2017 Winter Flower Show and Light Garden at Phipps Conservatory: A Walk in Holiday Magic!

A walk through Phipps Flower Show and Light Garden.

When it comes to holidays in Pittsburgh, I’m just like you are – there’s so many things to see and do, where do I start first? This year, I made it a point to check out the 2017 Winter Flower Show and Light Garden at Phipps Conservatory and man, am I happy I did. I made it a girls night by taking my bonus mama with me to see the beauty of Phipps in winter both indoors and out. Here’s highlights from our visit.

Christmas trees at Phipps Winter Flower Show and light Garden in Palm Court.
Christmas trees at Phipps Winter Flower Show and light Garden in Palm Court. Photo Credit: Karyn Locke

Phipps Winter Flower Show and Light Garden: An Overview

Phipps Conservatory outdoes itself each year with new theming, new displays, and added beauty. This year’s theme, Holiday Magic!, combines the love of the winter holidays with the beauty of the conservatory in a way that only they can do it. Planning begins a year in advance and each year it only gets bigger and better.

Each night at 5pm, 152 candles are lit indoors to add to the magic of the show. And, just like we all are nowadays, Phipps is environmentally-friendly as the candles are made from palm wax with a 100% cotton wick. Translation? No soot or harmful fumes. Beginning November 25, it will go through 3,483 candles before its season’s end on January 8, 2018.


The Light Garden starts at 5pm as well. If I can give one tip to heed, take advantage of its new timed tickets, especially during peak times. On super busy nights, you’ll only be given access with timed tickets. You’ll need to hop online to secure them, but it will save you so much time in the long run. 

For this year’s Winter Flower Show, 24 varieties of poinsettias are added throughout the indoor rooms and existing plants and greenery. Honestly, just out of college I worked as an office manager in a flower shop and had no idea there were so many kinds!

Most of the indoor rooms have been decked out in holiday beauty but there are a few, including the Desert Room, that have been kept as is. Honestly, they’ve chosen the right rooms to decorate in my humble opinion.

Phipps Conservatory Garden Railroad Treasure Island
Interactive displays in Phipps Conservatory’s Garden Railroad: Treasure Island. Photo Credit: Karyn Locke


Garden Railroad: Treasure Island

I’m far from being a kid at this point, but it never hurts to channel it, right? This year’s Garden Railroad theme is Treasure Island and is filled with all-things swashbuckling. There’s three interactive displays that both kids and adults will enjoy and the attention to detail is just stunning.

Phipps Winter Flower Show Garden Railroad: Treasure Island
Release the kraken! Photo Credit: Karyn Locke

During our tour, I was really astounded by the attention to detail the Garden Railroad has. Look at that kraken!

Phipps Winter Garden Christmas Tree

In a Nutshell

Phipps Conservatory Winter Flower Show and Light Garden is truly a gorgeous sight to behold. While a visit anytime of day is fun, the Winter Garden opens at 5pm. Timed tickets are a must, too.  Additionally, the gang at Phipps will try to accommodate walk-ins, but there’s no guarantee you’ll get a ticket. not pc savvy? You can also reserve tickets at the Welcome Center or by calling 888/718-4253.

Days and Times

  • Open November 24-January 7th
  • Winter Light Garden opens at 5pm-11pm  nightly
  • Closed Christmas Eve at 5pm and Christmas Day
  • Ticket Prices: $11.95- $17.95
  • Discounts for college students with proper ID, children, and seniors

Headed to Pittsburgh, PA, for the winter holidays? Here's why you need to check out the Phipps conservatory 2017 winter flower Show and Light Garden!

Disclosure: I was graciously given a tour by the gang at Phipps Conservatory. All opinions and photos are my own!

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