Thursday, October 08, 2009

HOST OF HOLIDAY ACTIVITIES THIS SEASON AT THE MISSOURI BOTANICAL GARDEN


WHAT: “Gardenland Express” holiday flower and train show
WHEN: Wednesday, Nov. 25, 2009 through Sunday, Jan. 3, 2010 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily. Closes early at 4 p.m. on Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve; closed Christmas Day.

WHERE: Missouri Botanical Garden, 4344 Shaw Blvd., south St. Louis, Mo.
COST: $5 ages three and up, in addition to regular Garden admission
($8 adults; $4 St. Louis City/County residents; free children ages 12 and under). Garden members are free.
SPONSORS: CBIZ & Mayer Hoffman McCann, P.C.; Central States Coca-Cola Bottling Company; Miss Marian L. Herr; Hobby Station; and Mr. and Mrs. William R. Orthwein, Jr.
INFO: www.mobot.org; (314) 577-9400, 1 (800) 642-8842 toll free



(ST. LOUIS): ‘Tis the season at the Missouri Botanical Garden! A host of holiday activities await visitors between Thanksgiving and New Year’s. Experience the annual “Gardenland Express” holiday flower and train show, commemorating “150 Years of the Garden.” Celebrate Chanukah, Kwanzaa and Christmas traditions. Enjoy seasonal décor, from adorned trees to festive wreaths to sweet-smelling garlands. Take a class to brush up on your cookie-decorating and greeting-card-making skills. Stop by the Garden Gate Shop and Little Shop Around the Corner for unique gift-giving ideas, and more! Visit www.mobot.org for details on all of the holiday happenings.

Don’t miss the Garden’s final sesquicentennial celebratory event of 2009! The vibrant “Gardenland Express” holiday flower and train show chugs into town Wednesday, Nov. 25, open 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. through Sunday, Jan. 3 (closes at 4 p.m. Dec. 24 and 31; closed Dec. 25). Watch as eight G-scale model garden trains travel along 800 feet of railway track in the Orthwein Floral Display Hall, through a bold, colorful palette of orange, purple, red, white and lime green botanicals. Look for several Garden landmarks in miniature, including the historic Linnean House conservatory, Museum Building, Chinese Garden pagoda, Piper Observatory and Tower Grove House (founder Henry Shaw’s original country estate). Archival images highlighting the institution’s 150-year history will line the walls in a tribute timeline.

The 2009 “Gardenland Express” holiday flower and train show is sponsored by CBIZ & Mayer Hoffman McCann, P.C.; Central States Coca-Cola Bottling Company; Miss Marian L. Herr; Hobby Station; and Mr. and Mrs. William R. Orthwein, Jr. Admission to “Gardenland Express” is $5 for ages three and over, in addition to general Garden admission; Garden members are free.

Seasonal décor decks the halls of the Ridgway Visitor Center, Tower Grove House and Kemper Center for Home Gardening. Nov. 21 through Jan. 3 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., view the annual Holiday Wreath Exhibition, featuring unique creations by some of the area’s finest floral designers. All wreaths are sold by silent auction bidding, with proceeds benefiting the Garden. Nov. 25 through Jan. 3, experience a Victorian Christmas at Tower Grove House. The country residence of Garden founder Henry Shaw is decked with wreaths, garlands, floral centerpieces, greenery and holiday trees. Young visitors can enjoy storytelling on Saturdays at 11 a.m. and a special Seek-and-Find activity. Tower Grove House is open Tuesdays through Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Sundays from 1 to 4 p.m. (closed Mondays). Dec. 5 through Jan. 3 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. (closed Jan. 1), enjoy “Inspired by the Garden” Holiday Trimmings at the Kemper Center, featuring a 15-foot balsam fir tree decorated with over 50 “gourdaments” and gourd birdhouses to celebrate the Garden’s 150th anniversary. New this year, vote for the “visitor’s choice” award for your favorite gourd! All decorated gourds are sold by silent auction bidding.

Join the traditional Jewish holiday celebration, “Chanukah: Festival of Lights” on Sunday, Dec. 6 from noon to 4 p.m. Enjoy festive Israeli music and dance, a menorah-lighting ceremony, and a traditional “shuk,” or marketplace. Listen to holiday carols, whisper wishes to Santa in his sleigh and smell chestnuts roasting on an open fire during “Christmas Carols in the Garden,” Saturday and Sunday, Dec. 12 and 13 from 1 to 5 p.m. Experience the contemporary African-American holiday “Kwanzaa: Festival of the First Fruits” on Wednesday, Dec. 30 from noon to 4 p.m. Enjoy an afternoon of storytelling, craft and jewelry displays, and authentic African drumming and music, centered around the feast table of the harvest.

