Tag Archives: traditions

Holiday Traditions: Krohn Conservatory Pointsettia & Train Display

mini Krohn Conservatory - Two Purple Couches

One big holiday tradition in Cincinnati is the train and pointsettia display at Krohn Conservatory. I remembering going as a young child and being mesmerized by the trains; I always loved watching them wind their way around those tiny tracks, and I still do!
The Conservatory was built in the 1930’s and has a cool Art Deco style. The annual holiday display features tons of pointsettias and evergreens as a beautiful backdrop for an impressive train display that snakes all through one of the main areas of the Conservatory. Scattered among the train tracks are replica buildings of some Cincinnati landmarks, all make out of natural materials! There’s even a lifesize Nativity scene on the grounds outside the Conservatory, with live animals (apparently a lamb was born the day we visited, but I didn’t get a pic b/c there were tons of people crowding into the stable to see it).

train tracks - Two Purple Couches

replica bridge - Two Purple Couches
This is a replica of the local Roebling Suspension Bridge that connects Covington, KY and Cincinnati, OH. It served as the prototype for the Brooklyn Bridge, which was also built by John Roebling. The “stones” of this bridge were actually tree bark, cut and applied to look like stone.

pointsettias - Two Purple Couches
I have never seen a speckled pointsettia before. So beautiful. I’d love to fill my house with them, but I’m sure Molly would eat them and get sick.

natural flower - Two Purple Couches
The giant Christmas tree in the Conservatory lobby was full of ornaments made from natural materials. I loved this flower; the petals reminded me of pistachio shells, but I’m not sure if that’s what they actually were.

While we were there, we also wandered through the other Conservatory greenhouses. Here are a few images I snapped in the desert room and the orchid room (my fave!).

succulent - Two Purple Couches

orange orchid - Two Purple Couches

green orchid - Two Purple Couches

orchid - Two Purple Couches

Hope you didn’t mind that this post was so photo-heavy. I took all of these pictures with my iPhone 4s… and am pretty impressed with the quality! Not a bad little camera in that thing!

Do you have a favorite holiday tradition in your city?

Our Trimmed-Out Christmas Tree (and other decorations)

I shared my mantel on Monday, so now, it’s time to reveal the full monty tree. Here she is in all her nine-foot-majesty:


And lit up:


Lovely, right?

One of my favorite things about Christmas is remembering. There are so many memories that I associate with our ornaments and decorations that I love uncovering every December, like this one that we bought on our honeymoon in Maui…


Or this one to commemorate our big move last year…


But I think my MOST treasured set of Christmas decorations is our Nativity set, which my mom handed down to me last Christmas.



This set has been in my family for exactly 60 years. My grandfather purchased it in 1952, when my mom was 9 years old. It’s still in the original box, with the original postage stamp, and the original hand-written address.


I never met my grandfather. He passed away years before I was born. So I love that I have this little piece to remind me of him. Every Christmas, when my mom, dad and I would get out the decorations, I was given two important tasks: screwing in and checking each light bulb for the tree strands, and setting up the Nativity set. And I usually spent the rest of the holiday season playing with the animals, prompting my parents to exclaim that next year, they were wrapping up the Nativity animals instead of buying me toys.

What’s your favorite part of decorating for the holidays? Any special items that you’ve built memories around?

Tree-mendous Tuesday

Tom & I have made quick work of our holiday traditions together. We always get a real tree (I grew up on the artificial stuff), and we make it a family affair – meeting up with his parents and sometimes his uncle’s family to pick out our trees. I love it. His mom is a live tree connoisseur. She has a very discerning eye, and will comb through the whole tree lot before making her decision. And her trees are always spectacular. I’m trying to learn her ways.

At this time last year, we were packing up our condo, getting ready to close on our current home. So, Christmas decorating didn’t happen. I insisted on some kind of tree, so we bought two small potted trees at Home Depot, and I decorated them after we moved in (which was literally 1 week before Christmas).

So this year, we’re making up for last years tree-less Christmas. We’ve got 10-ft ceilings in our family room, and I intend to take advantage of every last inch.

We made our annual trip to the tree lot this past Saturday. Here’s the tree before we left the lot! Don’t you love how part of it is hanging off the back of the car? Not quite as glorious as the scene at the beginning of Christmas Vacation, but still pretty sweet.


Here’s a peek at it in all its glory in our family room:

Is it weird to be super-excited about a Christmas tree? Because I am super excited about this Christmas tree…

Don’t worry – I’ll show you the final decorated product soon. I’m working up a post on all of our Christmas decor. What’s the tradition that you love most about the holidays?