This post is written by Courtney Denning, experience designer at Franklin Park Conservatory and Botanical Gardens. You can follow Franklin Park on Twitter @FPConservatory.

Merry & Bright at Franklin Park Conservatory and Botanical Gardens is a festive annual exhibit perfect for a family outing! It has become a Columbus tradition with colorful poinsettia displays, holiday entertainment and programs for families. A visit in the evening brings the added experience of light installations by British artist Bruce Munro.  His exhibition: Light at Franklin Park Conservatory will be on view Poinsettia displaythrough February 8, and can be enjoyed alongside the Conservatory's traditional holiday offerings.

One of the annual features of Merry & Bright is a holiday-themed gallery. Past gallery exhibitions have included Currier & Ives prints from the Nationwide collection, animation cels from the television broadcast How the Grinch Stole Christmas, and this year  Merry Christmas, Charlie Brown, from the Charles M. Schulz Museum that includes classic Peanuts cartoons, memorabilia and a short film about the making of the 1965 television special, A Charlie Brown Christmas. Growing up, my sister and I loved reading the Peanuts comic strips and watching the television specials. The gallery makes me feel like I’m stepping back in time with my old friends Snoopy and Woodstock. I relate to Lucy (I identify with her bossy-big-sister attitude). My sister’s favorite character is Linus.

Family entertainment photo 1 Charles Schulz characters have also inspired many of the entries in the 7th annual gingerbread competition on display at the Conservatory during Merry & Bright. Among the forty entries on display, there are a couple of versions of Snoopy’s doghouse made with gingerbread and other sweets.

Family entertainment photos 2This season, create new traditions and reminisce about holidays of your past when you catch up with Charlie Brown and the gang, check out the poinsettias and enjoy the creativity of some sweet gingerbread creations at Franklin Park Conservatory!