Check your winter blues at the door and get your first taste of spring at the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society’s annual Philadelphia Flower Show, running from March 3 to 11 at the Pennsylvania Convention Center.
This year’s theme, “Wonders of Water,” puts the spotlight on the life-sustaining role that water plays in tropical, temperate and arid landscapes.
FLOWER SHOW FAST FACTS
- The 2018 Flower Show opens Saturday, March 3 and closes Sunday, March 11
- Tickets range from $17 to $35.
- The 2018 Flower Show theme is “Wonders of Water.”
- Flower Show exhibits and main events take place at the Pennsylvania Convention Center at 12th and Arch streets.
- Highlights include the diverse tropical rainforest entrance garden, featuring 4,000 plants and a 25-foot-tall waterfall.
The plants that grow in each environment — think delicate orchids, vibrant heliconias and wild desert blooms — are arranged in a captivating display by the country’s top garden and floral designers, transforming the Pennsylvania Convention Center into an alluring plant sanctuary with nearly 4,000 plants of more than 165 varieties in the extravagant rainforest entrance garden alone.
Top Reasons To Visit The Flower Show
The longest-running and largest horticulture showcase in the world, the Philadelphia Flower Show attracts more than 250,000 visitors to Philadelphia each year.
Honored in 2017 by the International Festivals & Events Association as the best event in the world of its kind, the Flower Show appeals to horticulture aficionados, festival experts and gardening hobbyists alike.
With “Wonders of Water” — a bold theme that’s awe-inspiring and educational — the world’s most creative garden and landscape designers bring the beauty and drama of the Flower Show to new heights.
The Impressive Entrance Garden
This year’s tropical rainforest entrance garden is one of the most diverse displays in Flower Show history.
A canopy of exotic flowers and flowering vines in vibrant reds and yellows greets guests overhead, and an ever-shifting rain curtain leads them down a winding path, around a tropical pond flanked with ficus trees and ferns, a fish pond and a misting pool to a rope bridge.
Once across the bridge and through the lush, green rainforest, guests face a massive, 25-foot-tall waterfall rushing down a six-tier bamboo structure and surrounded by even more sensational arrangements of plants and flowers in flashy purples and pinks.
Designers incorporated roughly 4,000 plants of more than 165 varieties into the 10,000 square foot entrance garden.
Spotlight on Water Conservation and Sustainability
The brilliant rainforest entrance garden is not just merely a thing of beauty. Educational information throughout the exhibit aims to teach guests about the most important stages of the water cycle (precipitation, flow and collection and evaporation), and scientists from the Academy of Natural Sciences of Drexel University will be on-site to answer any questions.
For additional insight into the vital role that water plays in our everyday lives, guests can check out “Windows on the Watershed.” This immersive exhibit delves into the ecology of a fascinating freshwater system that’s close to home: the Delaware River Watershed. Speakers will discuss topics that range from the management of urban water supply to how to fight clean water crises to the search for water in outer space.
Incorporated into the exhibit is Inventory: Rain & the River, a special sculptural installation by Stacy Levy. An abstraction of a river, the piece is composed of hundreds of vertical transparent tubes and delivers a fresh perspective on our waterways. Funded by The William Penn Foundation, “Windows on the Watershed” will be featured adjacent to the main entrance of the Flower Show.
Other informative special features will explore water conservation and protection, green infrastructure and water-wise concepts like xeriscaping. The Backyard — a new attraction — focuses on outdoor-living inspiration, offers conservation tips for the home garden and promotes important PHS initiatives like City Harvest, Tree Tenders, Rain Check and Land Care.
The black-tie-optional Preview Party Gala on Friday, March 2 is the first of many special evening programs that are scheduled for this year. Preview party guests have the opportunity to exclusively marvel at the breathtaking designs before the show opens to the public in the company of this year’s special guest, Smokey Robinson.
On Saturday, March 3, get your groove on among the exotic Flower Show exhibits at the ’70s-themed Flowers After Hours. Performers include DJ Robert Drake and a special appearance by the Village People starring Ray Simpson. Guests really feeling the disco fever can come dressed in ’70s-inspired attire for the chance to win prizes in the costume contest.
For guests who want to learn more about the exhibits straight from the show’s brilliant designers and judges, audio tours will be available for the first time ever.
The Make & Take workshop returns this year for guests who want to craft their very own mini-water garden, succulent planter or flower crown. Butterflies Live is back to immerse guests of all ages in a habitat with more than 1,000 butterflies.
All this programming and more will make the 2018 Flower Show a worthy spectacle and unforgettable experience.
Flower Show Marketplace
The Philadelphia Flower Show Marketplace returns, with 180 vendors selling goods as fantastic as the spectacle itself.
In addition to the finest home gardener fare, visitors can shop for handmade jewelry, all-natural soaps, hand-blown glass fixtures and more artisanal goods. Those in search of official 2018 Flower Show merch can pop over to the PHS Flower Show Store for a variety of memorabilia.
Tickets and Staying Over
The easiest (and most inexpensive!) way to secure Flower Show tickets is online ahead of the first day of the show. Tickets can be printed out or saved on a smartphone and scanned for entry.
Tickets are available online through March 1 for $29.95 (+ online service fee of $1.50) for adults ($32 weekdays/$40 weekends March 2-11; $35 weekdays/$40 weekends March 3-11 at the door); $20 (+ online service fee of $1.50) for students ages 17-24 with a valid ID and proof of age upon entry ($24 March 2-11; $24 weekdays/$26 weekends March 3-11 at the door); and $17 for children ages 2-16 ($17 March 2-11; $19 weekdays/$20 weekends March 3-11 at the door). Children under age 2 get free admission.
Discounted group tickets are available for 25 or more guests through March 2 for $28 for adults; $20 for students ages 17-24 (must present valid ID and proof of age upon entry); and $17 for children ages 2-16. Group tickets are unavailable for purchase during Show week, so scoop them up ahead of March 3. Also note: Any group ticket orders received after February 23 must be picked up at will call.
Tickets can also be purchased ahead of the show at participating AAA Mid-Atlantic and Northampton offices, ACME Markets, Giant Food Stores, SEPTA ticket offices, Stauffers of Kissel Hill Food and Garden Centers and Wegmans. Contact the retailer for details on service fees that may apply.
Get the full Philadelphia experience and opt to stay overnight in one of the city’s fine hotels while in town for the Flower Show. Search for hotel packages on the Flower Show’s website or check out the Visit Philadelphia Overnight Hotel Package.
Don’t delay! Secure tickets and start planning for the Philadelphia Flower Show today.