The Chicago Botanical Gardens are located in the suburbs of Chicago at 1000 Lake Cook Road in Glencoe Illinois. The garden is free and open daily but parking is $25. My Aunt use to bike there from the city, you can also take the Metra Union Pacific North Line to the Braeside stop. It’s about a 15 minute walk from the station. The gardens opened in 1972 and has grown into a beautiful living museum and conservation science centers with 26 gardens, 9 islands, and 385 acres of land. They also offer classes in arts, crafting, gardening, health and fitness. There are 9 laboratories and a library housing some of the best botanical books in the country and some of the rarest.
The gardens are beautiful all year long, changing of course with the season. They host a variety of events throughout the year. During the winter this last year they put together a beautiful indoor orchid exhibit and make my own traditional lei out of beautiful orchids and listen to traditional Hawaiian music and learn about Hawaiian culture. I’ve been during the summer, packing up a picnic of chicken wraps and parmesan quinoa bites to listen to an evening of live Irish and Celtic music over looking the lake.
It’s a peaceful place to visit, when it’s warm to bring a book and sit and read and enjoy fresh air. It’s a fun place to learn about plants, get some ideas about gardening and to get some exercise.