Milwaukee County Parks

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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


Mitchell Park Domes are open 365 days a year!* 

Monday – Friday: 9 a.m. – 5 p.m.

Saturday, Sunday & Holidays: 9 a.m. – 4 p.m.

*The Floral Show Dome will not have a display when it is transitioning between major shows.





Adult (18+)



Junior (6-17yrs)



Child (under 5)



Senior (60+) 



Person with disability






Friends of Domes Member*

Free Free

AHSG Member* (Max. 2)

Free Free

*ID required

**Milwaukee County residents (ID required) enjoy Free First Thursdays, from 9 a.m. – 5 p.m., excluding major holidays. 

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

Explore the Domes


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. 


Desert Dome

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

View the Desert Dome Map


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

Shows & 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

Japanese Zen Garden: April 20 - May 25

Relax and unwind as you stroll through our collection of Zen gardens. The small, calming gardens bring out the essence of nature and inspire meditation and quiet reflection. Among the carefully arranged rocks, water features and Japanese sculptures is a collection of Japanese plants, kokedama and cherry blossom trees. The show is open daily, April 20 – May 25, and is included with general admission to The Domes.

Fathoms Below: June 1 – Sept. 8

Explore a summer garden inspired by the depths of the ocean. Colorful fish sculptures swirl around plants resembling those on the ocean's floor. A variety of bright succulents and vivid 'Under the Sea Series' coleus add to a decorative coral reef and sunken ship. The show is open daily, June 1 – Sept. 8, and is included with general admission to The Domes.


Events & Programs

The Mitchell Park Domes hosts a variety of ticketed events throughout the year, including Day of the Dead, Pirates and Princesses Day and a New Year's Eve celebration. View the events calendar for upcoming events and programs hosted at the Mitchell Park Domes & Annex.

Download the Special Events Flyer

View Events Calendar

Group Tours & Educational Opportunities

The Education Center offers programming for grades K5 – 12, college, adults, companies, homeschoolers, travel agencies and all youth groups throughout the year. There is an additional charge for guided tours and educational programs.

To book a self-guided tour or class larger than 10 adults or youths, call The Domes at (414) 257-5600, 9 a.m. - 4 p.m.

Adult Guided Tours

Each tour is $9/adult. There is a minimum of 20 paid adults per group tour.

Your time with a guide will last 90 minutes. During that time you will be guided through the Show and Desert domes and a self-guided restorative stroll through the Tropical Dome with time left for the gift shop or to revisit a dome. Tours must be reserved three weeks ahead and prepaid five business days before the tour date.

• Around the Domes in 60 Minutes
• Best of the Season
• Horticulture: From Seed to Plant
• Mitchell Park, Conservatory  &  Greenhouses
• Science & the Conservatory
• Mitchell Park Horticultural Conservatory: Past, Present & Future

Book a Guided Tour

Schools, Scouts & Camp Tours

School Groups: $7/student* (minimum 20 paid students)
*All Milwaukee County schools or groups will receive a $1 discount with proof of address 

Programming reflects core concepts for each grade.

Kindergarten: Plants, Animals & Their Habitat

1st Grade: What Do Plants & Animals Need to Survive

2nd Grade: Teamwork & the Surroundings

3rd Grade: Environmental Impacts on Plants & Animals

4th Grade: Life Cycles and Traits of Plants & Animals

5th Grade: Energy in Ecosystems

6th-8th Grades: Ecosystems & Human Impact

9th-12th Grades: Biogeography or Resources:  

  • Can You Survive a Desert, a Rainforest?
  • Water, Resources & Population
  • Composting, Vermiculture & Soil
  • Design or substitute a program with the Conservatory Educator

Arrange a Group Visit

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).

Learn More

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, have your ceremony, for up to 50 people, in the Tropical, Desert or Show dome at the Mitchell Park Domes during regular hours. 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

To book your ceremony during regular operating hours call (414) 257-5600

For an after-hours ceremony, larger private rentals are available and may include a reception. In addition to using the three domes, private events may be held in the lobby and the Greenhouse Annex. Bookings are accepted up to three years in advance.

Private rentals, call (262) 547-9447 

Daytime Wedding Ceremonies

Wedding ceremonies with up to 50 guests can be held in the Tropical, Desert or Show domes at any time of the year during regular public open hours. A ceremony permit is required for ceremonies, plus admission per person. Permits are for two hours and include photography at your selected site. For private ceremonies, an after-hours rental is required.

Wedding Permit Application


The Tropical, Arid and Show domes make stunning backdrops for wedding or engagement photos. A Photography Permit must be completed, approved by Domes management, processed and payment received to reserve time at the Domes to take photographs.

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

Photography Permit Application

Commerical Photography Permit Application

Take a Virtual Tour

How to Find Us

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


  Free Parking Available

  Wheelchair Accessible

  Gift Shop



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


2019 rentals guide

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