Brilliant blooms, exotic greenery, the fragrant musk of earth and flowers and just a little bit of music to set the mood: that’s the scene on the second Sunday of the month at Wright Park in Tacoma. Local artists fill the W.W Seymour Botanical Conservatory with live acoustic music for visitors to enjoy as they admire the tropical display of plants and flowers. On warmer nights, musicians assemble their instruments and play beneath one of the shady trees that surround the Conservatory.

Wright Park Conservatory
Located at the east end of Wright Park, the conservatory plays hosts to as many as a dozen free or low-cost events and workshops each month. Photo courtesy of W.W. Seymour Conservatory

The Second Sunday Concert Series at the Conservatory fills the grounds with acoustic sounds that cater to nearly any taste: folk, rock, pop, blues and jazz. Live performances take place on the second Sunday of each month from 1 to 2:30 p.m. The lofty dome and classic glass architecture lend themselves beautifully to the concert, creating sound that feels at once intimate and social. Music lovers can find a seat in the center of the antique greenhouse or amble around the exhibit, treating their senses to the sights and smells of unusual flora while they listen to the music play.

This is just one of the many events to look forward to at this beautiful facility. Located at the east end of Wright Park, the Conservatory plays host to as many as a dozen free or low-cost events and workshops each month.

Kiddos can learn about nature and plants through read-alouds and craft time during story hour every Wednesday. Each Friday, little beans can visit Sprout Smart for the chance to take part in a fun and educational workshop that connects young minds with nature. For the more mature plant lover, Tuesdays and Thursdays are wonderful evenings to drop in for a workshop that sheds light on the lesser-known history and beauty of nature.

Wright Park Conservatory
Tacoma’s historic Stadium District is home to the Wright Park Arboretum and the W.W. Seymour Botanical Conservatory, one of only three public Victorian-style conservatories on the West Coast. Photo credit: Mariah Beckman

Special events compliment weekly and monthly staples, adding that much more value to the roster of nature-focused fun taking place at Wright Park. The Secret Art of the Tussie Mussie, for instance, is one such workshop hosted at the Conservatory. Participants of this workshop embark on a fascinating journey into the Victorian/Edwardian age and learn about the mysterious and unspoken language communicated by floral and herb bouquets. Tea times, tastings, gardening classes and hands-on activities with a local, tasty, practical tie-in are among the events you’ll find on the ever-refreshing list of events hosted by the conservatory. Prices vary per event, but many are held with a requested donation amount instead of a set price.

The Relax and Renew guided meditation series is another special engagement at W.W. Seymour Conservatory. Visitors of all experience levels, guided by local meditation specialist Megan Zaback, are invited to enjoy a community-based practice of meditation, sound, light movement and sacred breath. Surrounded by the healing, natural atmosphere of the Conservatory, this hour-long session is worth every penny of the suggested $10 donation.

Wright Park Conservatory
Made possible by a land grant from Charles B. Wright and the Tacoma Land Company in 1886, Wright Park today is home to live music, beautiful weddings and fun classes for the whole family. Photo courtesy: Metro Parks Tacoma

It’s not only a beautiful place to unwind, admire and even learn, but also a striking venue for special events and memorable occasions. The interior of the W.W. Seymour Conservatory is perfect for an intimate ceremony with up to 50 guests. Both the greenhouse and the gazebo are available for rentals, making this a particularly ideal venue for outdoor weddings. Rotating floral displays create an unparalleled backdrop for exchanging vows. The gazebo area is surrounded by beautiful landscaping and with room to set up at least 100 chairs. Anyone interested in hosting an anniversary, wedding, birthday or function at the Conservatory can connect with Metro Parks Tacoma for more details.

Wright Park Conservatory
The mission of the W.W. Seymour Botanical Conservatory is to promote the connection between people and the natural world. Photo credit: Mariah Beckman

The facility itself is well worth the trip on its own merits. The Conservatory is the crown jewel of the Wright Park Arboretum. The 27-acre site was donated by Charles B. Wright and the Tacoma Land Company in 1886. One of the stipulations of this generous gift was that at least 300 ornamental shade trees be planted on the property in the span of four years. That’s precisely what was done. Today there is a rich collection of more than 600 native and exotic trees at Wright Park, many of which are more than 100 years old. These include specimens from all across North America, Europe, South America and Asia.

Wright Conservatory
The 27-acre Wright Park offers visitors a rich collection native and exotic trees. Photo credit: Mariah Beckman

Exotic tropical plants, seasonal floral displays and stalwart succulents await for your viewing pleasure. This historic glass conservatory, listed on the City of Tacoma, Washington State and National historic registers features a distinctive, twelve-sided, central dome made up of more than 3,000 panes of glass. More than 250 individual plant species make up the permanent botanical collection here, including more than 200 orchids, as many as 500 plants in seasonal bloom, and a robust collection of azaleas, rhododendrons, chrysanthemums and cacti.

Stop in and smell the roses with a sweetheart, friend or family member Tuesday through Sunday from 10:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. and every third Thursday of the month from 10:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m.

W.W Seymour Botanical Conservatory
316 South G St.
Tacoma, W 98405
In Wright Park
253-591-5330

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