Fairmount Park Greenhouse hosts a tropical getaway to beat the winter blues

Sandcastles, lawn games, local vendors and entertainers at The Greenhouse create a tropical getaway in Philadelphia in the dead of winter.

Children romp and play on the 'lawn' at the Getaway at the Greenhouse. (Emily Cohen for WHYY)

Children romp and play on the 'lawn' at the Getaway at the Greenhouse. (Emily Cohen for WHYY)

For a second year the Greenhouse at the Fairmont Park Horticultural Center is hosting an indoor getaway full of food, art, live music, and fun for all ages.

New to the space this year is a 10-foot globe called Gaia by UK artist Luke Jerram. Utilizing NASA imagery of the Earth’s surface, the artwork provides the opportunity to see our planet on the same scale as astronauts, floating in three dimensions. (Emily Cohen for WHYY)

This year’s focus is on Earth Day and how we can better live alongside the natural world. With this in mind, the Getaway is a zero-waste event with vendors using recyclable and compostable wares.

Bonnie Valentine (left) sprinkles some cayenne powder on her pineapple popsicle creation. Purposeful Pops is a local popsicle company whose delicious product from stick to wrapper is compostable. (Emily Cohen for WHYY)
Kerry McKenzie (left) pours some of his Hale & True hard cider at the Getaway. Hale & True is a South Philadelphia hard cider company who uses only local Pennsylvania apples and honey. (Emily Cohen for WHYY)
Okie Dokie Donuts is a doughnut catering company based in South Philadelphia and is a frequent collaborator with Hale & True cider company. (Emily Cohen for WHYY)
Food trucks and other vendors supply ample food options at the Getaway at the Greenhouse. (Emily Cohen for WHYY)

Visitors can sip cocktails while listening to live music until 10 p.m. most nights. Local vendors will be on rotation and available only evenings and weekends. Picnics are welcome Monday through Friday during the day.

Alongside the heat-loving plants and trees inside the Greenhouse, there is a giant sandbox for some wintertime sandcastle building, a “lawn” for oversized games and lounging, and a back deck area for sitting, chatting, and eating while enjoying the music and warmth of the Getaway.

Children play in the giant sandbox at the Getaway at the Greenhouse. (Emily Cohen for WHYY)
Children play in the giant sandbox at the Getaway at the Greenhouse. (Emily Cohen for WHYY)

Each day brings new activities such as Zoo on Wheels, which brings different animals from the Philadelphia Zoo, arts and crafts with Design Philly, Drag Queen Story Time, and much more.

  • WHYY thanks our sponsors — become a WHYY sponsor
Kelsey Baker, a conservation educator from the Philadelphia Zoo, shows off Camilla the armadillo’s soft belly to the visitors at the Getaway at the Greenhouse. (Emily Cohen for WHYY)
Charlotte, or Charlie for short, is a 10-year-old burrowing owl. Charlie is part of the Zoo on Wheels program which teaches people about different animals and how they rely on the earth and how the earth relies on them. (Emily Cohen for WHYY)
A young visitor to the Greenhouse waves to Pichu the Macaw. (Emily Cohen for WHYY)

Want to reduce your carbon footprint? Use the Philly PHLASH® free shuttle service Fridays and Saturdays from 10 a.m. – 10 p.m. and Sundays 10 a.m. – 7 p.m. This special shuttle loop will make stops at LOVE Park, Philadelphia Museum of Art, Please Touch Museum and the Horticulture Center every 30 minutes.

The Getaway at the Greenhouse will be open until February 16th. Hours vary by day and tickets are free, but visitors are encouraged to sign up in advance.

The idea for Getaway came from Marc Wilken, the Director of Business and Event Development for Philadelphia Parks and Recreation. ‘We’re always looking for ways to activate public spaces. The tropical environment of the Greenhouse is a perfect place for people to come and escape the cold.’ Taking a nod from other successful projects like Parks on Tap and The Oval, Getaway brings the fun inside.(Emily Cohen for WHYY)

WHYY is your source for fact-based, in-depth journalism and information. As a nonprofit organization, we rely on financial support from readers like you. Please give today.

Want a digest of WHYY’s programs, events & stories? Sign up for our weekly newsletter.

Together we can reach 100% of WHYY’s fiscal year goal