Hothouse Happy Hours @ Phipps Conservatory

Published On February 2, 2015 | By Jenna Moen | Community

Photo Credit: Phipps Conservatory

Want to enjoy a warm evening in the tropics without getting on a plane? Check out Hothouse Happy Hours, a brand new event series for young professionals debuting at Phipps Conservatory this month!

On February 19 from 6-8 PM, Pittsburgh’s Urban Magnet Project (PUMP) is teaming up with Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens to give their guests a night of tropical bliss filled with specialty drinks, inspired bites, and dynamic special guests you won’t want to miss. Tickets for Hothouse include appetizers, two specialty rum cocktails, a MillerCoors Beverage, and explorations of the Orchid and Tropical Bonsai Show and the Tropical Forest Congo Exhibit.


Ben and Jordyn at Bapit Crater Lake in West Cameroon. (Photo Credit: Ben Dunigan and Jordyn Melino)

Opening February 7, the Tropical Forest Congo Exhibit will reveal the results of years of research in Cameroon, Africa, where Phipps Curator of Horticulture, Ben Dunigan, and Exhibit Coordinator, Jordyn Melino, visited the country’s most exquisite natural areas while gathering knowledge from indigenous tribes. More than 60% of Phipps tropical forest conservatory plant life will be replaced to make way for this all-out immersive exhibit featuring several education stations, including: a replica of a small dwelling in a village built by the Baka tribe, a market scene displaying regional foods, and a display of ceremonial elephant masks and beaded artifacts. Additionally, a facade in the Special Events Hall that resembles the palace of a king of Southwestern Cameroon’s Bamileke tribe will be on display. To learn more about the research and adventures of Dunigan and Melino in Cameroon, check out their awesome travel blog.

The Orchid and Tropical Bonsai Show will feature hundreds of majestic orchids all buzzing with color for you to feast your eyes upon. This is the perfect show to appreciate all of the special moments nature brings to you. Also in attendance will be Maggie’s Farm Rum, independently founded and the first distillery to produce commercially available craft rum in Pennsylvania. Quench your thirst as you indulge in their specialty cocktails while they share their story of how the business got its start. A cash bar will also be available for additional drink options. The fun continues with Phipps edible garden expert, Mike Bechtel, who will teach guests how to grow their own herbs and savory plants indoors. The first 150 guests will pot their own plant, so make sure to get your tickets fast!

Founded in 1893, Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens is a green leader among public gardens striving to educate and inspire people about the beauty and importance of plants, and helping to advance sustainability and promote human and environmental well-being through action and research. PUMP, founded in 1996, works to make Pittsburgh a more dynamic and diverse place to live, work, and play by inspiring youth to advocate and care for their city. This creative, interactive event integrates the missions of PUMP and Phipps by encouraging Pittsburgh youth to become positively engaged with nature in their city.


Photo Credit: Phipps Conservatory

Tickets to Hothouse Happy Hours are $35, but Phipps and PUMP members can grab a spot for just $25. To register, click here, or call 412-622-6915 ext. 6505. PUMP members can contact Annie Clough at for a discount code. We’re also giving away two tickets to one lucky winner! You can enter to win them below.

If you can’t make the first Hothouse event, don’t worry… There will be two more to follow on April 9 and July 23!

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