Because plants have long been jealous of our ability to live indoors, they attempt to infiltrate our finest mansions and universities by slowly climbing stony façades. Visit a place built specifically to contain these floral strivers with today's Groupon: for $11, you get two adult admissions to the Franklin Park Conservatory located in Columbus (a $22 value). Today's Groupon cannot be redeemed on Thursday evenings.
Since 1895, the Franklin Park Conservatory has greeted visitors with a lush, diverse ecosystem of more than 400 species of colorful plants and a schedule of eye-opening exhibits. The conservatory's 88 acres of urban oasis expand from various biomes into surrounding gardens. Watch as trees blossom in the spring and thrive in summer's welcoming warmth, or simply file through the campus and botanical gardens to revel in Franklin Park's herbs, plants, buzzing apiary, and community gardens.
Visitors can marvel at the metamorphosis of more than 100 types of butterflies at Blooms & Butterflies (through September 11), where hundreds of pupas emerge before casual onlookers and entomologists alike. Butterflies test-drive their new wings when released into the conservatory's Pacific Island Garden twice daily (1 p.m., 3 p.m.), followed by a short presentation from conservatory staff. Those visiting after August 20 can learn about local food trends through Hungry Planet (through November 6), a photographic exhibit exploring American eating habits, food attitudes, and why some get a cathartic release by shouting at their mashed potatoes. Feel free to stroll the museum's signature collection of original Dale Chihuly glass art, or watch as in-house professional glass blowers use careful craftsmanship to create twinkling vessels.