chocolateFairchild Tropical Botanic Garden’s three-day 8th Annual International Chocolate Festival returns on Friday, January 24 – Sunday, January 26 from 9:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. Enjoy an assortment of chocolate treats from international vendors, cooking demos by prominent chefs, lectures from chocolatiers and restaurateurs, learning opportunities for kids, and much more.

Journey through the world of cacao and get your Choco-Passport stamped at the Choco-Walk stops throughout Fairchild. Don’t miss a stroll through the Tropical Fruit Pavilion’s collection of cacao trees to learn the process that turns their seeds into chocolate consumed worldwide. For an even closer look, the USDA is showcasing a cacao collection featuring the different varieties of cacao beans. And, the Historic Division of Mars, makers of brands like M&Ms and Snickers, is dishing out samples of pure hot chocolate with an interactive demonstration.

Visitors wanting to grow their own chocolate can browse the plant sale area for a cacao tree or chocolate-scented orchid. For those in search of relaxation in a beautiful tropical setting, outdoor yoga classes are offered on Sunday by Rina Yoga. Bring the whole family to the KidWay area, which offers hands-on learning opportunities for children and their families and, on Saturday, will feature a reading of poems inspired by chocolate written by W.R. Thomas Middle School students. There’s something at Fairchild for every chocolate enthusiast.

This year’s festival is sponsored by South Miami Hospital, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), and Whole Foods Market.

Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden is located at 10901 Old Cutler Road, Coral Gables, FL 33156. Admission is free for Fairchild members and children 5 and under. Free for people with a Military ID with $20 for their spouses and $10 for their children. Nonmembers admission is $25 for adults, $18 for seniors 65 and up, and $12 for children 6-17.  $5 off adult admission and $2 off child admission for who walk, bike, or take public transportation.   .

For more information and a complete schedule, please call 305-667-1651 or visit the International Chocolate Festival Web page.