Mitchell Park Horticultural Conservatory

These three futuristic domes are a dramatic addition to the Milwaukee skyline and the place to enjoy colorful flowers and exotic plant life.

Known simply as “the Domes” among local residents, the Mitchell Park Horticultural Conservatory with its three space-age domes is one of Milwaukee’s most interesting landmarks. The park dates back to the 1960s. Each climate-controlled, beehive-shaped dome displays a diverse array of exotic and indigenous plant life in a natural setting.

Experience an arid desert, a tropical rainforest and vivid floral displays in a single visit. In the Desert Dome, see desert palms, odd-looking cacti and numerous varieties of chili peppers, all grouped into different geographical areas. Step into the steamy climate of the Tropical Dome for a glimpse of more than 1200 different species of plant and bird life. You may notice the scent of vanilla and black pepper, and see a wide variety of exotic fruits such as papaya and avocado among the creeping vines.

In each of the domes, there are twisting trails and water features among the undergrowth, with benches to catch your breath and admire the scenery in detail. You can stroll around at will, or join one of the regular educational programs. Kids can get involved with an organized scavenger hunt. 

In the Floral Show Dome, art and horticulture combine with a regular program of events. There are flower shows, gardening and eco-awareness demonstrations, mini food festivals, and even evenings of music and dance among the blooms. Give yourself at least an hour and a half to tour the three domes.

The Domes are located at Mitchell Park, west of downtown, and there is a large parking lot on site. The conservatory is open seven days a week until at least 5:00 p.m., except on weekends, when it closes at 4 p.m. Monday mornings can be crowded during the summer, when there’s free entry for all Milwaukee County residents.

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