The Show Dome

Show Dome Theme

The Mitchell Park Horticultural Conservatory’s Show Dome is transformed 5 times each year. Each Show Dome display has a specific theme, generally categorized as historical, cultural or fantasy, and is chosen at least a year in advance. Plants are selected specifically for a particular floral exhibit and grown in the Greenhouses located at the Mitchell Park Domes. Once in place, a show may last from six to fourteen weeks. Potted flowers are changed out as needed. Continual care and maintenance assures an equally bright, vivid and spectacular array of flowers for visitors from the first to the last day of any Show Dome display. Please note that Show Dome is closed for approximately two weeks between shows to transition to the new theme.

Friends of the Mitchell Park DomesMilwaukee County Parks

Show Dome Themes

  • 1.

    Theme Choices

    Show Dome themes have ranged from a formal Japanese garden, to autumn in Provence, a classic monster movie spoof, a street in Dicken’s London, or scene’s from the Nutcracker Suite.

  • 2.


    The theme of each Show Dome display dictates the setting, landscape design and prop design. Each show requires extensive long-term planning, while the actual transformation from one theme to the next takes place in only two weeks. Thousands of individual seasonal plants are used in each Show Dome theme. Lilies, poinsettias, azaleas, chrysanthemums, tulips, cyclamen, geraniums and hundreds of other flowers are featured.

  • 3.

    Display Creation

    Horticulturists, arborists, artists, carpenters, electricians, plumbers and welders work together to create each spectacular display. Show Dome props are modular and thus, versatile; they can be modified and reused. One building could be an Italian Villa and then be transformed into a Spanish Hacienda, Williamsburg Mansion or Southern Plantation Home in future shows. It is truly amazing to see how incredibly different and unique each display is.

  • 4.


    The Show Dome provides serene settings to be captured by artists and photographers, duplicated by visitors in their own gardens and used by students to learn about flowering plants.

Theme Scenes

Show Dome
Show Dome Model Railroad
Lion's Head Gate
Show Dome Lion's Head
Show Dome Cyril Colnik Gates
Show Dome Pond
Show Dome Trees
Show Dome Tulips