The city of Chicago offers a multitude of indoor and outdoor activities for vacationers, but what if you’re looking for something outside of the ordinary places like the museums, zoos, and the aquarium? If you’re willing to drive a short distance north of the city, the Botanic Garden is sure to be a pleasant and stress-free activity you’ll love.
Chicago’s Botanic Garden is situation over 385 acres on a number of small islands surrounded by lakes in the Northern Chicago suburbs. Founded in 1963 by the Chicago Horticultural Society, the garden opened to the public in 1972 and consists of wooded areas, several waterways, natural growth areas, and 23 other gorgeous display areas. Some of the gardens open for display include an Aquatic Garden, the Sensory Garden, a Bonsai Garden, the Regenstein Fruit and Vegetable Garden, the Malott Japanese Garden, the Waterfall Garden, and English Walled Garden, among many others.
The ever-changing landscape is one of the most popular in the entire United States, but because the Chicago Botanic Garden is so large, it’s nearly impossible to admire the entire thing in one day. If you’re unable to spend more than one day among the gardens, the best advice to print a map and plan a route among the areas you’d like to see most. Otherwise, there’s always the option of planning for visits to the gardens in the future.
Getting into the Chicago Botanic Garden is absolutely free, but you will need to pay a $20 parking fee. If you’re a member of the garden, parking is free as well.