Milwaukee County Parks
 

Mitchell Park Domes logo

Mitchell Park Domes

Experience a desert oasis, a tropical jungle and floral gardens . . .all in one afternoon! The Mitchell Park Horticultural Conservatory, better known as The Domes, is one of the most unique destinations in Milwaukee.

Discover cacti, succulents, shrubs and desert palms in the Desert Dome. Enjoy five seasonal shows each year in the Floral Dome and walk among 1,200 species of rainforest plants in the Tropical Dome.

The Domes are open every day of the year and host special events and educational programs throughout the year.

  • Visit
  • Events
  • Learn
  • Membership
  • Rentals
  • Weddings

Opening Hours

Mitchell Park Domes are open 365 days a year! Visit us Monday through Friday: 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, Sunday and major holidays: 9 a.m. to 4 p.m

Admission

 

Resident**

Non-Resident

Adult (18+)

$7

$8

Junior (6-17yrs)

$5

$6

Child (under 5)

Free

Free

Senior (60+) 

$5

N/A

Person with disability

$5

$6

Student*

$5

$6

Friends of Domes Member*

Free Free

AHSG Member* (Max. 2)

Free Free

*ID required

**FREE on Mondays 9 a.m.-noon for Milwaukee County Residents (ID required)
Excluding the celebration of major holidays

Bringing a group of 20 or more? Call for group rates - (414) 257-5611

Explore the Domes

Transportation

Show Dome

Five times a year the Show Dome transforms with unique themed, floral shows. Visit throughout the year for spring flowers, the annual train show and the popular Holiday Show. 

Transportation

Desert Dome

Come to the deserts of Africa, Madagascar, South America and North America to see cacti, succulents, desert palms and even a few agave plants.

View the Desert Dome Map

 

Transportation

Tropical Dome

In our microcosm of the rainforest, you'll encounter over 1,200 species of tropical plants, including chocolate, banana and vanilla plants. 

View the Tropical Dome Map

Major Annual Events

The Show Dome is transformed five times each year with a unique, seasonal display. Each Show Dome display has a specific theme and plants on display are selected specifically for that theme. Shows last from six to 14 weeks. Entry to the Show Dome is included with general admission.

Upcoming Shows

 

Where the Coleuses Grow: Sept. 22 - Nov. 4

More than 30 varieties of coleus, with different colors, patterns, shapes and sizes, will camouflage forest animals. Foliage in combinations of greens, yellows, pinks and reds will help to hide rabbits, squirrels and other small creatures. Grasses and vines as well as chrysanthemums will complete this seasonal show. Show is open daily until Nov. 4 and is included with general admission to The Domes.

Dia de los Muertos - Oct. 26, 6 - 9 p.m.

The Friends of The Domes is introducing a new event this year to celebrate Dia de los Muertos or Day of the Dead. The Desert Dome will be filled with cheerful candlelight, orange marigolds and colorful decorations. Guests will enjoy a mariachi band and dancing in the Show Dome. Children will enjoy face painting, crafts and can interact with and have photos taken with characters in costume. The evening will be infused with educational opportunities to learn about this rich cultural event that is quickly gaining popularity all over the country.

Get Advance Tickets

 

About the Plants

Desert Dome

The deserts of the American Southwest as well as Africa, Madagascar, South America and Mexico are represented in the Desert Dome. The Desert Dome is divided geographically into Old Word and New World habitats. Visit the Sonoran, Northern Mexico and even mountainous South American desert plantings. Enjoy the Madagascar collection, where endangered and unusual plant forms find sanctuary, and the South African and Canary Island collections, where you may just see some familiar plants. Around the pool in the oasis, find native crop plants and an ethnobotanical garden. 

Tropical Dome

Tropical rainforests, covering five continents but less than 7 percent of the Earth's land surface, are home to over 15 million species of plants and animals. Rainforests are the most productive and diverse of the Earth's ecosystems. 

In this Dome you'll find tropical fruit trees including star fruit (Averrhoa), and guava (Psidium guajava). You'll discover the source of chocolate and cocoa (Theobroma cacao) as well as flavorings such as vanilla from the vining vanilla orchid. You will also find spices such as cardamom (Elettaria cardamomum), turmeric (Curcuma longa), and black pepper (Piper nigrum).

Read more about the plants you'll find in the Domes at https://milwaukeedomes.org/domes-plant-articles

Educational Opportunities

The Education Center offers programming for grades K5–12, college students, adults, companies, homeschoolers, travel agencies, and youth groups. The Center also offers individual workshops and guided group tours throughout the year.

