Krohn Conservatory | Midwest Living

Krohn Conservatory

1501 Eden Park Dr.
Cincinnati  Ohio  45202
United States
(513) 421-4086
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Midwest Living Review

Judi Ketteler
Visit the tropics and the desert in an afternoon, without leaving beautiful Eden Park.

Another shining example of Cincinnati's Art Deco heritage, Krohn Conservatory (built in 1933) is one of the cornerstones of Eden Park, along with the Cincinnati Art Museum. It's a destination for gardeners who want to catch a glimpse of hard-to-find specimens, plant enthusiasts looking for inspiration, or people who just want a nice stroll through the tropics. Krohn's seasonal shows are worth checking out (The Orchid Show in March; the International Butterfly Show, April to June; and the Holiday Show in December), but the regular offerings (3,500 species of plants) are impressive on their own.  Krohn does a great job of transporting you to the tropics. In the Palm House, get up close and personal with palm leaves bigger than your head, spiky palm tree trunks, bromeliads of every size and texture, and a giant banana tree (there were bananas the day we visited, with signage that alerted you to look up, way up!). It's steamy among the palms (it's a good idea to have a layer you can peel off), and you immediately hear the 20-foot rainforest waterfall at the far end of the room (the little cave path through to the other side is always a hit with kids). In the adjacent tropical room, it's slightly cooler, but the tropics are still in full bloom. There is some sort of pink spiky leaf around every corner, along with Dr. Seuss-looking plants and thick layers of tropical texture. We love the Ramshorn (which does indeed look like a ram's horn), the caricature plant (which smells much like honeysuckle) and the chocolate tree. You might want to keep your hands in your pockets at the Desert House, where some of the cacti look mighty fierce. There are benches throughout all the rooms -- perfect photo opportunities for the family. Offerings rotate in the Floral Display Room (for example, there's a fabulous holiday tree and poinsettia display here in December). It's stocked with annuals and perennials throughout the year; don't miss the kumquat and lemon trees in the corner. Overall, it's sometimes hard to figure out the exact name of what you're looking at (the signage is decent, but could be better), but audio guides are available. If you have time when you leave, walk (or drive) about one-quarter mile up Eden Park Drive to the Twin Lakes area for a magnificent view of the city. The visitors center for the Cincinnati Parks is also in the lobby of the Krohn, so you can get more information about Eden Park there.

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