If the beauty of an early spring in Indiana by way of living orchids isn’t reason enough to visit Newfields. Returning for the fourth year, Orchids provides a tropical escape from the cold and welcomes signs of spring from February 8 through March 3, 2019. New this year, guests can experience the vibrant plant installations inside the IMA Galleries. Each display is designed to be in conversation with the artwork, bringing art and nature together in unexpected ways.

Here are seven more reasons for you to visit and see the orchids + 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.

  1. Point out the different colors you find together. Let your children take the lead. You’ll even find many plants have several colors.
  2. 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.
  3. Speaking of vanilla, did you know that the flavor of vanilla actually comes from an orchid?! I didn’t. The cafe at Newfields will have special orchid menu items! Try a mixed green salad topped with blueberries, granny smith apples, brie, candied almonds, orchid blossoms and a vanilla (comes from orchids) brown butter vinaigrette dressing. Other options include a blueberry hibiscus parfait with vanilla whipped cream, a pineapple vanilla lemonade and a citrus vanilla scented French cocktail.
  4. 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.
  5. 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!
  6. 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.
  7. 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 8 through March 3, 2019. This exhibit is included in the price of admission. Admission to the Indianapolis Museum of Art is free for kids 5 and under. Members are free. The IMA is closed on Mondays, see all hours and admission prices here.

Header image, courtesy of Newfields. 
Other images, photo by Katy Mann.