Tag Archive | poinsettia

Olbrich Botanical Gardens Holiday Express 2015

 Olbrich Gardens Sign 12-2015

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The last time I attended this event was in 2013, so it was time to see it again. This time Al joined me. Admission is $5 for adults, $3.00 for kids 3-12.  Since we joined during Olbrich Botanical Garden’s GLEAM event in the fall, we had free entry! The inside of the building was so festive, with many poinsettia plants, some of which are for sale. Memberships are also 50% off during this special event.

Poinsettias IMG_8551

Poinsettias at Olbrich IMG_8544

Memberships and concession IMG_8552

We headed down the walkway to the Christmas display, showing our membership card for admittance and hand-stamped.

IMG_8802 crop Holiday Express entry

Greeting us with a train whistle and an “All Aboard!”,  Olbrich volunteer Judy warmly greeted us and had information about upcoming events.

Volunteer IMG_8554

Models trains are by the Wisconsin Garden Railway Society.  The LEGO® displays by the Wisconsin LEGO® Users Group.  The room is beautiful,  this is the right side of the room with one train display, a modern diesel train.

Right side IMG_8641

Diesel Train at Olbrich

A different train is on the left side, and “Iron Horse” steam engine.

Steam Train IMG_8616 Best

Let’s see them in action!

Two members of the Railway Society were there, Dick Jellings and his wife Elaine.  For over 20 years he wore the Colonel Corn costume at the Sun Prairie Corn Fest. Now retired, he enjoys model trains and showing them to the public.  They will be part of the upcoming Mad City Model Railroad Show and Sale on Feb 20-21, 2016.  We plan on going to this fun event!

The LEGO™ displays were quite impressive.  Star Wars fever was rampant even here, with a rebel base display called “Home One”.

Home One Star Wars Display

Katina Cottage Lego

Winter Street Scene

Winter Street Scene IMG_8613

Winter Street Scene IMG_8614

Winter Castle Display

Miller Park Display

Elvenhorse display

In the Bolz Conservatory, the CHOCOLATE: THE BITTER AND THE SWEET exhibit had Cacao trees on display and signs describing the history of chocolate and uses over the millennia.

Chocolate Display sign IMG_8797

A small Cacao tree and pod.

Cacao Tree and pod

Purity of chocolate, white “chocolate” is not chocolate at all!

Chocolate types IMG_8743

Some of the displays.

American Chocolate Pots IMG_8706

Cacao used in Food and Health IMG_8701

Cacao and Chocolate display IMG_8677

We had a great visit to Olbrich and we look forward to returning to their other events in the next year.  We highly recommend  becoming a member. They get many special benefits, including a discount in their gift shop.

Olbrich gift shop IMG_8800

Milwaukee Mitchell Botanical Domes


3 Mitchell Domes

We have been married for 13 years and have had many adventures, but had overlooked Milwaukee for attractions. This was our first destination, Mitchell Botanical Domes.  It has 3 domes, the Show dome, Desert and Tropical.

It was a rainy December day and we needed to see some green plants and flowers. First though, we saw three lighthouses. The first was North Point Lighthouse, beautiful!  The 2nd was Milwaukee Breakwater Lighthouse.  I call this one “Sentinel in the Mist.” The 3rd was red Pierhead Lighthouse.

North Point Lighthouse


red lighthouse 2

We arrived at the domes, looking forward to seeing exotic flora. Pretty lobby too.

Mitchell Domes Sign


Inside  Michell Domes building

We went to the Show Dome first, it was all decorated for Christmas with poinsettias, snowmen and Christmas trees. We had our picture with a snowman. This is the one dome that changes with the seasons and holidays. The other two are more static.


We then went to the Desert dome. I felt like I was back in Arizona. The last time I was there was in 1992.


Then the Tropical Dome, it felt like a hot summer day, we needed that with the cold rain falling outside.

100_4982tropical flower

We had a great time here, we were hungry and it was time for lunch. We went to Oscar’s nearby.  The are known for great hamburgers. They weren’t kidding! Not only that, a bunch of people in Santa suits rode up on their bikes.  It was Santa Rampage day for the local bike club, essentially pub-crawling in the holiday spirit. You never know what you are going to see in a big city like Milwaukee.


Bleu Cheese Burger100_5061