Chicago Botanic Garden

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With sunny days being limited throughout Chicago, it is important to take advantage of outdoor activities in the Chicagoland area such as the Chicago Botanic Garden.

Things to Know About the Chicago Botanic Garden:

  • The Botanic Garden is located in Glencoe, Illinois, which is about twenty minutes from O’Hare International Airport and forty minutes from downtown Chicago.
  • The admission is technically free, as you do not have to pay for tickets into the Botanic Garden, however you do have to pay to park. There are not many choices to park around the Garden, and free parking is especially hard to find, so the parking basically becomes the admission fee. (Parking Fee)
  • The Chicago Botanic Garden has various memberships available, although it is really only worthwhile to buy a membership if you plan on visiting the Garden on a regular basis annually.(Membership Options)
  • The Botanic Garden is open year-round, so depending on when you visit, your walk around the Garden could change. Whether you visit during different seasons, such as visiting during the fall to see the trees as they are changing colors, or if you want to visit when certain flowers will be blossoming, such as seeing the roses bloom near the end of the summer.
  • There is a lot of garden to see, so I would plan your visit not only for which day in the season, but also for how much time you would want to spend walking through the different sections.You should also prioritize if you really want to see the Japanese Garden, or the Rose Garden, or the Fruit and Vegetable Garden, etc.
  • There are food options, although they are limited. Overall, the biggest complaint with the Botanic Garden is how the crowds are accommodated. After paying to park, it becomes a little frustrating to have to waste time looking for a parking space. It was also frustrating to try to find a place to sit after waiting in line for a while at their restaurant, which is located at the front entrance visitor center.
  • There is a little shop, filled with gardening supplies, Chicago Botanic Garden memorabilia, jewelry, and a variety of nature themed knickknacks. One of the most popular areas at the Chicago Botanic Garden is the Bonsai Tree exhibit and shop, where you can take your own Bonsai Tree home.
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