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Don't miss the Thursday night lights at The Domes this winter. (PHOTO: Courtesy Milwaukee County Parks)

Domes' light show melts away winter blahs

Baby, it's cold outside, but even in the depths of a Wisconsin winter overlaid with a polar vortex, it's always warm in the Mitchell Park Horticultural Conservatory, 524 S. Layton Blvd. – which you and I call The Domes.

That's especially in the tropical and desert domes, where you'll sweat like a Teamster in February.

Things heat up in the floral show dome, too, this time of year as the annual garden train show kicks off on Saturday, Jan. 14 and runs until April 2.

But the real star of the show at The Domes this winter is the Thursday light show, which takes place every Thursday evening from Jan. 19 until March 30, from 6 to 9 p.m.

The shape and design of The Domes, in combination with the colored lights, creates a wondrous visual experience that kids and adults will love. The shows are set to pre-recorded music, too.

One Thursday each month will feature a special event as part of the program, too.

On Thursday, Jan. 26, from 6 to 9 p.m., a Bizarre Bazaar sets up in the lobby and artists, crafters and makers will hawk their interesting wares, alongside food vendors and musical entertainment.

On Thursday, Feb. 23, from 6 to 9 p.m., you'll find Elvis at The Domes for Viva Las Vegas Night. An Elvis impersonator will wiggle his hips from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. and guests are encouraged to dress like Presley, too. There will be Vegas-inspired carnival games, specialty drinks and Elvis' beloved peanut butter and banana sandwiches for sale.

Finally, on Thursday, March 30, from 6 to 9 p.m., The Domes host a one-night gallery event. Local artists will be on hand showing and selling their work at mARTch MADNESS, which also includes a fashion show of costume designs inspired by The Domes. Kids (and adults) can color, and food and beverages (including wine) will be offered for sale.

Admission to the Domes is $7 for adults (18 and up) and $5 for Milwaukee County senior citizens with ID, differently abled visitors and students with ID, as well as kids ages 6-17. Kids 5 and under are admitted free. There is free parking in the lots out front and there is no extra charge for the Thursday night events.

For more information on The Domes, call (414) 257-5611 or visit


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