The Philadelphia International Flower Show, the world’s largest indoor flower show, opens TODAY – Sunday, March 4– and runs through March 11. We were fortunate enough to attend the “Preview Day” yesterday.
Held at the Pennsylvania Convention Center, this annual show features a fun new theme each year. This year, it’s “Hawaii: Islands of Aloha.” We (and by “we,” I really mean “me”) were intrigued by the promise of waterfalls, waves, and volcanoes. Some of us (Matt) would have preferred being at the MAAC college basketball tournament in MA. Luckily, there is a Dunkin’ Donuts in the convention center, so at least he was able to caffeinate.
Because we’re coming to you live (or very nearly so), we’re departing from our usual format and instead providing this list of reasons why you MUST make it here for the Flower Show, before it’s over.
Top Five Reasons To Attend the 2012 Philadelphia International Flower Show
The Hawaii showcase area
Through sight, sound, and scent, this corner of the convention center space transports you. It begins at the main entrance, as you walk under a “wave,” a tunnel of curved screens playing audio and video of underwater scenes. You’ll occasionally catch a hammerhead shark passing overhead.
The exhibits to the right include a tall waterfall with a pool and tropical garden at the bottom; another display with a thatch roof hut where the hula dancing shows are held several times a day, and other walk-through trails under flower-covered trellises.
The entertainment includes this intermittent laser, light, and music show:
The show offers activities and entertainment to introduce kids to the fun of gardening. The Family Lounge is open to kids from toddlers to teens to try planting, flower arranging, Hawaii-inspired arts and crafts, and other activities, including games and videos.
This year, the main event in the family lounge will be the appearance of a character from Universal Pictures’ “Dr. Seuss’ The Lorax,” on Sundays, March 4 and 11. Characters from Sprout TV and Universal Studios will also visit.
So. Many. Flowers!
I love gardening, but gave it up last year after I caught a few deer in my yard laughing at me behind my back. The displays here are intricate, oversized, colorful, fragrant, and diverse. While the showcase area is dedicated to the tropical theme, there are many other types as well, including a children’s garden, an Irish garden, and a miniature Philadelphia cityscape using drought-resistant plants.
The Hawaii marketplace features scores of vendors direct from Hawaii with all types of products, from plants to music, books, and food like macadamia nuts (try the “Garlic Toast” flavor!), coffee and salts. The Girl was given a free poster at one of the tourism information tables, and she learned how some percussion instruments like the ‘Uli ‘Uli are made at another.
The Convention Center is centrally located, and right across the street is the Reading Terminal Market. If you’re hungry and don’t find what you’re looking for at the Kaua’i Cafe in the middle of the show, head to the market where you’ll find hundreds of food stalls.