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Chihuly at the Desert Botanical Garden (Phoenix)

Chihuly at the Desert Botanical Garden (Phoenix)

Dec 30th, 2008, 06:06 AM
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Chihuly at the Desert Botanical Garden (Phoenix)

I know many Fodorites visit the Valley of the Sun in the winter. One thing we enjoyed this week that others may be interested in is the special exhibit of Chihuly's glass work at the Desert Botanical Garden in Phoenix. We visited a few days ago--ironically, one of the rare winter days where it was warmer at home in Chicago than in Phoenix. I saw the similar exhibit at the New York Botanical Garden a few years ago; this one has some of the same elements, but it is spread throughout the grounds and adapted for a desert environment.

It is running through May. We went on member passes and I did not make the arrangements, but I know advance reservations are required.


Some photos:
ms_go is online now  
Dec 30th, 2008, 07:04 AM
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Thanks for posting this. I live in the "Valley of the Sun" and forgot all about this exhibit. You have prompted me to go to the Botanical Gardens website and make a reservation.
orangetravelcat is offline  
Dec 30th, 2008, 07:48 AM
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I love Chihuly's work and would love to see his desert exhibition. Your pictures of it are very nice!
We are fortunate to have his permanent collection at our museum. I never grow tired of it.
BeachGirl247 is offline  
Dec 30th, 2008, 08:35 AM
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thanks for posting your photos.
i love chihuly and saw his exhibit recently at the de young museum in s.f.. - 3 times.
i have enjoyed the botanical garden during a visit and seeing chihuly in this desert environment is spectacular.
your photos make me want to visit again.
abranz is offline  
Dec 30th, 2008, 09:34 AM
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Oh, thanks for posting. I didn't know about this, and was thinking of taking a trip up there soon anyway. And the weather is just perfect for it!
lennyba is offline  
Jan 1st, 2009, 07:19 AM
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I'm glad some of you will have the chance to visit.

I'm back in Chicago now--the weather returned to normal both here and in Phoenix, and it was a real shock stepping out of O'Hare yesterday.
ms_go is online now  
Jan 1st, 2009, 09:25 AM
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We saw the Chilhuly exhibit at the NY Botanical Gardens and it was fabulous. Thanks for letting us know about the one in Phoenix. I love the Desert Botanical Gardens and can't wait to go back. Most likely we will be able to see the exhibit in February.
seetheworld is offline  
Jan 1st, 2009, 09:34 AM
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<<i love chihuly and saw his exhibit recently at the de young museum in s.f.>>

We saw this exhibit too and it was incredible. Sorry we won't be visiting Phoenix to take advantage of the exhibit there. It is definitely a very different, special experience to view his work.
Giovanna is offline  
Jan 1st, 2009, 10:03 AM
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I wonder if we were there at the same time, ms_go! My DS and I went there on Friday--day after Christmas. It was just magical! My son went off to do some climbing on the trails and the rock formations after he took a brief look around, leaving me to drink in the Gardens at a nice pace, then we met up and had a hot chocolate and a sandwich. As we were leaving the lights were coming on in the glass sculptures and the sun was setting--it was heavenly. Coming from New England,the weather felt to me like a gorgeous sunny crisp October day and I was amused to see the natives in parkas, scarves, earmuffs, and gloves, huddling in front of the outdoor heaters Once that sun went down, thought, I was glad I'd brought a fleece jacket with me.

Advance reservations must be made ONLINE--you can't make them by phone. Check your hotel lobby for the brochures--you get $1.00 rebate if you present the brochure at the ticket pickup window. The reservations are for 3 'windows': 12pm to 4pm, 4pm to 8pm and I think the morning viewing is 8am to 12pm but not sure. You don't have to arrive and leave at those times, but your ticket is only good for entry between those hours.They give you a wristband so you can re-enter if you decide to go down to the zoo or the trails. I happen to really love Chihuly's work and was delighted to find out about this exhibit. It was the 'lagniappe' of a wonderful vacation.
mahlquist is offline  
Jan 1st, 2009, 11:50 AM
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Mahlquist, we were there the morning after you. I think we got there before 10 and left a little after noon. I recall it was 30F that morning and maybe warmed up to 45 or so--not bad for those of us from Chicago, but the rest of my family was a little cold.

We were a group of 10 ranging in age from 4 to 76, but even the younger kids seemed to have a good time (by contrast, we went to the zoo a few days later and it was...well, a "zoo"--packed). My mother has been a member of the garden for many years, and we used her guest passes--but she still had to make reservations and I think did so a few weeks in advance.

I'd love to see the exhibit in the evening when the lights are coming on. I have to go back to Phoenix every month or so and will try to do an evening visit next time if they're still offering it.
ms_go is online now  
Jan 1st, 2009, 12:03 PM
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We got there at 2 pm and left at about 6 pm. The people who were coming in at that time seemed to be locals who had memberships and specifcally wanted to see the exhibit all lit up. I'll bet it's just as gorgeous at dawn!

check out the website for a nice "winterlude":
mahlquist is offline  
Jan 1st, 2009, 02:09 PM
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Great pictures, ms go! I love his work; we saw his exhibit at Phipps Conservatory in Pittsburgh in fall of 2007. Some of these pieces, I believe, were shown there but in different settings--the blue and orange ones and the large yellow sculpture--all breathtaking.

Beachgirl, where is your museum houses his permanent collection?
texasjo is offline  
Jan 2nd, 2009, 05:46 AM
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I saw the exhibit at the Phipps as well. Its well worth seeing.
boyney is offline  

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