“Christmas Connections" Holiday Exhibit

November 23-January 5, Public hours

Botanical Conservatory, 1100 S. Calhoun St.

While busy modern lives often separate friends and family members across schedules and distances, holidays are wonderful opportunities for people to re-connect. This year, in celebration of the opening of the new “Botanical Connector,” the Conservatory offers new opportunities for visitors to make those important connections. The Gardens’ quintessential poinsettia tree, colorful holiday settings and friendly light displays have always provided a wholesome traditional backdrop for the Fort Wayne community.

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This year, our hallway Gallery will show a timeline of Christmas exhibits at the Conservatory over the decades; which will you remember? Enjoy viewing family photos sent in by local residents from recent years, identify holiday fragrances and the memories they might bring back, and send off a card to Santa in our seasonal “post office.” You can also catch a brief video of personal interviews of visitors sharing ideas about how to connect and the impact it can make. And as you stroll among the gorgeous poinsettias, let the beauty be your gift – and allow the Conservatory to be a part of your holiday traditions! 

Sponsored by: 

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Holiday Kick-Off Party

Wednesday, November 27, 5:00-9:00 p.m.

At this annual holiday event you can meet Mrs. Claus and get a free professional-quality photo with Santa! While Santa takes a break from 7:00 p.m.-7:30 p.m., you may visit two live reindeer that know all about the North Pole and enjoy our “Christmas Connections” garden exhibit too. All of the gardens are beautifully decorated for the holidays, and you will not want to miss the animated light show outdoors. You may also warm up with refreshments that are available for purchase at our new café vendor, “Conjure Coffee.” Be sure to participate in the Fort Wayne Downtown Lighting Ceremony either before or after visiting our spectacular holiday garden and displays. Regular Conservatory admission fees apply. No reservations required. For more information, call (260) 427-6440. Sponsored by PBS 39 and Majic 95.1 FM.

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Garden in Lights

November 23-January 5, Public hours

Make the most of your holidays and visit Fort Wayne’s treasured public gardens at the Botanical Conservatory where we have decorated all through the gardens, indoors and out! Come enjoy beautiful poinsettias from the Atrium to the Desert along with our “Christmas Connections” theme and illuminated outdoor display of lights and holiday music.

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Especially effective during our evening hours on Thursday and Friday nights for four weeks between Thanksgiving and Christmas, the gardens provide a tremendous backdrop for family photos, special outings, and guest entertainment. Our gift shop and new café will also be open during public hours. Sponsored by PBS 39 and Majic 95.1.


Harmony at the Conservatory

Thursday, December 5, 6:00-7:00 p.m.

Visit the Conservatory on our $1 night in December and enjoy an evening of beautifully sung harmonies in our holiday garden exhibit. You will be invited to sing along with the vocal harmony and musical stylings of Coalition, a quartet consisting of members from the Summit City Chorus and Barbershop Harmony Society. Share in the delight of the season and bring on the nostalgia!


Suzuki Strings Holiday Concert

Sunday, December 15, 2:00-2:45 p.m.

Visit the Conservatory gardens and enjoy this special concert offered by the accomplished students of Fort Wayne Suzuki. Children ages 4 to 18 will play folk songs, classical melodies, and holiday favorites on violin and cello. The Suzuki Method of instruction, also known as the “mother tongue method,” is based on the premise that music is learned like a language: children first hear the music and then learn to read and write it. Children develop the ability to “speak” music like a language and are able to play dozens of songs by memory. You can hear for yourself the results as local Suzuki students play music with holiday ear appeal. This concert is included with regular Conservatory admission.

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Breakfast with Santa!

Saturday, December 7, 9:00-10:00 am

Yes, Santa eats breakfast, and you can join him! Sign up for a special VIP breakfast before he makes his final list of who has been naughty and who has been nice. Breakfast includes pancakes, sausage, eggs, and fresh fruit along with milk or juice for the kids and coffee for the adults.

Before opening to the public, there will be children’s activities and time allotted to take pictures of your little ones in our “Christmas Connections” exhibit. Your admission to this event will also allow you to return and visit on one of the three Saturdays before Christmas with Santa & the Reindeer from 12:00-4:00 p.m. Children under 2 years of age who register with an adult are admitted free. Limited booster/high chairs are available; please indicate at registration if one is required. Registration deadline: November 26. Min. 24. Max. 64.

