Around 2 miles east of downtown Columbus is 88 acres of park known as the Franklin Park Conservatory. The Franklin County Agriculture Society purchased the land in 1852 to be used as the site for the first Franklin County Fair. In 1874 it was designated the space for Ohio State Fair. In 1886, the Fair moved to its current home- what is now known as the Ohio Expo Center. The city of Columbus then built the Palm House on the property and opened it to the public in 1895 as Franklin Park Conservatory. It was known just as Franklin Park from 1884-1895. Columbus Parks and Recreation owned Franklin Park Conservatory up until 1989.
Some 400 species of plants are housed inside the Conservatory’s green houses and each of its “rooms” are divided according to the natural environments in which the plants would be found: Himalayan Mountain Biome, Rainforest Biome, Desert Biome, and the Pacific Island Water Garden.
The Conservatory is a popular rainy day activity and just as interesting in the winter as it is the same temperature indoors year round. Fall 2015 will feature large pumpkin carvings by Villafane Studios .Over the Christmas holidays (November 21, 2015 – January 3, 2016), the Conservatory hosts Merry & Bright with Christmas lights and hundreds of poinsettias on display.
Outside is the The Scotts Miracle-Gro Company Community Garden Campus- added in 2009- has 40 community plots as well as culinary, herb, and fragrance gardens.
Franklin Park Conservatory
1777 East Broad St.
Columbus, OH 43203
Hours: 10 AM – 5 PM daily; open until 9 PM Wednesdays through August 26th.
Admission: $13 – Adults; $10 – Seniors and Students with ID; $6 – Children ages 3-17; Children 2 and younger & members are free.
Distances from Ohio cities:
- 3.1 miles East of Columbus City Hall
- 127 miles Northeast of Cincinnati
- 148 miles Southwest of Cleveland
- 148 miles Southeast of Toledo
- 140 miles Southwest of Akron