Several seasonal classes tap into the holiday spirit. Create a Decorative Scented Wreath on Nov. 17 or join a Holiday Wreath Making Workshop on Dec. 5 or 12. Try your hand at making a 3-D Papercutting Ornament on Dec. 3 or 8, or create DIY: Christmas Cards on Dec 9. Decorate a delicious Gingerbread Cottage on Dec. 2, and prepare stunning sweets with Holiday Cookies and Cookie Decorating classes on Dec. 6 and 8, respectively. Seniors, enhance your Garden visit therapeutically with a Botanical Wreath program on Dec. 9 or Holiday Cookie Recipes on Dec. 11. Youngsters ages four and five can also celebrate the season alongside an adult during Garden Buds: Evergreen: A Special Tree for Me! on Nov. 19 or 22. Advance registration is required for all classes; visit www.mobot.org/classes for a complete list of program times and prices, or to register.

Shop the Garden Gate Shop for unique gifts, including candy cane, cupcake and cardinal-inspired goodies. Browse an array of holiday greeting cards, “green” items made from recycled materials, tropical-themed ornaments, books, decor and more. The Shop is located in the lower level of the Ridgway Visitor Center and is open from 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.; visit www.gardengateshop.org. Head down the street to the Little Shop Around the Corner for one-of-a-kind finds, including vintage jewelry, artwork, accent furnishings, garden décor and more. The Little Shop is located at 4474 Castleman Ave. (at the corner of Shaw and Vandeventer) and is open Tuesdays through Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. (closed January); visit www.littleshop.org.

Give the gift of the Garden this season! A Missouri Botanical Garden membership includes free general admission for two adults and children ages 12 and under to the Garden, Sophia M. Sachs Butterfly House, Shaw Nature Reserve and EarthWays Center, along with special discounts and invitations to members-only events. A regular level membership costs $65 ($60 for seniors age 65 and over). Purchase a new or gift membership Nov. 4 through 8 or Dec. 2 through 6 and receive 20-percent off (on-site sales only). For more information, visit www.mobot.org/membership.

The Missouri Botanical Garden is located at 4344 Shaw Blvd. in south St. Louis, easily accessible from Interstate 44 at the Vandeventer exit. Free parking is available on-site on the west side of the parking lot (east side is temporarily closed this winter for improvements). Additional parking is available two blocks west at the corner of Shaw and Vandeventer.

The Garden is open 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily, closed Dec. 25. Admission is $8 for adults and free for children ages 12 and under. St. Louis City and County resident admission is $4 and free Wednesday and Saturday mornings before noon. Garden members and their children are free. Admission to the Gardenland Express show is an additional $5 per person (free for members). Separate fees apply for classes.

For general information, visit www.mobot.org or call the recorded event line at (314) 577‑9400 or toll-free 1 (800) 642-8842.

The Missouri Botanical Garden is the oldest continually operating botanical garden in the nation, celebrating its 150th anniversary in 2009. Missouri Botanical Garden: Green for 150 Years.

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The Missouri Botanical Garden’s mission is “to discover and share knowledge about plants and their environment, in order to preserve and enrich life.” Today, 150 years after opening, the Missouri Botanical Garden is a National Historic Landmark and a center for science, conservation, education and horticultural display. Missouri Botanical Garden: Green for 150 Years.

The Missouri Botanical Garden is located at 4344 Shaw Blvd. in St. Louis, just south of I-44 at Vandeventer-Kingshighway (exit #287B). Open 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. every day except Dec. 25. Grounds open at 7 a.m. every Wednesday and Saturday. Admission is $8; free children ages 12 and under and Garden members. St. Louis City and County residents are $4 and free every Wednesday and Saturday until noon (exception: special admission rate events). Park for free on site and two blocks west at the Shaw-Vandeventer intersection. The Garden is easily accessible by taking the MetroLink commuter rail line to the Central West End station and picking up a Metro bus (www.metrostlouis.org). For general information, log on to www.mobot.org or call the 24-hour recording at (314) 577-9400 or 1-800-642-8842. For membership information, call (314) 577-5118 during weekday business hours. For volunteer opportunities, call (314)-577-5187 or visit www.mobot.org/volunteer. The Missouri Botanical Garden is a tobacco-free environment.

(Note: A section of the I-64/U.S. 40 highway is under construction through 2009. Before traveling, check www.thenewi64.org for updates or visit www.GetAroundStL.com for other helpful information.)

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