Winter Bonsai Solstice 2023 @ Pacific Bonsai Museum

Another kind of Christmas tree 🎄

📸: Pacific Bonsai Museum

📅 Saturday, December 16th
⏰ 4 pm – 7 pm
📍 Pacific Bonsai Museum: 2515 S 336th Street, Federal Way
🎟 Suggested donation $12

They say that wisdom comes with age—and that knowledge combined with training can lead to natural inspiration. So ask yourself, when was the last time you let a tree teach you? At the Pacific Bonsai Museum’s winter solstice celebration, let carefully pruned miniature masterpieces bring some midwinter wonder into your life. 

The Pacific Bonsai Museum started as a private collection opened by the Weyerhaeuser Company in 1989 to commemorate Washington state’s centennial. In 2013, it was gifted to the community as a non-profit museum, and it’s currently one of two bonsai museums in the country. The collection includes a whopping 150 bonsai, and each displayed tree has a sign stating its date of origin and how long it’s been in training. (Basically, a tree’s date of origin = its birthdate, and its training date = when it was first cultivated as bonsai.) The oldest tree at the museum is a Korean Yew with an estimated birth year of… 1500! Making it over 500 years old! And the museum’s Domoto Maple, born in Japan, has been training in the United States since 1913. It’s believed to be one of the oldest bonsai in America.

For the solstice, wander around, taking in the trees. Afterward, enjoy free hot chocolate while listening to holiday music. Admission to the museum is by donation ($12 suggested). I recommend visiting the gift shop to find a present for the gardener in your life—and a final tip: The museum offers free public tours if you don’t make it out this time. Also, the Rhododendron Species Botanical Garden is located next door. King County Library cardholders can reserve a pass to this museum and many others.

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Patheresa Wells

Patheresa Wells is a Black/Persian, Pansexual, Polyamorous Poet (so many Ps) and writer living in Seatac. An aspiring comic, you can catch her cracking jokes at open mics around the area. In her free time, she likes to imagine what she’d do with free time and feed her backyard crows cuz they’re silly. Follow her on Twitter @PatheresaWells.