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Kiddo Fieldtrip :: San Francisco Conservatory of Flowers


A few weeks ago (actually over President’s Day weekend) Eric and I took the Peach to the Conservatory of Flowers, because they had an amazingly fun exhibit for kids, based on San Francisco’s famous boardwalk, Playland by the Sea.  The popular amusement park, Playland by the Sea, was a mainstay in San Francisco from Victorian Times until 1972 when it closed. Although the amusement park has been dismantled and scattered across San Francisco–like the famous carousel is in Yerba Buena Garden, Playland by the Sea still looms large in San Francisco lore.  and it was the perfect inspiration for the wonderful floral exhibit at the Conservatory of Flowers.

This was my first time to the Conservatory of Flowers and it was divine! And the exhibit–well, it took my breath away. And I know the Peach loved it too.

The exhibit also featured a few bits beyond the flowers–like these wonderful fun house mirrors, which the Peach loved.

Just walking into the room and seeing the original Playland sign was pretty impressive. Look at those awesome As!


The exhibit also included one of the original bumper cars from the popular ride. I think that was the Peach’s favorite.

The flower exhibit wasn’t just a staid arrangement, but had these buttons that kiddos could easily push to make the trains go or the carousel turn.  Too much fun!

What really made the exhibit particularly wonderful is that all of the structures were made from products that would have ended up in a landfill if it weren’t for the upcycling.

And it was so fun to see San Francisco landmarks that we all know and love.

We spent almost two hours there watching the Peach run around the room having a blast. It reminded me of my childhood trips to the Philadelphia Flower Show with my Dad years ago.  And it made me feel like spring was around the corner.  Perfect for this time of year.

After we left the conservatory, we headed to Cole Valley and  San Francisco’s new Ice Cream Bar. Eric had this insane milk shake and the Peach’s favorite strawberry wasn’t available, so she enjoyed a little cherry ice cream.

The best part was that we were able to make it back for the Peach’s 2:30 nap!  As you can imagine, she was pretty tuckered out from her full day of fun.  I think this may be our new spring tradition. Do you have any spring traditions?



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Posted in Best of Dottie, Kiddo Fieldtrips, Real Life : Dottie.

10 Responses

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  1. Jody says

    Beautiful! I LOVE when exhibits have buttons!

  2. Karen says

    Call us next time! We have a membership there, perfect for playdates (two adults, not sure how many kids), precisely because Molly loves the trains they sometimes have there on exhibit. Personally, I feel like throwing a brick through the wall to escape after about 5 minutes, though.

    Spring tradition. We don’t really have any, unless Easter and Passover count. I guess they should, right?

    • Dottie says

      I totally will Karen!

      BTW, it is so hard to have traditions here when the weather is always nice! I find I have to remind myself that it is spring sometimes. Sheesh!

  3. Tiffanie says

    What a wonderful day! That is a fantastic exhibit. I collect banners from The Conservatory of Flowers, and you better believe I’m getting my hands on one of the Playland ones! Peach’s outfit is so adorable, by the way! 🙂

    • Dottie says

      Aww, thanks Tiffanie! Her dress is an old vintage one that I forgot about in her collection. I’m awful like that. I always forget until they barely fit her–like this one! Oof!

      That is a great thing to collect–the Conservatory banners. And the Playland one must be amazing! Sigh!

  4. Heather says

    What a sweet post from a beautiful city! love the cliff house and i had no idea you were from phili. hey from your home town!! 🙂

  5. Alix says

    Oh it looks amazing! These photos are so great—I love that bumper car!!!
    Wolfie just went to a birthday party at Playland NOT By the Beach….where they have many of the old rides assembled. He said it was awesome! Is it still up or is it all over??

    • Dottie says

      I totally want to check out that Playland NOT By the Beach! I’ve heard it is awesome! I just wished it actually moved!

  6. Jane Scurich says

    Dottie, this is a fabulous blog! Thank you so much for the great remarks about the Playland exhibit. We have had so much fun with it. Playland at the Conservatory continues through April 15th. We are closed to the public on Mondays. Please visit our website: for more information. And get ready for the dinosaurs! Plantosaurus Rex opens on May 11th!

    • Dottie says

      Hi Jane! Thanks so much for stopping by! We’ll absolutely check out the Plantosaurus Rex exhibit later this spring. It sounds like so much fun!

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