Mitchell Park Domes

Train Show exhibit at The Domes

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.

Friends of the Mitchell Park DomesMilwaukee County Parks

Rotating Exhibits / Events

  • For the Birds Spring Floral Show

    APRIL 15 - MAY 29, 2017

    A peaceful garden show dedicated to the native birds of Wisconsin.  Stroll through fields of Early Bird Blue' Forget-Me-Nots; 'Midget Red' heavenly scented Stock; mixed colors of Primula; orange, red, purple, and pink tulips; plus various colors of Ranuculus, Salpiglossis, and Gerbera Daisies. Completing the theme, visitors will see a variety of bird houses and feeders.
    Sponsored by J.W. Jung Seed Company

    Ultra Violet Summer Floral Show

    JUNE 10 - SEPTEMBER 10, 2017

    Summer of 2017 is Ultra Violet.  A rare opportunity to see the Show Dome done up entirely in purple. The show will feature a garden of  'Jams 'N Jellies Blueberry' Vinca, very fragrant Heliotrope and 'Purple Flash' Ornamental Peppers, leaves of Purple: Strobilanthes Persian Shield, Coleus 'Fishnet Stockings' and Setcreasea 'Purple Fuzz". Accompanying these purple plants and flowers will be a collection of modern and abstract sculpture pieces all created in shades of violet, lavender and purple

    Our Feathered Friends 

    MAY 27, 2017

    Families are invited to kick off the Memorial Day Weekend learning about birds in the community and in The Domes. A highlight of the day for children will be Kid Bird Banding, where each child is banded like a migratory bird to teach about data collection and flight patterns. Tours of the Conservatory, at 10 a.m. and 3 p.m., will introduce visitors to new resident birds in the Tropical and Desert domes. Schlitz Audubon Nature Center will give a special presentation, Birds of Prey, featuring live raptors at 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. The event includes displays, demonstrations, and games on a variety of bird-related topics—bird watching, bird banding, recovery and conservation of peregrine falcons and sand hill cranes, hidden bird hazards, and bird-friendly landscaping.   Schlitz Audubon Nature Center Birds of Prey – Lindsay Obermeier and her raptor handlers will be joined by their animal ambassadors.
    Cost: Regular admission rates. 
    Free to Friends of the Domes Members 

    Torii Gate Festival - Friendship Through Flowers

    JUNE 3 & 4, 2017, 9am - 4pm

    Torii Gate Festival returns to the Domes to celebrate Japanese culture Saturday, June 3 and Sunday, June 4. Named for the traditional Japanese gate marking the entrance to a shrine, the Torii Gate Festival will use a classic red wooden gate as the centerpiece to the display area for ikebana floral arrangements. The arrangements are steeped in the philosophy of developing a closeness between nature and humanity.

    Milwaukee Chapter 22 of Ikebana International, in partnership with Friends of the Domes and the Milwaukee County Parks, will exhibit 30 floral arrangements with their signature asymmetrical form and mindful use of empty space. Chapter members strive to create harmony between the materials they choose, the container, and the setting.

    Make-and-take one on one sessions will occur 10:00 to 3:00 both days for a donation to cover material costs. Chapter members will walk you through a simple design that you can take home.

    Regular Domes admission rates apply.  FREE to Friends of the Domes members.

    National Pollinator Week 

    JUNE 19  - JUNE 23

    Pollinator Heroes Week is so Much More than Bees. National Pollinator Week is a time to celebrate pollinators and spread the word about what we can do to protect them. Mitchell Park Domes Pollinator Heroes Week is an open camp that anyone can attend for regular admission during June 19th through June 23rd in the morning hours.  It gives all our visitors a chance to ask their questions and to find out how they can help our hard-working local pollinators.  Stop in any day.  FREE TO FRIENDS OF THE DOMES MEMBERS.

    So often we take for granted that we cannot live without plants. Interestingly, plants and all living creature can live without us but flowering plants cannot live without their pollinating agent. Flowering plants rely on their pollinator to produce a fruit with a seed which is really the future next generation of that plant species. Without a pollinator to transfer heavy pollen, a flower will not produce the future generation.  Our world would turn upside down with our plants and their pollinators gone.  Imagine a world without pollinators, many of us would no longer enjoy a morning cup of coffee, a bite of chocolate, a sip of wine with dinner or chewing gum during a baseball game among many other foods and traditions that are part of our daily lives as human beings.

    While people are probably mostly familiar with pollination when it comes to bees, the natural process goes far beyond honey production. Over 75% of the world’s food crops depend at least in part on pollination by insects and other animals. There are thousands of species that pollinate flowers with more than 20,000 species of wild bees alone involved in pollination along with butterflies, flies, moths, wasps, beetles, birds, bats, slugs, frogs among other animals. And a lot of these species are currently threatened with extinction, which could pose a grave problem for the crops, medicines and raw materials they help to produce.

    According to several recent reports on pollinator threats throughout the world an estimated 16 percent of pollinators are threatened with global extinction.  So the most common reaction to this news is that we can just use another pollinator to do the job or maybe even humans.  The pollinating partners tend to be species-specific just like a lock and key where there is only one match or fit. Pollinators are often keystone species, meaning that they are critical to an ecosystem. The work of pollinators ensures full harvests of crops and contributes to healthy plants everywhere. The crisis over the death of pollinators is not unique to the United States.  Around the world, old techniques are being revived to save our pollinators and in the end saving us. 

    Wisconsin Bat Festival

    AUGUST 26, 2017 - 9am-5pm and 7pm-9pm

    We are so excited to announce that the Wisconsin Bat Festival is coming to Mitchell Park Domes on August 26th. The WI Bat Festival has travelled to other locations in the past and this year it’s here. Celebrate the unique and vital role of bats in ecosystems as pollinators, seed-dispersers and insect eaters while eliminating misinformation that has created needless fears and has threatened bats and their habitats around the world.

    The festival features activities for children, families, educators and conservation professionals everywhere. Presentations, speakers, live animals, hands-on activities, games for kids, and interactive exhibits provide a full day of fun and environmental education.  If that’s not enough, you can take a guided tour in the tropical and desert to learn about the bat-dependent plants in the domes.

    Our featured speaker, Rob Mies, executive director of the Organization for Bat Conservation, will present Bats of the World. This is a unique opportunity to come up close with bats from around the world! See the world’s largest bat, a Malayan flying fox that has a wing span of six feet as well as fruit bats from Africa and Asia, vampire bats, and Wisconsin’s native bat species. During the festival, the Bat Science Symposium will feature bat and WNS experts from USGS National Wildlife Health Center, US Forest Service, universities and Wisconsin DNR. Presenters will address a variety of topics, including the latest white-nose syndrome research and the state’s response to the recent arrival of this devastating bat-killing invasive fungus. Finally, to round out your day, you can join the bat experts for a Science Night where we will watch bats emerge at sunset and talk about more amazing aspects of the bat world, 7:00pm – 9:00pm, at the Mitchell Park Domes. 

    Regulara Domes Admission Applies.  FREE TO FRIENDS OF THE DOMES MEMBERS.