If you live in the New York City area or happen to be visiting, you should really think about checking out the New York Botanical Garden’s Orchid Show, now in its 16th year.
We have lived in the area for over 20 years now and I can’t believe we didn’t visit the NYBG until last December for their annual train show, which I am giving an early plug for. Trust me, you don’t have to be a kid or love trains to enjoy the magic. The Botanical Gardens offer 250 acres of gorgeous floral life to explore and with spring just starting to show it’s color and magnificence it’s so worth the trip.
The Orchid Show features thousands of dramatically displayed orchids featuring a series of installations crafted by the floral artist, Daniel Ost. Each living sculpture celebrates the complex beauty of these stunning flowers, highlighting individual orchids attached in such a way that each flower and form can be seen and appreciated. The flowers are intermixed with the Botanical Garden’s standing exhibits.
You have two choices when exploring The Orchid Show. You can go during the day and enter at your leisure when they are open or go for Orchid Evenings. We chose the evening option. This lets you visit the exhibition after hours and enjoy music and performers amidst a sea of vibrant orchids cascading behind them.
We strolled through the stunning Conservatory, listened to DJ X-RAY, and marveled as the Orchid Dancers performed on their tippy toes. You can also enjoy specialty cocktails like the Dancing Lady, created just for Orchid Evenings at the cash bar. But, before we went in we warmed up at the fire pits in the Conservatory Plaza. On Saturday and Sundays you can also check out the Orchid Care Demonstrations and Orchid Exports Q & A.
Before or after the show, you should stop in at the NYBG Shop. They offer a variety of live plants for purchase, including tons of orchids right now. In addition you’ll find gardening tools and accessories, botanical books, prints, jewelry, room decor, table items, unique gifts, and bath and body products.
The Orchid Show is open 10 am – 6 pm Tuesday – Sunday through April 22. The Orchid Evenings are Fridays and Saturdays with scheduled entry times at 6:30, 7, and 7:30 pm. You select your time when you purchase the tickets. The gardens close at 9:30.
General admission ticket prices are different for weekdays and weekends; $23 and $28 for adults. The Orchid Evenings is $38. Parking is $15 during the week and $20 on weekends.
If you want to grab a bite while you’re there, you have 2 options. There’s the more casual Pine Tree cafe or the Hudson Garden Grill. I haven’t eaten at either so I can’t offer an opinion.
I can, however, recommend heading on over to Arthur Avenue for some authentic Old World Italian food and shopping. It’s only about a 5 minute drive and well worth the trip. We ate at Mario’s and love the food, but more importantly, the atmosphere.
The NYBG is located in the Bronx, across from Fordham University. If you live in NY, you can take the 20 minute train ride from Grand Central on Metro North or take the subway. Be sure to check out the website for detailed directions.
For anyone who lives in the area and might want to go back for multiple visits during the different seasons, getting a 100% tax deductible membership might be the way to go. Prices start at $85 for an individual membership. You get free admission for an entire year, guest passes, parking passes, and discounts at NYBG Shop and on education programs. There’s also exclusive Member programs, including invitations to special Members-Only Previews, trips, tours, and events. Plus, your Membership supports NYBG’s efforts in science, education, and horticulture which impact communities locally and around the world.
Visiting The Orchid Show is a really nice way to spend several hours and you will be really amazed at the beauty and uniquenesss of the Botanical Gardens.