Best Place to Stay Warm in Winter - 2009
Marjorie McNeely Conservatory at Como
Minnesota's winter has its own stark beauty, but it is almost entirely without moisture in the air—or smells. The conservatory at Como Park is like a magical visit to a tropical paradise, for a $1 or $2 donation. Birds tweeting and flowers blooming are salve for the soul and a reminder that there is life after March. The warmest spot in the place is the Tropical Encounters room, a rainforest replica with a 14-foot anaconda, a two-toed sloth, and enough humidity to curl hair. Smell-seekers should head to the Sunken Garden, with its holiday flowers show in December and January; early spring blooms like foxgloves, freesias, and pansies from January to March; and true spring flowers like crocuses and tulips in April and May. The glass-domed palm room is a lovely place to relax and think. Spend an hour among the plants and leave refreshed. The winter may be harsh, but the conservatory has magical powers to rejuvenate.