Adult Groups: $9/person* (minimum 20 paid adults)
School Groups: $7/student*(minimum 20 paid students)
*All Milwaukee County Schools or Groups will receive a $1 discount with proof of address 

For Self-guided Groups, please call 414-257-5600, 9 a.m.–4 p.m. daily or email DomesInfoDesk@milwaukeecountywi.gov

For Programs lead by a Conservatory Interpretive Educator, please email paula.zamiatowski@milwaukeecountywi.gov

 

Group Tours

Around the Domes in 60 Minutes: An abbreviated guided tour for groups that are on a tight schedule. Twenty minutes are devoted to each dome with the option of 10 minutes for shopping and/or touring the Education Center with the Conservatory Educator. (1 hour)

Best of the Season: Inspired by what is currently in bloom in all three domes. The Conservatory Educator will select several points of interest to showcase plants and trees with interesting features. (1.5 – 2 hours)

Family Fun for Everyone: Ideal for family organizations! Scavenger hunts drive a tour through all three domes, as a family-friendly activity. Begin in the lobby with an introduction, then tour the three domes in search of answers. (1.5 – 2 hours)

From Seed to Plant: Did you know that 90 percent of all seasonal plantings are started in the Milwaukee County Greenhouses attached to the Conservatory? You will have a chance to see the greenhouse complex where all the growing takes place. The Conservatory Educator starts with the greenhouses then guides you through the Show and Desert domes. You will spend the last 20 minutes touring the Tropical Dome on your own for a restorative experience or hop into the gift shop for a souvenir or two. (1.5 – 2 hours)

Horticulture: The Manipulation of Plants is a tour taking you through the many duties of a Domes horticulturist. The history of horticulture as a field of study is presented in the Show Dome. Tour time in the Desert and Tropical domes follows along with the gift shop. (1.5 – 2 hours)

Mitchell Park, Domes and Greenhouses: Past, Present, Future. Learn how the park evolved from a trading post to the Mitchell's to a horticultural destination and farmers market. (1.5 – 2 hours)

Science and the Conservatory: The Mitchell Park Domes is a place of education, recreation, inspiration, and culture. This tour is perfect for the horticultural hobbyist who wants to learn more about the science behind integrated pest management, water conservation, horticulture, and the outdoor native plantings. It is best to book this tour for spring or fall. (2 hours)

Friends of The Domes

The Friends of The Domes is a non-profit support group for The Mitchell Park Horticultural Conservatory. They organize educational programs and special events at The Domes and manage The Domes Gift Shop.  

As a Friend of The Domes member, you will receive:

  • Free admission to the Conservatory during normal operating hours, 365 days a year
  • Advance notice of special educational programs, speakers and exhibits, many of which are free or discounted to Friends of The Domes members
  • A 10% discount in the Domes Gift Shop, Gifts Under Glass
  • A quarterly newsletter
  • Membership in the American Horticultural Society Reciprocal Admissions Program
  • The satisfaction of supporting this unique and historic Milwaukee landmark!

 

Become a Member

Rentals at The Domes

Rent Milwaukee’s most unique venue for your next event. Rental spaces include The Domes, the lobby area, and the Greenhouse. For very large events, food and beverage stations may be scattered throughout The Domes. 

The Domes

The Domes offer a one-of-a-kind destination for your event or wedding. Seated events can accommodate 275 guests; cocktail events, up to 500 guests. Air-conditioning and Wi-Fi are available in the lobby area only.

Zilli Hospitality Group is the exclusive caterer at The Domes; this includes both food and beverage. For rental inquires, contact Zillis at (262) 547-9447.

Available: Year round, evenings

Capacity: 275 for seated dinner or 500 for cocktail event

Get More Details

 

The Greenhouse 

The Mitchell Park Greenhouse, adjacent to the Mitchell Park Domes, gives your guests the illusion of being outside with views that cannot be replicated at any other site. Seated events may accommodate up to 250 guests; cocktail events, up to 600 guests.

Zilli Hospitality Group is the exclusive caterer at The Domes; this includes both food and beverage. For rental inquiries, contact Zillis at (262) 547-9447.

Available: Year round, evenings

Capacity: 250 for seated dinner or 600 for cocktail event

Get More Details

Weddings at The Domes

For a truly unique wedding, ceremonies for up to 50 people can be held in the Tropical, Desert or Show Domes at the Mitchell Park Domes during regular hours. Larger private rentals are also available for receptions in the lobby and the Greenhouse Annex. Bookings are accepted up to three years in advance.

Availabilty: Year-round during normal operating hours except on days when special events are scheduled.

Time Period per Ceremony Permit: Two hours

Capacity: 50

Call (262) 547-9447 to schedule a venue tour.

Wedding Ceremonies

Wedding ceremonies can be held in the Tropical, Desert or Show domes at any time of the year during regular open hours. A ceremony permit is required for $375 plus admission per person. The Domes remain open to the public. For private ceremonies, an after-hours rental is required.

 

Photography

The Tropical, Arid and Show domes make stunning backdrops for wedding or engagement photos. To apply for a professional photography permit, call (414) 257-5611.

Permits cost $61.25 per hour + admission fees per person. Group admission rates for up to 50 people are also available.

 

Take a Virtual Tour

How to Find Us

524 S. Layton Blvd., Milwaukee, WI 53215. (414) 257-5611

Amenities

  Free Parking Available

  Wheelchair Accessible

  Gift Shop

Partners

MILWAUKEE COUNTY PARKS

9480 Watertown Road
Wauwatosa, WI 53226
(414) 257-PARK (7275)

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