Have you ever walked into a place and instantly felt a sense of calm and belonging? Like you could stay there for hours upon hours and not have a care in the world? I have two such places – a library and a botanical garden. Take me to either place and I’m a happy girl. For Christmas last year, Sam bought us a family membership to the Franklin Park Conservatory, and it was like handing me a ticket to my zen zone 🙂 This year also happened to be the year FPC decided to bring back the Dale Chihuly collection of glass works they purchased a decade ago and displayed little by little. He is my very favorite artist and FPC owns the largest collection of Chihuly pieces in a Botanical Garden!
Anyways, we went to the conservatory this weekend to Trick or Treat through the botanical garden biomes and outside in the children’s garden area. I’m always up for a trip to my zen place, and this seemed like an easy way to coax the rest of the family into going along. Perhaps I oversold the candy part….perhaps the conservatory shouldn’t have said “lots of treat stations” in their advertisement….but whatever the reason, Eli was very disappointed in the lack of candy. I have to say, I agree with the little candymonster. There were 10 candy stations and kids were allowed 1 piece of candy at each station, so accounting for the 3-4 pieces of candy eaten along the treat stops, by the time we finished trick or treating, the kids could still see the bottom of their pumpkin buckets – never a good sign.
Aside from the lack of candy, the kids had fun in the children’s garden outside. It’s a really neat area that allows kids to be kids in nature, using things found in nature for toys ~ sticks to build fairy houses, shallow ponds to float leaves and sticks in, a huge splash area made to resemble rocks, musical instruments made from bamboo shoots, etc. We LOVE this area in the summer specifically for the splash pools, but the kids still had fun in the colder weather playing the musical instruments and looking at all of the pumpkins.
Overall, the Franklin Park Conservatory is a beautiful, fun place for families to spend time. There are play areas both inside and out, and the cafe is actually really tasty for when you need to refuel. Just don’t go trick or treating there expecting a lot of candy 🙂