Code                        Date                    Day                                   Time

127101-S1               12/7                       Sa                                9-10 am

# Sessions/Fee: 1/$14

Location: Botanical Conservatory, 1100 S. Calhoun St.


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Santa & the Reindeer

Saturdays before Christmas 12:00-4:00 p.m.

December 7, 14 & 21

Botanical Conservatory, 1100 S. Calhoun St.

Santa and two of his reindeer will greet the children while Mom and Dad take photos to capture this special moment. Note: Santa will be taking a break from 2:00 p.m.-2:30 p.m. each day. During Santa’s break, you can enjoy “up-close” magic tricks performed by a local magician.

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You may also connect with the Conservatory in its holiday glory with this year’s theme being “Christmas Connections.” Regular admission fees apply. Sponsored by PBS 39 and Majic 95.1.

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Conservatory Member Holiday Night

Wednesday, December 11, 5:00-8:00 p.m.

Conservatory members are invited to a special open house during an exclusive evening in the gardens. Enjoy some live holiday music with light refreshments and beverage compliments of the Conservatory, then stroll the gardens indoors and out to experience all the holiday exhibits. You will also receive a 20% discount in the gift shop! Not a current member? You can purchase or renew your membership that evening: $35/individual, $50/family. For more information, call (260) 427-6440.

Holly Shopping

Saturday, November 30, 10:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m.

Park, shop, and ride free trollies for an exciting shopping experience through Downtown Fort Wayne, West Main Shops, and the Wells Street Corridor! The trollies will visit several unique venues stopping along their route, including our Conservatory Shop. We will also be featuring items from Cozmé Jewelry as a pop-up shop.

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Evergreen Centerpiece Workshop

This popular centerpiece workshop is back! Bring a friend or make it a family affair as you create a festive evergreen centerpiece to be enjoyed throughout the holiday season. Dennis Bowman, Fresh Design Manager with Gassafy Wholesale Florist, will offer tips when fashioning the fragrant branch tips of balsam fir, cedar, and pine in a fresh seasonal arrangement. Add a touch of holiday flair when incorporating ribbon, pine cones, and a candle. The workshop fee also includes a stroll through our “Christmas Connections” holiday exhibit. Feel free to bring you own garden gloves, pruners, and other suitable accents. Ages 15+. Registration deadline: November 22. Min. 12. Max. 36.

Code                        Date                    Day                                   Time

427009-R1            12/12                     Th                        6:00-7:30 pm
427009-S1            12/14                     Sa                           9-10:30 am

# Sessions/Fee: 1/$34

Member or Volunteer Fee: $29

Location: Botanical Conservatory, 1100 S. Calhoun St.


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Paint Something Sweet

Are you looking for a simple holiday gift and happen to be in the mood for painting? Join homemaker Vicki Hoffman in the process of hand painting a beautiful wooden ornament. She will walk you through methods of shading and adding color to enhance a decorative design using acrylic paint. The pattern of a candy cane surrounded by festive holly will be provided. Free garden admission is also included. Ages 15+. Registration deadline: December 6. Min. 7. Max. 15.

Code                        Date                    Day                                   Time

127016-F1               12/13                     F                              6-7:30 pm

# Sessions/Fee: 1/$16

Member or Volunteer Fee: $13

Location: Botanical Conservatory, 1100 S. Calhoun St.

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The Gift Shop

Make sure you stop in and visit the gift shop as there are plenty of Christmas selections waiting for you!  Check out the Gift Shop now!
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Extended Holiday Hours

November 28-December 20

The Conservatory will stay open until 8:00 p.m. on both Thursday and Friday evenings for four weeks, from Thanksgiving through the week before Christmas. Enjoy an extra evening downtown to visit the botanical gardens done up in lights for the holidays! The gift shop will also be open until 8:00 p.m. The Conservatory will close at 5 p.m. on Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve. Regular Thursday hours, 10 am-8 pm, will start again on January 2.




Upcoming Events

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Foellinger-Freimann Botanical Conservatory
1100 South Calhoun Street
Fort Wayne, IN 46802
(260) 427-6440


Tuesday - Saturday 10am - 5pm
Thursday 10am - 8pm
Sunday Noon - 4pm
Closed: Mondays, Christmas Day, New Year's Day

Holiday Hours:

Thanksgiving: 4pm - 8pm; Black Friday: 10 am-8 pm 
Christmas Eve and New Year's Eve: 10 am -5 pm 


Adults $5
Children (ages 3-17) $3
Age 2 and under Free