members-Only Previews, trips, tours, and events. Plus, your Membership supports NYBG’s efforts in science, education, and horticulture which impact communities locally and around the world.
Visiting The Orchid Show is a really nice way to spend several hours and you will be really amazed at the beauty and uniquenesss of the Botanical Gardens.
Sherry is one of the TriWivesClub’s founders. She is also a contributor at TravelingMom & Challenge Family. She has been her triathlete husband’s biggest supporter and co-traveler for over 15 years. She is a former co-owner of the California Apparel News and had a career in the healthcare industry. Her passions include running, traveling, real food, and animal rescue/welfare. She lives a healthy lifestyle and has been a vegetarian since 1987. She and her husband are parents to two rescue pups and reside in Connecticut.