It's one of the most wonderful times of the year in this city: The Philadelphia Flower Show opens Saturday, March 4, continuing it's history as the largest and longest-running horticultural event in the nation.
And this year's pretty special, since the flower show is celebrating the National Park Service's 100th Anniversary. Dubbed "Explore America," the nearly two-week long floral extravaganza will feature exhibits inspired by all of the nation's parks and landmarks.
Curbed Philly had the chance to tour the Philadelphia Flower Show today before it officially opens its doors tomorrow at the Convention Center. Here's everything we learned and everything you need to know.
1. The (long!) lines go pretty quickly.
Even at today's preview, there was a long line to enter the flower show, starting at the entrance of the convention center on 12th street. It goes quickly, just don't expect to be able to waltz in right away. If you really don't want to wait, try coming on a week day after 3 p.m.
2. Prepare for at least four to five hours.
There's a reason the flower show is from March 5 to 13—there is a lot to see. One hour is in no way enough time to walk through all of the exhibits, let alone peruse all of the vendors. The Philadelphia Flower Show suggests four to five hours as an average visit.
3. Speaking of exhibits, they're awesome.
Local and national landscapers and gardeners have put on their best displays for this annual event, and all are inspired by national parks. There's a replica of Yosemite National Park, an interactive walk-through trail along the Pacific Coast Trail, and a jaw-dropping take on Independence Mall, with an over-sized Liberty Bell covered in red, white, and blue flowers.
4. You have to pay for certain exhibits.
If you want to see special attractions, like the Railway Garden, which features large-scale models of trains and American's landscapes, you'll have to pay a few extra dollars not included with your main ticket. There's also a live Butterfly exhibit featuring nearly 20 different species.
5. There's a surprising amount of gardening and home goods vendors.
It's not all succulents and orchids here—though there are a ton of those, too. There are more than 180 vendors selling gardening tools, seeds, furniture, jewelry, and more. Their displays are impressive alone.
6. Ticket prices increase after Friday, March 4
After today, tickets for adults increase from $27 to $30 for the rest of the flower show—if you buy online. Students can get in for $20, and for children it's $18. All tickets are a couple more dollars if you buy at the door.
7. Yes, there's also food.
Flower gazing is no joke! So good thing there are plenty of food vendors at the flower show, as well as picnic tables and lounge areas to rest up. Plus, Reading Terminal Market is in the same building if you really want to treat yourself. Just remember to get stamped before leaving the flower show.