Two roads diverged in a wood, and I--
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.
~Robert Frost

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Fast Facts: Krohn Conservatory

1501 Eden Park Drive
Cincinnati, OH  45202

View Larger Map

Kids Will Like

  • Getting Up Close and Personal with the Exotic Plants
  • Running Through the Cave Behind the Waterfall
  • Finding Turtles and Fish in the Water Features
  • Searching for and Naming Colors
  • Warm Atmosphere 
  • Glass Construction
  • Toys in the Gift Shop
Good to Know
  • FREE Admission (except special events)
  • Donations Accepted
  • Parking Lot
  • Restroom Rating: A
  • Picnic Area and Green Space Outside
  • Stroller Friendly Ramps (Though Some Paths are Narrow)
  • Gift Shop

The Krohn Conservatory, located in Eden Park, is one of Cincinnati's great treasures not to be missed.  It's small enough for a quick visit, but older kids can take their time investigating and learning about the exotic plants and climates.  One room is set up for changing exhibits, so there is something new to see at different times of the year.  Special exhibits like the annual Butterfly Show and Holiday Show are spectacular.  Kids especially like the Butterfly Show where they can interact with so many butterflies.  For a longer outing, there is plenty to do in Eden Park where you can find a duck pond, playground, views of the Ohio River, and Mirror Lake. 

More Information

Trail Tale: Krohn Conservatory

What ever can you do to escape the cold on a long winter’s day?  Pay a visit the Krohn Conservatory in Eden Park, of course!  The Krohn is well known for it’s popular annual events, The Butterfly Show in spring and the Holiday Show in  winter.  These are spectacular exhibits, but visiting during the down time provides a much more intimate experience with the place.  Plus, there are less people to be disturbed by two little kids running circles around the waterfall feature.

I’d like to get the boys out for a snowy hike one of these days, but thought winter would be the perfect time to highlight some of Cincinnati’s indoor nature activities for the blog.  Plus, it’s just too darn cold outside!

From the parking lot, we headed down the sidewalk, stopping at the always present Petrified Wood sample.

Of course, Marshall was more interested in sampling the snow on top than admiring the natural artifact itself.  After he’d consumed about 3 dips of the white fluff and before his lips turned blue, I ushered the kids inside to the warm, moist, steamy, lush plant haven and hung our coats on the rack just inside the door.

Warning:  Your camera lens will fog up as you enter from the cold.  I think it created a neat effect though and helped to capture the truth of the moment.  

Before our exploration, I made the boys pose in the butterfly chair, a rite of passage.

I’m pretty sure they were plotting their escape as the next thing I knew, they were off and running into the Land of Summer.  Here, the fruit trees were ripe for the picking…well, admiring.

It was hard not to give in to the desire to eat one of the shiny fruits.

The boys stopped romping around to smell the newly planted flowers.

Next up was the desert room where Miles had his first encounter with a cactus.  Warning #2:  Young children WILL try to touch a cactus plant, no matter how many times you repeat “do not touch the cactus plants.” 

Next time I will add “do not touch or smell the cactus” and will make sure to hold hands as we enter the room. 

Poor little dude.  Fortunately, he recovered quickly after a few hugs and kisses.  Seriously, though—keep an eye on your little ones here to avoid injury.  We continued to ease our way around the Desert House, a fascinating display of odd shapes and textures.  Marshall found a friend in this orange blooming aloe plant.

(Notice Miles keeping his distance in the background).

Next, we ventured into the Orchid room only after I was 110% positive everyone understood the do-not-pick-the-flowers rule.  We had fun playing a color game where I had the boys locate purple, pink, yellow, orange, and white petals on the flowers.

Plenty of the flowers were positioned at nose level for sniffing.

After the Orchids, we made our way to the Palm House with it's river of koi and the WATERFALL! 

I love all the big-leaved plants in this room and finally let Miles touch a plant.

This leaf was bigger than his head and possibly his whole torso.  Cool.  Finally, we made it to the WATERFALL and I managed to get a quick pose before the boys began circling, circling, circling through the stone cave that goes behind the falls. 

I was unable to get a better photo of the waterfall, but there are plenty of good, professional pictures published on the web.  

To complete our tour of the Krohn, we headed to explore the Fern House, another great place for locating colors.

The Fern House contains a stream with fish circled by a thick plant-lined path.

A couple of inviting benches are placed at the far end of the room where one is drawn in to sit, reflect, meditate, and be still.  Both kids seemed to feel the calmness in the space and wanted to sit quietly there surrounded by the living green for a bit.

I think this photo captures the essence of our experience in this beautiful plant paradise.  The Krohn is definitely one of my favorite places in Cincinnati, any time of the year, but especially on a cold winters day.