Head to Garfield Park for Conservatory Crossing

It’s been a mild winter so far but school lets out next week. That means the weather gods are itching to smite stay at home parents everywhere. I assure you no matter how “suns out guns out” you were on Dec. 12 it will be raining, snowing, and cold. Also, there will probably be a tornado just for good measure.
If you want a little hint of winter-holidays-meet-summer, head to The Garfield Park Conservatory.
Not only is it indoors, but it’s heated to the point it can sustain tropical plants. It’s the perfect place to lose the coats and take gorgeous photos in front of breathtaking winter-wonderland Christmas displays.

Conservatory Crossing at Garfield Park - Indy's Child

Conservatory Crossing at Garfield Park is located near the Fountain Square district right of the 65 heading toward Louisville. You’ll know you’re headed in the right direction when you see the wonderful mural and statue of Ft. Wayne’s very own Henry W. Lawton welcoming you to the neighborhood.
Conservatory Crossing at Garfield Park - Indy's Child
Admission is super inexpensive at $3 dollars per person or $8 per family (2 and under free). Price is often a deal breaker for a family of 6 like mine, so this is a major score.
Hang up your coats as soon as you arrive because you’re about to be warmed by all the holiday cheer. The first room is a Christmas wonderland, decked to the halls with over 500 poinsettias, two model trains, and “snowflakes” everywhere.
Make sure you do the scavenger hunt. Beware, there are two versions of this scavenger hunt: The one where you search among the decorations for hidden objects and the second where you search for ways to stop your one-year-old from eating the powdered snowy goodness. Enjoy this beautiful room and use it as an opportunity to take great winter portraits without all the frostbite that typically comes with getting the “perfect shot” for the Christmas card.

Conservatory Crossing at Garfield Park - Indy's Child

Conservatory Crossing at Garfield Park - Indy's Child

The main conservatory room is next. Expert tip: go left. I’ll explain later. You’ll be walking along a beautiful path of tropical plants. For the first time, your minions will see BA-NA-NAS! as God intended (on a tree).
Conservatory Crossing at Garfield Park - Indy's Child
They will also see the first of many ponds that are oh so enticing to touch. While your kiddos try to find nemo, enjoy the beautiful surroundings. It’s not every day in Indianapolis you get to see such amazing plants. The Conservatory has the most amazing orchids, palms, and succulents.
Conservatory Crossing at Garfield Park - Indy's Child
You can lure your kids away from the first fish pond with the promise of another BIGGER one towards the back. Warning for those of you potty training, this pond has a pee-pee inducing waterfall. The once soothing sounds of running water could easily be interrupted with screams of “pee-mergency!” Luckily you’ll be right near the bathroom.
As you continue the trek down the path, you’ll see one last pond and your kids may soon start to think everything is looking the same. It’s right at that moment when my tip from earlier pays off! Just in the nick of time, you’ll stumble upon a toy train set the kids can play with. It’s the final hurrah before you complete the visit. There are chairs for parents so you can kick back and relax. There also also tiny chairs for kids, but my kids will never use a chair if they are doing something involving toy trains. Maybe your kids are more chill than mine?
Conservatory Crossing at Garfield Park - Indy's Child
Enjoy this moment. Allow your children to play as long as you possibly can. Sitting comfortably in this tropical paradise you’ll have forgotten how cold it is outside. As you drive home through the cold, don’t worry, you can always come back tomorrow since the display runs through the 31st.


MORE INFO: Conservatory Crossing is open at Garfield Park Conservatory and Sunken Garden thru December 31st from 10am-5pm Mondays-Saturdays, and 1-5pm on Sundays. There are also evening hours available 12/18-12/20 and 12/26-12/27. Cost is $3/person with a maximum of $8/family. Call {317} 327-7275 or visit garfieldconsindy.wix.com for more details.

Luis Ruvalcaba - Indy's ChildAbout Luis:

In late June, 2007 Luis Ruvacalba removed his laundry from the dryer to find that he had rendered all of his undershirts pink and shrunk his favorite red University of Arizona sweater. At that point – as he says: “I realized: I need a wife. I married Katie in Sept of 2007. Aside from one lousy pen left in my pants pocket and numerous dried on Conner Prairie stickers, the laundry has gone pretty well since then.” Luis has four children: Maggie- 7, Micah- 5, Millie- 2, and Merritt- 1. Each of them helps him sharpen his parenting skills in new and unique ways. “Without Maggie I’d never have learned to put on tights. Without Micah I would have the weakest MMA fighting skills on the block. Millie challenges me to improve my search and rescue abilities. Merritt gives me weekly lessons in Matrix style urine dodging. Together we are the greatest family to ever ruin your family’s nice quiet afternoon at the park.” Follow along with Luis as he helps shows you the best places to let your family run wild.


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