Night Bloom at the Conservatory of Flowers
SAN FRANCISCO – This holiday season, when the sun goes down, the plants come out to play. No, it’s not a production of Little Shop of Horrors, but rather Night Bloom at the Conservatory of Flowers in San Francisco. From November 22 until January 5, this light art and sound show allows guests to experience the Conservatory’s plant galleries lit by thousands of colorful lights. Night Bloom includes six site-specific installations dispersed throughout the Conservatory. Visitors of all ages are invited to meander through the paths to partake in this living playground powered by illumination. Journey through the tropics where cotton candy sunsets are abundant, see rare and unusual flowers blossom in the moonlight and maybe even catch a glimpse of fireflies that flit about during this seasonal spectacle.
Those 21 and over may upgrade their experience by purchasing tickets to the Bloom Lounge where they can eat, drink and be merry inside an inflatable dome. Tickets include table service of small bites, curated drinks and admission to the Night Bloom galleries. Food trucks will also be on hand with plenty of dining options and seasonal drinks for guests of all ages when hunger strikes.
During the day, the Conservatory is a great place to escape the stress of everyday living. Located inside Golden Gate Park, the iconic white-domed building built in 1879 is teeming with flowers, foliage and plants from around the world. Here visitors can experience the misty cloud forests of the Highland Tropics and the lush jungles of the Lowland Tropics all in one afternoon. Marvel at carnivorous pitcher plants and warm-growing orchids. Be sure to take in the Conservatory’s centenarians, including the towering, larger-than-life Philodendron, aptly nicknamed, Phil.
Some things to keep in mind as you plan your visit: Due to the fragile nature of the plants, strollers are not permitted inside the exhibits. Wheelchairs are welcome. Since this is a greenhouse with inside temperatures sometimes exceeding 85 degrees, you may want to consider dressing in layers. On Sundays, many roads in Golden Gate Park are closed to vehicular traffic. Visitors can walk to the Conservatory from outside the park.
If you go: The Conservatory of Flowers is located at 100 John F. Kennedy Drive in San Francisco’s Golden Gate Park. Night Bloom takes place November 22, 2019 – January 5, 2020
5 – 11pm. Timed tickets ($14-34) are required for admission. Children 8 and under are free.
Bloom Lounge tickets ($60-80) for ages 21+ are inclusive of exhibit admission. Save $5 when you purchase tickets in advance online.
To purchase tickets and learn more, visit NightBloom.org.
Your Town Daycations is a series featured in Your Town Monthly. A version of this article was originally published in the November 2019 print editions.