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The Great Escape: An Afternoon in the Tropics

Change into your shorts and sandals and get a dose of warm weather in the 6,000-square-foot Tropical Pavilion.

Do you sit on the subway looking longingly at the rash of ads for warm-weather vacations that now fill the cars?

If you can't manage to get away, you can still get a brief break from winter at the Tropical Pavilion.

The 6,000-square-foot Tropical Pavilion is the largest of the garden's complex of greenhouses that also includes the Desert and Warm Temperate pavilions as well as the Aquatic House and the .

While they're all special, if you're looking for an afternoon in Hawaii, head to the tropics. The glass pavilion soars more than five stories – as do the trees. Inside there's a miniature tropical forest complete with waterfalls, streams and a large variety of tropical plants and flowers.

When you get hungry, make your way over to the cafe, located in the same complex, which offers surprisingly good food. Try their soups and chili (if you're not trying to keep the tropical illusion alive, that is). Finally, head to the garden's enormous gift shop, since no vacation is complete without a souvenir. 

The is located at 900 Washington Avenue, just south of Eastern Parkway next to the . Through March 15, the Brooklyn Botanic Garden is free on weekdays. Weekends and post-March 15, it's $10 for adults, $5 for senior citizens and students with valid IDs. Kids under 12 are free. If you're not walking over, there is parking lot next to the Washington Avenue entrace, or take the B or Q to Prospect Park or the 2 or 3 to Eastern Parkway.

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