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“Victorian Holiday" Christmas Exhibit

November 20-January 6

Botanical Conservatory, 1100 S. Calhoun St.

The holiday season is replete with tradition. This year, the Conservatory is drawing on the old-fashioned sensibilities of the Victorian era. A 12-foot-tall poinsettia tree takes center stage in our village plaza lined with shops. Peek into store windows. Take photos in a parlor decorated with greens and handcrafted ornaments. Explore the customs that brought this holiday to life for families at the turn of the last century. A display of vintage postcard images will help to capture the sentiments of yesteryear. Victorian era artifacts will be on loan from The History Center. This exhibit is sponsored by the Auer Foundation, WAJI Majic 95.1 and PBS39.

Sponsored by: 

   MAJIC Christmas logo 1-PBS39Logo   & the Auer Foundation

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Holiday Kick-Off Party

Wednesday, November 21, 5:00-9:00 p.m.

Enjoy hot chocolate and a cookie, meet Mrs. Claus, and get a free professional-quality photo with Santa. You can also meet two live reindeer that know all about the North Pole. This year the Fort Wayne Youtheatre will be performing Christmas carols during the first hour of the event. The gardens are decorated for the holidays, and you won’t want to miss the animated light show outdoors. Be sure to participate in the Fort Wayne Downtown Lighting Ceremony either before or after your visit to our beautiful holiday garden and displays. Regular Conservatory admission fees apply: $5/adult, $3/child age 3-17. Children 2 and under are admitted free. No reservations required. Sponsored by PBS 39 and WAJI Majic 95.1.

Terrace lights and children

Garden in Lights

November 21-January 6

We’ve decorated all through the gardens, indoors and out. Enjoy beautiful poinsettias in the Victorian Christmas garden, ornaments and lights in the Tropical and Desert Houses, and an illuminated outdoor display of lights and synchronized holiday music. Especially effective during our evening hours on Thursday and Friday nights for five weeks between Thanksgiving and Christmas, the gardens are lovely throughout the holidays and provide a tremendous backdrop for family photos, special outings, and guest entertainment. Make the most of your visit as you enjoy Fort Wayne’s treasured public garden. Our gift shop will also be open during public hours for holiday shopping. Sponsored by PBS 39 and Majic 95.1 FM.

Carolers at the Conservatory

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

As a tradition, on the first Thursday in the month of December, we are happy to provide music to get you in the spirit of the holidays for only $1. This year we are pleased to have an exceptional quartet of vocal artists caroling in our ‘Victorian Holiday’ themed showcase garden from Purdue University Fort Wayne School of Music. They will break mid-way through the hour and then pick back up with more era appropriate favorites. Join us a for an extraordinary experience you won’t want to miss!

Suzuki Strings Holiday Concert

Sunday, December 16, 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. Concert is included with regular Conservatory admission. For more information, call (260) 427-6440.

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Breakfast with Santa!

Saturday, December 1, 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 nice. Breakfast will include pancakes, sausages, eggs and fresh fruit, milk or juice for the kids and coffee for the adults. There will be children’s activities and time allotted to take pictures of your little ones in our “Victorian Holiday” exhibit before we open to the public. Your registration for this event also allows you to return and visit with Santa’s reindeer 12-4 p.m. Children under two do not have to pay but they must register and will count towards the minimum and maximum; their adult must pay registration fee. Limited booster/high chairs available; please indicate at registration if one is required. Registration deadline: November 20. Min. 24. Max. 64.

Code                     Date      Day         Time

127101-S1            12/1       Sa           9-10 am

# Sessions/Fee: 1/$13

Location: Botanical Conservatory, 1100 S. Calhoun St.


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Santa & the Reindeer

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

December 1, 8, & 15

Santa and two of his reindeer will greet the children while Mom and Dad take pictures to capture the moment. Explore the Conservatory in its holiday glory: this year’s theme is “Victorian Holiday”. Note: Santa will be taking a break 2-2:30 p.m. each day. During Santa’s break, you can enjoy “up-close” magic tricks performed by a local magician. Regular admission fees apply. Sponsored by PBS 39 and WAJI Majic 95.1.

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Extended Holiday Hours
November 22 - December 21

The Conservatory will stay open until 8:00 p.m. on both Thursday and Friday evenings for five 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 continue Thursday evening hours after Christmas.


Decorate a Gingerbread House

Celebrate the beginning of the Christmas season by decorating your very own gingerbread dream house. Roll up your sleeves and dive into creating your own masterpiece for all your family to admire! You will be given a pre-assembled gingerbread house, icing and an assortment of candy. A cardboard flat will be provided to take home your decorated house. This class is for children 6 years and older, teens and adults. Children 9 years and younger require an adult to attend the class to assist. Up to two children per gingerbread house. The house is inedible, for decorative purposes only, but you can enjoy a gingerbread cookie while you design. Ages 6+. Registration deadline: November 26. Min. 13. Max. 21.

Code                     Date      Day        Time

127004-F1            11/30     F            5:30-7:30 pm

127004-S1            12/1       Sa          1-3 pm

# Sessions/Fee: 1/$18

Member or Volunteer Fee: $14

Location: Botanical Conservatory, 1100 S. Calhoun St.

Centerpiece Wkshp Susie Brown helps

Evergreen Centerpiece Workshop

The popular centerpiece workshop is back! Bring a friend or make it a family affair as you create a festive evergreen centerpiece that can be enjoyed by all through the holiday season. Dennis Bowman, Fresh Design Manager with Gassafy Wholesale Florist, will help you fashion the fragrant branch tips of balsam fir, cedar, and pine into an arrangement with holiday flair. This centerpiece incorporates a candle, ribbon and pine cones for a nice holiday touch. Your fee includes a stroll through our Victorian themed holiday gardens. Bring garden gloves, pruners, and any accents you’d like to incorporate. Ages 15+. Registration deadline: November 23. Min. 12. Max. 36.

Code                     Date      Day        Time

427009-R1           12/13     Th           6-7:30 pm

427009-S1            12/15     Sa           9-10:30 am

# Sessions/Fee: 1/$34

Member or Volunteer Fee: $29

Location: Botanical Conservatory, 1100 S. Calhoun St.

Paint a Poinsettia

Feeling like you want to paint something, but not wanting to take on a huge project, then we have just the craft for you. Join homemaker Vicki Hoffman as she walks you through the process of creating a beautiful ornament to hang on your tree. Learn the techniques of shading and adding color to enhance your festive flower. An outline of a poinsettia will already be drawn on a large clear glass bulb; Vicki will then walk you through the methods of creating the final poinsettia using acrylic paints. Ages 18+. Registration deadline: November 30. Min. 5. Max. 15.

Code     Date      Day        Time

127016-S1     12/8              Sa           9 am-12 pm

# Sessions/Fee: 1/$17

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! 


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, New Years Day, Christmas Day


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