It’s official: Spring is in the air! And what better way to embrace the annuals, perennials, blooms, and stems of springtime florals than a visit (or two) to Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens.

Yes, Phipps is open for day-trips, weddings, private events, camps and classes, with advanced, timed tickets required. Here’s our go-to guide to help you plan your next visit.

Getting in.

Doors open at 9:30 a.m. and close at 5 p.m. daily, except Fridays when the conservatory stays open until 8 p.m. Day trip tickets start at just $19.95 for adults and 11.95 for children age 2 through 18. (Admission is free for kids under 2, plus current students at the University of Pittsburgh, Carnegie Melon University, and Carlow University.) If you’re planning to visit Phipps more than twice in a year, consider an individual or family membership.

Both free and metered parking are available; public transportation and bike paths are another option. Visit Phipps’ website for more detailed directions and suggested parking spots in Pittsburgh’s vibrant Oakland neighborhood.

Special exhibits.

This year’s annual summer Flower Show features the Hidden Life of Trolls. Running May, 2021, through September, Phipps guests can experience an immersive, interactive exhibit with animatronic troll mascots named Fen and Ivy, sharing tips on how to handle their kin — some friendly and some mischievous — throughout the show.

Planning events.

Weddings, corporate events, baby showers, family reunions, green events … you name it, Phipps can accommodate your needs. From small and intimate events for just three dozen people to larger cocktail receptions for 1,000 guests, special events at Phipps offer serene views and lush surroundings. Need some ideas? (And who doesn’t love looking at happily-just-married couples?) Check out the outdoor wedding blog for more aesthetic inspiration and sweet love stories.

COVID-19 notes.

In the past year, the conservatory has added enhanced cleaning protocol, touchless hand sanitizer stations, and social distancing measures to ensure guest safety. Or maybe you’re more in the mood for a virtual experience? If you’re searching for calming stress-relief, or want to go green … without actually going anywhere in western Pennsylvania, you’ll enjoy this one-hour virtual Phipps tour in all its tranquil splendor on YouTube. Additionally, kids age 3 to 7 might want to sign up for a virtual ballet class to learn movement and ballet basics on June 12, all from the comfort of home.