Ever talk to a plant? Hang out with a few exotics in the sun and warmth of the Rockefeller Park Greenhouse and score the ultimate summer get-away from winter cold.
Just a mile from arts-rich University Circle, on East 88th Street, this 1905 city-owned greenhouse and park once supplied plants for Cleveland parks during its warm weather months.
Today, the greenhouse has blossomed into a respected botanical facility that exhibits global-inspired gardens, native Ohio plants and tropical exotics, all displayed in thematic indoor and outdoor gardens. The City of Cleveland knows plants need you as much as you need them, so admission is free.
The four acres of gardens in Rockefeller Park, as well as the greenhouse’s one sunlit acre of plantings, are open daily throughout the year.
WHAT YOU’LL SEE
- The lush, outdoor Rockefeller Park is landscaped with arching trees native to Ohio, colorful gardens and tidy, brick walking paths that are ADA-accessible. Sit down in the charming gazebo and you’ll feel like you stepped back into a simpler time. The gardens on display feature rows of gorgeous floral All-American Selection winners, the desert-themed Latin American and serene Japanese gardens, fragrant roses and a calming peace garden, complete with peace pole, just to name a few.
- Inside the spacious, glass greenhouse, a warm world of living color and light awaits you. The rooms here are called showhouses and feature tropical plants, ferns, cacti, orchid and water gardens in exciting, detailed displays. Every holiday season, the greenhouse is alight with festive color thanks to its stunning displays of pink, white and red poinsettias.
WHAT ELSE TO DO
- Friends of Rockefeller Park Greenhouse tend the gardens year-round and set up fantastic autumn bulb sales, spring iris sales and those holiday plant displays for year-round flower-power.
- The Betty Ott Talking Garden provides an audio narration of gardens, with signage in braille. Visitors are encouraged to be hands-on, smelling and touching specific plants for a multi-sensory experience.
- The Rockefeller Park Greenhouse is easy to find, right off the beautiful, winding Martin Luther King Drive, and it’s only a short distance from University Circle’s indoor museum fun.