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What’s Happening At The Botanical Conservatory In April


Reminder: Easter in the Garden

Friday, March 30, 10 am – 3 pm

Hop on down to the Botanical Conservatory with your camera and your children to meet the Easter Bunny. Play games for prizes, make crafts, pot a plant and enjoy light refreshments. Look for Easter eggs in our annual Easter Hunt, designed for toddlers through elementary ages. Enter our drawing for a chance to win a “sweet” Easter basket. We’ll also have live animals to meet such as baby chicks, ducks, bunnies, sheep and goats. All children must be accompanied by an adult. Regular Conservatory admission fees apply: $5/adult, $3/child ages 3-17, free for children ages 2 and under. Sponsored by WAJI Majic 95.1.

$1 Night

First Thursday of the month

April 5, 5-8 pm

The Conservatory is open on the first Thursday night of the month for a discounted admission of just $1 per person. During each $1 Night you can also drop in to our program room for a fun and educational lecture or activity. No reservations required. We validate parking tickets from the Civic Center Parking Garage for free parking. For more information, call (260) 427-6440.

$1 Night Insight: Spring Bloomers

Thursday, April 5, 6 -7 pm

The year’s early signs of life can be seen in April as spring flowers pop out of the ground. What are some of those most commonly seen flowers springing up everywhere? Are they annuals or perennials? Do they have a fragrance or no smell at all? Come to the Conservatory to learn about these beautiful spring flowers. Bring your questions and enjoy a craft and snack while taking in the lovely springtime Showcase exhibit garden. Included in your $1 Night admission fee.

Essential Oils: Spring Cleaning Naturally

Saturday, April 7, 10 – 11:30 am, Registration Code: 227043-S1

Saturday, April 7, 1:30 – 3 pm, Registration Code: 227043-S2

It’s that time of year again; grab the mop bucket and dust rags, but why not ditch all the harmful chemicals and switch to natural alternatives? Get ready to take notes and watch as plant-based essential oils and essential oil blends make cleaning safer for your entire family. Learn how to make cleaners for your bathroom, kitchen, trash cans, mirrors, windows, and so much more! Join us here at the Conservatory for some safer and more natural remedies for the not-so-fun chore of spring cleaning. You will make several cleaners to take with you and use at home. Age 12+. Registration deadline: March 30. All ages are welcome, but children under the age of 12 must be accompanied by an adult. Min 12. Max 36. $18/person; $15/Conservatory member or volunteer. To register, call the Parks and Recreation Department at (260) 427-6000.

“Bugs!” Live Butterfly Exhibit

April 14-July 8

Visit the Botanical Conservatory for our 16th year of live butterflies and you can also explore the larger world of insects and their arthropod relatives. Thrill to the experience of entering our butterfly tent filled with over a hundred exotic butterflies as they feed, fly, and rest. These large and colorful creatures inspire awe by the delicate lives, aerial prowess, and complex metamorphosis. You will also discover a diversity of invertebrates in our live hallway display of such arthropods as beetles, spiders, mantids, and millipedes. Activity sheets encourage visitor inquiry. Regular admission applies: $5/adult, $3/child age 3-17, free for children 2 and under. Sponsored by 97.3 WMEE, ABC21 WPTA, the Magee-O’Connor Foundation, and the Florence M. and Paul M. Staehl Foundation. For more information, call (260) 427-6440 or visit .

Butterfly Attendants Needed: Training in April

Thursday, April 12, 5-8 pm

Tuesday, April 17, 1-4 pm

Do you enjoy butterflies? As the Conservatory prepares for its 16th year of live butterflies, we are recruiting Butterfly Attendants to assist visitors, share information about butterflies, and prevent butterfly escapes. Training is required. Once trained, volunteers choose among 2- or 3-hour shifts Tuesdays through Sundays to assist visitors in the butterfly tent. To register for training or for more details, contact Rebecca Canales by calling 427-6442 or email Rebecca.Canales.

Slightly Used Bulb Sale

Saturday, April 14, 10am-3pm

This annual sale features “slightly used” spring flowers such as tulips, daffodils, and grape hyacinths that have come out of the Conservatory’s Spring Showcase exhibit. The plants sell for $1-$5 per pot (pots have multiple bulbs in them) and are ready to plant in the garden to prepare for next year’s bloom. Instructions for planting provided. No reservations required. Admission to the sale is free; pay for purchases in the Gift Shop.

Plant & Go: Pansy

Showcase Exhibit Opening Day

April 14, 11 am-1 pm

Calling all gardeners and gardeners-to-be! Visit the Botanical Conservatory on the first day of each new Showcase Garden exhibit to participate in a hands-on learning experience with plants. This month we’re giving out cool-weather pansies. Plant & Go will feature four different plants every year, coinciding with the start of each seasonal garden exhibit: January, April, July, and November. Pot up a seedling, plantlet, seed, or bulb, learn care instructions and fun plant facts, and take your new plant baby home to nurture. (While supplies last.) Included in regular Conservatory admission, so drop in!

