Take a Trip to the Tropics Without Leaving New York

in Featured Events

January 19–February 24, 2013.  Visitors to The New York Botanical Garden this winter can escape to Tropical Paradise, a showcase of the Enid A. Haupt Conservatory’s permanent collection of tropical trees, flowers, and foliage, including orange-yellow crotons and fuschia bromeliads. Through self-guided strolls, use of a virtual smart phone tour, or participation in docent-led tours of the Conservatory offered daily at 12:30 p.m., visitors can encounter many surprises in the largest Victorian-style glasshouse in the country. Visitors can also enjoy a display of tropical photos from the International Garden Photographer of the Year competition and partake in photography lessons on Sundays. Children can participate in a scavenger hunt that begins in the Conservatory and continues in the Everett Children’s Adventure Garden.  The winter period between the Botanical Garden’s major seasonal shows, when the climate in the Conservatory is inviting (65 to 75 degrees Fahrenheit, depending on the plant collections in a particular gallery) is an ideal time for visitors to fully immerse themselves in and take advantage of these rich collections.  Tropical displays abound with lush ornamentals planted for color and fragrance as well as plants that have medicinal and culinary uses. Many are also economically important. The mix represents species that bloom in warm-weather regions around the world that have interesting stories to tell. The New York Botanical Garden’s long history of scientific research and conservation in the tropics has produced a permanent collection rich with plants from these areas. Visitors can look for species from the African bush lily to the South American false bird-of-paradise to the Caribbean passion flower.
“Adventures in Adaptations” is a scavenger hunt with components in multiple Garden venues that teaches plant adaptation in different climates. Young visitors are offered field notebooks when they enter the Conservatory. Inside, they will find simulated entries about plant adaptations written by a traveling scientist, and they will use the clues in the entries, as well as clues sent to them by text message, to solve the puzzle of where in the world the scientist has been, and where he is going next. The scavenger hunt stretches through the galleries of the Conservatory and outdoors toward the Leon Levy Visitor Center, concluding in the Everett Children’s Adventure Garden.  After the hunt, hands-on activities in the Discovery Center include sorting fruits and leaves and potting up plants to take home, all part of the “Tropical Discoveries and Wintertime Wonders” program. Kids of all ages take a closer look at the differences between tropical and temperate plants. They also have the chance to make bark rubbings, count tree rings, and head back into the winter garden with a field notebook to discover the vital sparks of life that lie just below the surface of this quiet season.
The New York Botanical Garden is a museum of plants located at Bronx River Parkway (Exit 7W) and Fordham Road. It is easy to reach by Metro-North Railroad or subway. The Garden is open year-round, Tuesday through Sunday and Monday federal holidays, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.; Jan. 15–Feb. 28: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. The best way to enjoy the Garden is with the All-Garden Pass, which includes admission to the grounds as well as to seasonal gardens, exhibitions, and attractions such as the Enid A. Haupt Conservatory, Everett Children’s Adventure Garden, and Tram Tour.  For more information, please call 718.817.8700 or visit nybg.org.