The Journal Gazette
Friday, January 14, 2022 1:00 am

Conservatory taps circus fun

COREY MCMAKEN | The Journal Gazette

Though the winter exhibit at Foellinger-Freimann Botanical Conservatory is always geared toward children and families having fun, the staff had some fun of their own getting the show ready last week.

“We've never put up a circus tent before,” supervisor of programs and volunteers Amanda Amstutz says with a laugh. “But now we can say that we have!”

The colorful tent is part of the “Under the Big Top” exhibit, which is now open in the conservatory's Showcase Garden. Visitors will also find topiaries of animals, a balloon garden and lots of interactive elements such as cutouts for photos, a car on springs and trapeze artists in the rafters that move when a rope is pulled.

Some of the playground elements will be installed at Franke Park after the conservatory exhibit, which ends April 17.

Kids can practice their circus skills in the Discover Gallery between the Atrium and gardens. The young (and young-at-heart) can also enjoy some funhouse mirrors there.

“This time of year following our holiday display, we always do something that's geared for children,” Amstutz says. “And so we thought the circus would be something fun.”

New for 2022, the conservatory is offering $1 admission between 5 and 8 p.m. every Thursday. Previously, only the first Thursday of the month was a dollar night.

If you go

What: “Under the Big Top”

When: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday; 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Thursday; noon to 4 p.m. Sunday; ends April 17

Where: Foellinger-Freimann Botanical Conservatory, 1100 S. Calhoun St.

Admission: $7 adults, $5 children, free ages 2 and younger; $1 admission 5 to 8 p.m. Thursdays

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