Tai Chi in the Garden I & II

Tai Chi I – Beginners, Tuesdays, April 10 – May 29, 9 – 10 am, Registration Code: 227002-T1

Tai Chi I – Beginners, Tuesdays, April 10 – May 29, 5 – 6 pm, Registration Code: 227002-T2

Tai Chi II – Continuing, Tuesdays, April 10 – May 29, 6 – 7 pm, Registration Code: 227002-T3

New morning class available! Learn to relax your body and focus your mind with the ancient art of Tai Chi, a gentle, graceful exercise to improve health and fitness. It is especially effective in reducing stress, thereby relieving arthritis, diabetes and other chronic conditions. Weekly sessions include a meditative walk in the garden. The class focuses on the basics of the Sun form and is great for new students or those wishing to continue their studies. Instructor Sandy Gebhard is certified by renowned master Dr. Paul Lam, and has 30+ years’ experience practicing and teaching Tai Chi. Note: Additional students may drop in for $10 per session but should call ahead to make sure class will be held. Ages 18+. Registration deadline: April 3. Min. 10. Max. 16. $69/person; $59/Conservatory member or volunteer. Held at the Botanical Conservatory, 1100 S. Calhoun St. in Fort Wayne, Indiana. To register, call the Parks and Recreation Department at (260) 427-6000 or go online to

Garden Preschool: Butterflies

Tuesday, April 17, 10-11 am

Beginning this spring, the Botanical Conservatory will offer their Garden Preschool class every month! Butterflies is the topic in April. Parents or guardians will assist children side by side in each of these monthly classes that encourage the basics of exploring in the gardens at a young age. We will explore different themes through a story, hands-on activity, craft, and snack. Children and adults alike will learn by hands-on activities in the garden that are sure to get everyone thinking. At least one adult is required to stay and participate (no registration required) for the duration of the class with their child. Please indicate at registration if a participant has food allergies. Ages 3-5. Min. 5. Max. 10. $6/person; $4/Conservatory member or volunteer. Registration deadline: April 10. Held at Botanical Conservatory, 1100 S. Calhoun St. To register, call (260) 427-6000 and refer to code 227100-T2.

Spring Forest Bathing Walk

Thursday, April 19, 6 – 7:30 pm

Spring is in the air, so what better time to get down to the gardens for forest bathing? Forest bathing, or shinrin-yoku, is the experience of immersing oneself in the sensory gifts of nature. This can be done in a forest setting, but also in gardens and parks. The benefits are not only a greater sense of well-being, but a boost in immune function and ready access to lower stress hormones and boosts in serotonin levels. This is a series of invitations using the senses to rediscover your inner child and your connection with the natural world. Being relaxed, revitalized, and better equipped to handle the stresses of daily living are the goals of this forest bathing walk. Instructor Christy Thomson is a life-long resident of northeast IN. She is the only certified forest therapy guide in Indiana and is thrilled to share this opportunity with the Fort Wayne community. Note: If we meet our registration minimum, additional students may drop in for the session, up to the class maximum. Drop-ins shouldcall ahead to make sure class will be in session. Registration deadline: April 12. All ages are welcome, but children under the age of 12 must be accompanied by an adult. Min 5. Max 15. $14/person; $11/Conservatory member or volunteer. To register, call (260) 427-6000 or go to and refer to code 227055-R2.

Garden Close-Up: Awesome Arthropods

Saturday, April 28, 11 am – 1 pm

What is an arthropod? Are all arthropods “bugs”? We will learn what an arthropod is and about the different kinds found around here and afar. Join us as we learn about insects, arachnids, and more! Create your own “awesome arthropod” to take home. Then visit our Butterfly Exhibit and see some amazing live butterflies and other arthropods up close! Garden Close-Ups occur very fourth Saturday to offer a closer look at our plants and gardens with an exploratory walk, hands-on activity or demonstration. Make new discoveries through fun, educational activities. Included in your regular Conservatory admission, so drop in!

Downtown 4-H Club

Fourth Thursday night, monthly, 6:30-7:45 pm

You don’t have to own a cow or know how to garden in order to join the fun and be a part of 4-H. Our downtown community 4-H club, the Clover Rovers, meet at the Botanical Conservatory led by experienced Purdue Extension volunteers. The club focuses on science, citizenship, healthy living, and fun! Any Fort Wayne area youth in kindergarten through 12th grade can join before May 15. Monthly evening meetings will offer children a chance to meet friends, learn skills, and explore ideas. Free parking at meters after 5 pm or in the Civic Center Parking Garage with validated ticket. For more information or to sign up, contact the Extension office at (260) 481-6826.

Art Display: Justine Hettler – embroidery, watercolor, block print

Through April

Justine is inspired by adventure. Adventure can mean looking further – into cultures and surroundings that differ from our own – or looking closer, studying more intently the tiniest details of nature that surround us. After exploring outside, she will end up with a handful of objects that have caught her eye: a single piece of bark, nut shells, or an oddly shaped flower bud. Each piece has a quiet, secret beauty, revealing interesting shapes, color gradients, intricate lines, and hidden textures. Justine adapts and represents these aspects with watercolor, printmaking, and other media. Her small-sized works invite the viewer to bend closer, pause, and examine, so that the viewers’ experience mirrors her own intimate study of nature. Exhibit is open Tues-Sat 10-5, Thurs ‘til 8, Sun 12-4 and is included in regular Conservatory admission: $5/adult, $3/child age 3-17, free for children 2 and under. For more information, call (260) 427-6440.

“Fairy Tales” Winter Garden Exhibit

Through April 8

A child’s imagination is fueled by stories. In classic fairy tales, we discover giants, wolves, and witches are no match for the valiant but ordinary people to whom unusual circumstances fall. When the Conservatory converts its Showcase Garden to a winter play space, visitors can pretend to be Jack on a bean stalk, look for Rapunzel in the castle tower, trip-trap over the troll’s bridge, or take goodies to Grandma’s house. This participatory garden exhibit encourages active pretend play and a gentle exploration of moral virtues for children and adults alike. Sponsored by WAJI Majic 95.1, Fun 101.7 and the Howard P. Arnold Foundation.