Nothing foreshadows the arrival of spring quite like the Philadelphia Flower Show, which returns to the Pennsylvania Convention Center March 11-19 courtesy of the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society (PHS).
This year marks the 188th PHS Philadelphia Flower Show, which draws visitors from around the globe to ogle spectacular feats of floral design from some of the top designers and horticulturalists from the region and the world.
Flower Show Fast Facts
- The 2017 Flower Show opens Saturday, March 11 and closes Sunday, March 19.
- Tickets at the box office are $35 for adults, $22 for students, $17 for children ages 2-16. Discounts are available by purchasing tickets online or at local retailers.
- The 2017 Flower Show theme is “Holland: Flowering the World.”
- Flower Show exhibits and main events take place within the Pennsylvania Convention Center at 12th and Arch streets.
The theme for the 2017 Philadelphia Flower Show is “Holland: Flowering the World.” Guests can expect to be transported to the land of vibrant Dutch tulip fields via floral displays from award-winning gardeners and landscape artists from the Netherlands and beyond.
Imagine windmills overflowing with flowers, wooden shoes sprouting colorful blooms and down-scaled versions of the bustling bulb markets that attract flower lovers to the Netherlands every spring.
Top Reasons To Visit The Flower Show
More than 250,000 people flock to the Pennsylvania Convention Center each year to witness the spectacle that is the Philadelphia Flower Show.
The stars of the event are undoubtedly the intricate floral displays that come in every shape, size and color under the sun. But fun new additions like a Dutch Shopping Village and Garden Spa keep guests entertained long after they’ve breezed through the Exhibition Hall.
The Wanderlust-Inspiring “Holland” Theme
Using the Netherlands’ massive flower industry as inspiration, expert floral designers from Philadelphia and beyond recreate Holland’s charming cityscapes and rural idylls with 30,000 flowers and re-creations of iconic Dutch scenery like windmills, bridges, canals and water gardens.
The Showstopping Entrance Garden
The adventure begins in the massive entrance garden inspired by the city of Amsterdam. It features a brick bridge adorned with Delft tile patterns and decked with flower boxes spilling over with blooms. A surrounding garden boasts cherry trees, sycamores and flowers ranging in colors from soft pinks to reds to purples.
Don’t get too distracted by all the colors to look up. Above the display, a floating floral canopy mimics Holland’s endless flower fields with 6,000 fresh-cut-and-dried flowers suspended above visitors’ heads.
From there, the Exhibition Hall is your playground — a 10-acre playground packed with dozens of individual displays that tastefully maintain the Dutch theme. Look for several towering windmills that hat-tip the country’s earliest attempts at harvesting wind energy. Bicycles are all over the place. They line charming bridges, a collection of spokes create an abstract sculpture in a display near the entrance, and one particularly quirky fountain made of bike parts features spinning wheels that kick water into the air.
The Futuristic Eco-Dome
In the center of the Exhibition Hall, a massive eco-dome shelters its own whimsical garden display and a stage area for groups to give demonstrations during the run of the show. Made in Holland and shipped to the States just for the Flower Show, the 70- by 30-foot futuristic dome is another example of Holland’s forward-thinking approach to sustainability. Wander inside to marvel at some of its green technologies, like solar energy production, pavement that absorbs carbon dioxide and a rainwater collection system. Maybe you could mimic some of the practices in your own garden?
Garden Spa and Pop-Up Beer Garden
New for 2017, a Garden Spa is located in the Grand Concourse, where guests can escape the hustle-bustle for a relaxing hand or foot massage, drink tastings or mini-facials. For the full itinerary of Garden Spa experiences and treatments, go here.
The adjoining Grand Concourse is where you’ll find a bustling bazaar with a Dutch Shopping Village and a Make & Take area that allows guests to test their green thumbs with a host of arts and crafts activities.
Looking for the bar? That’s here, too. Pull up a stool at the ARAMARK Pop-Up Beer Garden to enjoy adult beverages and light bites. A Fine Wine & Good Spirits shop is also set up nearby, offering samplings of 126 wines and spirits.
Those looking to take home some treasures from the Flower Show will find no shortage of shopping opportunities in the Pennsylvania Convention Center.
You’ll find everything you’ll need and then some at the enormous Flower Show Marketplace, which in itself features 180 booths selling everything from gardening tools and handmade jewelry to home decor and, of course, more flowers.
If you’re only on the lookout for plants, don’t miss the smaller PHS Meadowbrook Farm Shop. There you’ll find an array of green beauties — like cacti, begonias, ferns and scented geraniums — just waiting to decorate your home.
The Philadelphia Flower Show is much more than a spectacular show of flowers. The nine-day event also features a busy itinerary of parties, workshops and even a little shindig for your dog.
The Philadelphia Flower Show officially kicks off with an elegant soiree on Friday, March 10, that offers exclusive first peek access to the Exhibition Hall. Throw on something fancy and savor this moment to practically have the showstopping floral displays all to yourself.
For the cool cats, PHS throws a late-night dance bash on Saturday, March 11. Legendary Philly DJ Robert Drake and rocker Tommy Conwell play ’90s-themed tunes all night long. When not on the dance floor, guests can play games or take part in some grownup arts and crafts activities. Just wear something memorable for that floral selfie wall.
On Friday, March 17, Philadelphia Flower Show guests are invited to bring their hairiest, four-legged pals to the Pennsylvania Convention Center for a party just for dogs and the people who love them. The pups have a chance to run free and try tasty treats during Yappy Hour. After that, the dogs are welcomed in for a grand tour of the Exhibition Hall.
Following tradition, the last day of the Flower Show always features some type of party for the kids. This year, it’s Teddy Bear Tea on Sunday, March 19. Little ones and their pals can lug along their favorite teddy bear for a British-inspired tea ceremony that would make Paddington proud. The menu offers petite sandwiches, pastries, fruit and an assortment of delicious teas for kids and parents alike.
Click here for a full list of the special events during the Flower Show.
Tickets and Staying Over
Securing tickets to the Flower Show is easy. Visitors can pre-order tickets online and print them out at home, buy at area retailers or purchase tickets at the Convention Center box office.
Tickets are available in advance online for $28 (adults), $20 (students with valid ID) and $15 (children ages 2-16) until Friday, March 10.
After March 10, tickets can be purchased online for $31 (adults), $20 (students) and $15 (children). Note that a service fee of $1.50 per ticket is applied to all online ticket purchases at checkout.
Tickets can also be purchased for the Flower Show at a number of sales outlets including AAA Mid-Atlantic branches, Acme Markets, Giant Food Stores, Wegmans Markets and select SEPTA ticket outlets. Area retailers sell tickets for $29 (adults) and $15 (children) throughout the run of the show or while supplies last.
For those who wait to grab tickets at the door, Convention Center box offices sell Flower Show tickets for $35 (adults), $22 (students) and $17 (children).
For complete ticketing information and group package deals, check right here.
With so much to do at the Philadelphia Flower Show, a single day’s trip just might not cut it. Consider making a plan to stay over in the city so you can take in multiple days of flower peeping and adventure hunting.
There are tons of wonderful hotels to choose from in Philly, and many offer special deals for Flower Show guests. Check here for Flower Show hotel packages, and check out the Visit Philly Overnight Hotel Package.
For additional information on getting there and parking information, check right here.