The “Frost” experience makes its debut at the Cleveland Botanical Garden on Saturday, November 18 (photos)

The “Frost” experience makes its debut at the Cleveland Botanical Garden on Saturday, November 18 (photos)

CLEVELAND, Ohio – “Frost: An Ice-Covered Garden Experience” opens at the Cleveland Botanical Garden at 10 a.m. on Saturday, November 18. It continues until December 31. The winter walking experience fills the entire indoor facility and some of the outdoor gardens. The family-friendly blue and white displays are larger than the “Glow” exhibit of previous years.

Visitors should bring fully charged cell phones as “Frost” is designed to take photos and share them on social media. The first Instagrammable moment hits upon entering the building. These continue throughout the experience’s 12 themed rooms.

“When developing Frost, the theme was very important to us,” says Ryan Sandy, director of exhibitions. “We both wanted to focus on what we know best – plants and the natural world – as well as creating a unique experience among those in the surrounding area. Through our diverse areas, we strived to capture the magic of winter through different lenses using immersive sets, extensive lighting treatments, And thousands of plants, and even sounds and smells.

In the Blizzard Ballroom, redolent of pine, the atrium windows were blacked out to give the sparkle of a 30-foot tree made of hand-preserved moss flowers and bromeliads. Gardener Somer Tolan designed the tree to follow a seasonal theme. The plant material at the bottom of the tree represents the cold of winter, climbing through the shadows of summer into the glow of spring before reaching the star.

The aisles between the exhibit halls are lined with backlit poinsettias or Christmas trees decorated by the 45 insanely creative Northeast Ohio Garden Club. These, along with the winter greenery displayed throughout the garden, are a source of inspiration for home decorators.

Perhaps the most dramatic immersive offering is the world of Winter Spirit. “Verglas”, the spirit of winter, dominates the room. Its name is rooted in French and Latin words meaning “a thin layer of ice on plants and rocks.” It is the symbolic protector of plants and animals during the winter.

In the same room, children and adults can play the ice xylophone or create designs using the oversized “Lite Brite” pegboard.

The greenhouse becomes a jingle forest with bells, lighting and plant decorations. Fourteen brightly colored Red Bishop Weavers joined the Madagascar biome in November. The bright red/orange and black male birds – roughly the size of sparrows – are living decorations moving through the biome.

Nearly a third of the outdoor garden is illuminated for walks in weather. Known as the Terrace and Solstice Stroll, this restaurant serves marshmallow roasts around fire pits. Other adult food and beverages are available at the café.

A slight deviation from the winter theme are 60 gingerbread houses from the 17th Annual Gingerbread Contest. They are displayed by categories – Professionals, Amateurs, Families and Kids. They range from fairytale castles and Hanukkah homes to huts and lighthouses.

Check out the live preview in the clip below.

The best time to watch “Frost” is after dark when the lighting illuminates the drama.

Special events during the six-week experience include:

  • Live entertainment from the Cleveland Institute of Music, Lise CLE, The Cleveland Carolers, Roots of American Music, and local late-night performers starting December 7.
  • krampus night, 6 to 8:30 p.m., December 2 Krampus lurks around looking for deviant attendees all night. Attendees can prepare delicious condiments, sip a fun cocktail from the outdoor bar, and listen to Erin Nicole Neal and the Chill Factors. Tickets are $17 member, $31 non-member. Krampus Night tickets and information.
  • Artist Jan Derringer presents “Embracing Ohio’s Winter: A Frozen Photography Exhibition” – overlaid photography adds layers of translucent molten beeswax and natural tree resin mixed with a blow torch or heat gun into each image as well as paint, pastels, pigments and ink.

The Cleveland Botanic Garden is open from 10am to 5pm on Tuesdays and Wednesdays. 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays, and noon to 5 p.m. on Sundays. It will be closed on Mondays, except for December 18, when it is open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m

Open Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve until 3pm. Closed November 23 (Thanksgiving), December 25 (Christmas Day), and January 1 (New Year’s Day).

Tickets are available at Holdenfg.org. A limited number of attendance tickets will be available during the event.

  • Non-members (adults/children ages 3-12) – weekdays: $23/$16; Weekends: $26/$18
  • Non-members 4 or more – $10 discount per order
  • Members (adults/children ages 3-12) – weekdays $10/$7; Weekends $12/$9
  • Children 2 years and under are always free

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