Nestled in the picturesque town of Glencoe, Illinois is a magical garden equipped with any kind of foliage you can imagine. People travel from all around the world to see it. Chicago Botanic Garden is not just one garden- in fact, it is made up of many gardens, all with a different look and purpose.
Although we’ve lived in the Chicago area for over five years, we have never gone to this botanic garden, despite it being highly recommended by multiple people. A few Saturdays ago, we decided to change that. We packed the kids up in the afternoon and headed over to see what it was about. We were blown away by the sheer size of the place. We didn’t realize how big it was until we started walking around. Five hours later, we hadn’t even seen half of it.
Chicago Botanic Garden is an oasis for any photographer- both professional and amateur. Around every turn is a new garden to explore with sights just as beautiful as the last. As I mentioned, we were there for about five hours. After the first few hours, we thought we better turn back and head for our car. “Just one more garden,” we would say, “and then we’ll leave.” But as we exited one garden, we would enter another one just as gorgeous and knew we had to explore that one, as well. So the cycle continued for a few more hours.
What exactly can you find at the Chicago Botanic Garden?
Do you like roses? You can find a rose garden complete with a beautiful water fountain towards the end. Fancy a walk through an apple orchard? Yep, you’ll find that, too. The Chicago Botanic Garden has waterfalls, Japanese gardens, and its very own bonsai collection. There are so many gardens that it’s impossible to list and even more impossible to visit in one day, making it necessary to return for many more visits. A list of all the gardens can be found on the Chicago Botanic Garden website.
You won’t just find flowers and trees aplenty in this picturesque garden. The Chicago Botanic Garden also has special events that occur year-round, such as cooking classes and flower shows. There are also seasonal events such as the Wonderland Express for Christmas and the Night of 1,000 Jack-o’-Lanterns for Halloween.
I cannot recommend the Chicago Botanic Garden enough. Open year-round, it is the perfect place to explore. Because of its large size, it is possible to lose yourself in nature. There is a peaceful feeling that comes from being among so much beauty. Chicago Botanic Garden is a must-stop for anyone- especially nature lovers- who come through Chicago.
Things you should know before you go:
- Chicago is located in Glencoe- about 24 miles north of the Chicago Loop.
- There is no charge for admission into the garden but there is a $25 fee ($30 on weekends) per car to park. Please don’t let that amount keep you away. The price is absolutely worth it for the experience you will get while you’re there.
- There is dining available at The Garden View Cafe- open for breakfast and lunch only. If you’re in the mood for a picnic lunch, tables are available to use in the parking lot as outside food is discouraged.
- Make sure you dress for the weather. Illinois can get hot in the summer and very cold in the winter. Be prepared with the right clothes for any weather.
- Bring sunscreen and/or a hat. Although there is shade in some areas, there are also a lot of open spaces. Do yourself a favor and take care not to get burned.
Have you ever been to the Chicago Botanic Garden? Let me know what you think in the comments!