The Mitchell Park Conservatory, aka The Domes, is a delightful place to visit with children. It is high on our list of Wisconsin places to visit in the winter, although it is open year round.
The Conservatory has two permanent exhibits. The desert dome has a range of desert collections. There are cacti, succulents, shrubs, and arid-land bulbs. To be entirely honest, our toddlers were most interested in the rocks.
The second is the tropical dome. Here there are over 1,200 kinds of tropical plants and birds. Our children were fascinated by the colors, birds, and waterfall. This is our favorite of the two permanent domes and a great starting point for conversations about colors, animals, plants, etc. Older children might enjoy sitting for a while with a notebook and basic art materials.
* The Domes are not particularly well set up for young children (no changing station, difficult seating, etc) but we had a lot of fun. We used a bench in the bathroom for changing and managed to have snack at a table in the entrance area between the domes.
* There are racks to hang coats in the area between the domes. It is quite warm in the tropical dome so this is recommended.
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