Why You’ll Want to Visit Phipps’ Tropical Forest Cuba with Kids

Phipps Tropical Forest Cuba: Why you need to take the kids

When you visit Pittsburgh, or are a native Pittsburgher, you know that Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens always make the short list for must-see hot spots. And, whether it’s in early winter for its Winter Flower Show and Light Garden or summer to walk through the outdoor gardens, there’s always something new. This winter, Phipps has unveiled a brand new exhibit, Tropical Forest Cuba and kids will love more than the tropical climate. Here’s why you’ll want to visit Phipps’ Tropical Forest Cuba with kids in tow.

Phipps' Tropical Forest Cuba Book Nook
Photo Credit: Steven Locke

1. Learning About Cuba Has Never Been Easier

A large reason why kids love Phipps Conservatory in Pittsburgh is the fact that it’s so hands on. They want kids to learn through play and I can’t think of a better way to do it. Tropical Forest Cuba has several play spaces and hands-on activities including scent stations and maps with magnifying glasses to help teach about the island.

Younger children can be immersed in the culture, too: plants along the path are named so make sure to point them out. Hey, you’ll look even smarter than you already are in their eyes.

2. The Tropical Climate Is Fun Year Round

Considering the harsh winter we’ve had in the Pittsburgh area, the fact that I can throw my coat in a locker for 25 cents and walk around in a tropical climate for an hour or two is so inviting. I could definitely feel the warm, humid climate that’s indicative of tropical forests and the plants and trees that live in them.

Once inside, you’ll hear ambient sounds of the island, have a chance to test your rumba dancing skills, and look for birds hidden in the trees. Many of the larger signs have both Spanish and English descriptions – perfect for brushing up on your Spanish language skills!

The kids will love listening to the waterfall and moseying along the winding path to the large fish tank in the lower level, too. Check out our video above for all of the details. 

3. There’s a Cuban Book Nook

If ever there was a reason to take a rest in Phipps, the comfy chairs and books about Cuba is it. Located on the upper level of the exhibit, the spot is right near the elevators and provides for a cozy respite from the crowds.

4. Fun Photo Op with a Classic Car

Right as we walked in, I couldn’t help but be attracted to the classic car, complete with Cuban license plate. It’s fun for the kids and adults. Heck, I hopped in when it wasn’t busy to check it out.

Phipps Tropical Forest Cuba Walls
Photo Credit: Steven Locke

5. Admission Is Included

When you visit Phipps, you can go in and out of Tropical Forest Cuba as many times as you like. There’s no additional charge for the new exhibit, either.

At present, here’s admission prices to Phipps Conservatory:

  • Adults – $17.95
  • Seniors (62+) and Students – $16.95
  • Children ages 2 – 18 $11.95
  • Tickets may be purchased when you arrive or online.

And the hours:

  • Monday – Thurday – 9:30 a.m. – 5 p.m.
  • Friday – 9:30 a.m. – 10 p.m.
  • Saturday & Sunday – 9:30 a.m. – 5 p.m.
  • Closed on some holidays. If you want to visit on one, double check to make sure it’s open.

What Else?

You’ll want to dedicate several hours to your visit to Phipps conservatory. It’s definitely worth your and the kids’ while to mosey around and look at everything. We took a quick detour on our visit and hit the Orchid Room and found the beauty in bloom jaw-dropping:

Disclosure: A great, big, giant thanks to the gang at Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens for letting us film and photograph Tropical Forest Cuba and the Orchid Room. All opinions are my own!

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