1. Sample gourmet chocolates. The Garden House and Garden House Lawn will be chock-full of vendors sampling their unique flavors throughout the weekend. Remember: Valentine’s Day is right around the corner. Here’s an opportunity to get your loved ones some sweet gifts!
2. Learn how chocolate is made in Colombia. Hear horticulturists, chocolatiers, special guests from Colombia, and Fairchild’s own Dr. Richard Campbell and Dr. Noris Ledesma speak about the rich history of cacao in the Andean country.
3. Explore the Rainforest and Tropical Fruit Pavilion. Trek through the lush Rainforest and Tropical Fruit Pavilion to find bright yellow pods growing on trees. These cacao pods contain the beans that are roasted, ground, and made into chocolate.
4. Taste the benefits of cocoa flavanols. The Mars Symbioscience team from Mars Chocolate – the makers of M&Ms and Snickers – will sample and demonstrate their health product CocoaVia, a supplement full of cocoa flavanols and phytonutrients that support smooth blood flow.
5. Buy a cacao tree. Want to grow chocolate in your own backyard? Buy your very own cacao tree! Horticulture experts will be on hand to answer questions and discuss the proper growing techniques of this beloved tropical fruit.
6. Smell a chocolate-scented orchid. A member of the Oncidium species, the ‘Sharry Baby’ orchid has the sweet aroma of chocolate.
7. Take a ChocoWalk. Get your Choco-passport stamped as you travel through the Garden. Education stations will be set up to show visitors of all ages the fascinating world of cacao.
8. Indulge in a one-of-a-kind ChocoSpa. Get pampered with a massage or manicure at a chocolate-themed spa! This is a great way to relax after the busy holiday season.
9. Travel through an Orchid Odyssey. Fairchild’s newest exhibit, Orchid Odyssey, features dozens of beautifully diverse and radiant orchids growing in the lush Rainforest. Encounter splashes of color on your journey through winding paths, meandering streams, and cascading waterfalls.
10. Enjoy 83 acres of tropical beauty. After getting your fill of chocolate, travel through Fairchild’s 83 acres of stunning tropical plants collected from all around the world.
What are you looking forward to the most at this year’s International Chocolate Festival? Let us know!