Chapter Six- The Mitchell Park Domes

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I guess technically, The Domes are called the Mitchell Park Conservatory.  My kid recognizes the three domed buildings from highway 94, and just calls them “the domes” (shouted, of course).  So I’ll refer to them in three-year-old terminology from here on.  First off, if you’re going with kids, you should know that this amazing adventure will be a short one.  Expect to spend about 45 minutes viewing the different domes and running around in the lobby.  This is not an all day thing.  It is a get-out-and-do-something-different-and-expose-your-children-to-new-climates-and-horticulture thing.

There are three domes, the Tropical, Desert, and Floral Show (exhibits change in the last).  Admission is very reasonable, kids under 6 are free, and adults are $6.50.  Friends of the Domes memberships are cheap, too!  I’ll start by just going through each dome and why it’s awesome.  This trip was with my beautiful sister-in-law and her two boys.  The woman working at the admission desk noted that we were outnumbered 2 to 5, but in this venue that was totally acceptable.

The Tropical Dome:

Enter in this humid and warm dome to find lush plants and trees (find the sausage tree!), bright flowers, chirping birds, and a calming waterfall.   Bring a penny or two to make a wish on before you toss it in the fish pond.

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The Desert Dome:

Between the Tropical and Desert Domes, you can see some neat reptiles near the Education Center, so check that out before you pass to the next dome.  Don’t be surprised that The Desert Dome is actually a bit cool.  It’s very bright and you can see lots of cacti and succulents.  I’m sure one of my smart friends knows why there is a giant blue globe at the peak of this dome, but I do not.

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The Floral Show Dome:

Winter means TRAIN EXHIBIT!!!!  When you enter this dome, there’s a nice viewing area above the model trains.  There you can sit down and watch your kids’ faces in amazement.  The theme this year is “The Circus Comes to Town” which is equal parts entertaining, fascinating, and sort of creepy (see ringmaster below).  But really, if my family had any say in it, this exhibit would run year round.  Other exhibits are generally floral in nature, as you might guess from the name.  But the train exhibit…kids are enthralled by the G-scale trains and the teeny tiny stage in the back.  That’s where the Music Under Glass series takes place.  It’s also a great place for cousins to play ring around the rosie.

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Have a great week everyone!

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