Travel & Outdoors

A Guide To The Philadelphia Flower Show

(Credit: www.philadelphiaflowershow.com)

Groundhog Day came and went, and despite Phil’s prediction of an early spring, we haven’t had much in the way of warmth, sunshine or budding flora just yet. Luckily, Philadelphia’s annual harbinger of warmer days is rapidly approaching: the Philadelphia International Flower Show is only days away, and we’ve got your guide to all of the floral festivities. –Chelsea Karnash

When: March 6 – 13, 2011

Sunday, March 6 & 13; 8 a.m. – 6 p.m.
Monday thru Friday, March 7 – 11; 10 a.m. – 9:30 p.m.
Saturday, March 12; 8 a.m. – 9:30 p.m.

Where:
The Pennsylvania Convention Center
1101 Arch St. (12th & Arch Streets)
Philadelphia, Pa.
215-418-4700
www.paconvention.com

Background: Like the Philly cheesesteak or the Eagles, the Philadelphia Flower Show is deeply rooted in the city’s history. The Pennsylvania Horticultural Society, America’s first horticultural society, was founded here in 1827, and the first Flower Show was held just two years later. Originally run by an unaffiliated group of nurserymen and growers, the Flower Show really blossomed once the PHS took over in 1968 and moved its location to the then-new Civic Center. In 1996, the show arrived at its current digs at the Pa. Convention Center, where it now boasts over 250,000 visitors annually and ten-plus acres of exhibits, making it the largest flower show in the world.

Today, the flower show features everything from lectures and gardening demonstrations to culinary presentations and shopping. This year’s theme, “Springtime in Paris,” will transport visitors to a pastoral lavender and lilac accented park along the Seine, where they’ll explore gardens inspired by the famed Tuileries and catch sight of Moulin Rouge-style cabaret performances in the distance. Dramatic floral sculptures and carousel topiaries will complete the picturesque scene.

Tickets: Tickets vary in price, depending on where, when and how you buy them. Individual tickets can be purchased online or at certain retailers, including:

PNC Bank branches
AAA Mid-Atlantic
ACME Markets
Boscov’s
Giant Food Stores
SEPTA ticket sales outlets
Local garden centers, nurseries, florists

For a full list of retailers, click here.

For more info on prices or ticket types or to purchase tickets online, click here.

For groups of 25 people or more, tickets can be purchased here.

NOTE: Service charges may apply, so call the store for details. Family Fun Pak and Flower Show Value Pak are available online only. PHS Members receive a limited number of free tickets.

Donations: All of the proceeds from the Philadelphia International Flower Show support The Pennsylvania Horticultural Society and its acclaimed urban greening program, Philadelphia Green.

Hotel Packages & Deals: A number of hotels are offering special prices in conjunction with the Flower Show. Visit the Philadelphia Flower Show website for more info.

Other Special Events:

The Flower Show Preview Party will take place on March 5. Dress in your best and wander the garden displays at the Flower Show while sipping cocktails and munching on hors d’oeuvres, then head into the Grand Ballroom for an elegant sit-down dinner. All ticket proceeds go to the PHS. Call 215-988-8830 or click here for more info.

The PHS Young Friends are hosting a Preview Party After Party on March 5 at SoleFood at the Loews Hotel. The event starts at 8 p.m., and there will be drink specials, appetizers, a dj and a chance to win Flower Show tickets or a $150 gift certificate to SoleFood. P.S. – You don’t have to attend the actual Flower Show Preview Party to come to the Young Friends event. For more info, click here.

Tuesday, March 8th is Young Professional’s Night at the Flower Show. At 5:30 p.m. at SoleFood, there will be a cocktail reception including an open bar, hors d’oeuvres and of course, networking with groups like the Pennsylvania Ballet Young Friends, Generation Appreciation Philadelphia, Young Involved Philadelphia and the Young Professionals Network. The $50 ticket includes one ticket to the Flower Show and admission to the cocktail reception. Click here for more information.

March 10 is Girl’s Night Out at the Flower Show, so grab your girlfriends and enjoy shopping and sampling, plus a free goodie bag, wine tasting (til 7 p.m.) and a live QVC broadcast. The event runs from 5:30-8:30 p.m. and costs $40. For more info, click here.

City Food Tours is offering a Flower Show Food Tour at 3 p.m. from March 7 – 12. The three-hour tour takes place just blocks from the PA Convention Center and makes stops at three specialty food stores. Tour-goers will be treated to a variety of botany-infused foods like cheese, chocolate and tea, as well as an herb-planting demonstration. Visit cityfoodtours.com or call 800-979-3370 to make a reservation.

If you know of another event or deal related to the Philadelphia Flower Show, email us at web@cbsphilly.com.

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