If the beauty of an early spring in Indiana by way of living orchids isn’t reason enough to visit the “Orchids: Cultivating Beauty” collection in the Greenhouse at the Indianapolis Museum of Art and throughout the Lilly House, I have seven more reasons for you + ways to get your kids interacting with the exhibit. We love the year round warmth found in the greenhouse and welcome the beautiful pops of color. Our visits to the Hilltop Orchid Farm are always full of beauty — there was no question that our family would visit the return of the Orchid collection being shared at the IMA.
- Point out the different colors you find together. Let your children take the lead. You’ll even find many plants have several colors.
- Smell everything. Guests are invited to stick their noses right up to the petals and take whiff. See if you and your child can identify familiar fragrances. We found a plant that smells like coconut and a vanilla plant.
- Speaking of vanilla, did you know that the flavor of vanilla actually comes from an orchid?! I didn’t. The cafe at the IMA will have special orchid menu items! Our favorites from 2016: Vanilla & strawberry tart – graham tart, strawberry compote, vanilla pastry cream, fresh strawberries, vanilla bean glass
- The orchids in this collection come from or are native to so many different places in the world. In the displays, you’ll find a map of the world identifying where the plant calls home. This makes such a great conversation piece surrounding geography and diversity.
- Each plant is so different from the next. You’ll see teeny-tiny plants, plants that don’t need dirt to grown, black petal orchids, an orchid that looks like a slipper and even my favorite, the orchid that looks like a spider!
- Introducing children to plants and flowers plants an interest in gardening and farming and so many things. You can’t go wrong showing new things to your children.
- The friendly greenhouse staff is so knowledgable and enthusiastic about sharing anything they know with you and your family. Added bonus, they are great with kids!
Check out the beautiful collection of orchids February 10-March 5, 2017. This exhibit is included in the price of admission. Admission to the Indianapolis Museum of Art is free for kids 5 and under. Children ages 6-17 pay $10 and adults are $18. Members are free. The IMA is closed on Mondays, see all hours here.