If you go
Where: Foellinger-Freimann Botanical Conservatory, 1100 S. Calhoun St.
When: Through Jan. 6
Conservatory hours: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Fridays and Saturdays; 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Thursdays; noon to 4 p.m. Sundays
How much: $5 for adults, $3 for ages 3 to 17, free for ages 2 and younger
With long blond curls trailing down her back and her perfect Christmas dress – green on top with green and red polka dots on her skirt, white tights and little black shoes – Elizabeth Schmidt was a human embodiment of a 5-year-old Cindy Lou Who, the tot who awakens when the Grinch steals her family’s Christmas in Dr. Seuss’ story.
Elizabeth seemed to fit right into the theme at Foellinger-Freimann Botanical Conservatory on Saturday afternoon. The holiday showcase at the conservatory this year is “How the Grinch Stole Christmas.” The indoor Showcase Garden is transformed into Whoville through Jan. 6, with the Grinch’s sleigh of Whoville Christmas trees and baubles up on Mount Crumpet and a Whoville S-shaped dinner table, stocked with vases, candelabras and, of course, the roast beast.
It was Elizabeth and her family’s first time attending the conservatory’s holiday show.
“It looks pretty awesome,” says Elizabeth’s mother, Michele Schmidt of Kendallville, who had a friend taking holiday photos of Elizabeth placing red and green ornaments on one of the large evergreen trees in the garden.
Throughout the garden – which featured a few thousand poinsettias, said Andy Force, superintendent of horticulture for the conservatory – were displays with pages from the “How the Grinch Stole Christmas.” Just outside the garden were cardboard cutouts of Grinch characters, just waiting for a little face to press itself into the opening.
Force estimated this is the conservatory’s 10th year putting on the holiday shows. The theme changes yearly – recent years saw the gardens transform into “The Night Before Christmas” and “Candy Land” – and attracts families, Force said.
“Members come back every year,” he said.