Flower power: The Chicago Botanic Garden provides a much-needed escape with nature
By Trent Modglin
The start of school (i.e. e-learning from the living room) is just around the corner, and you need a break. An escape, if you will. Not a Starbucks latté or therapeutic massage type of escape, but a real escape. In nature, walking with the kids, breathing in the fresh air, exploring.
The Chicago Botanic Garden will cure what ails you. We ventured up to Glencoe last week with some neighbor friends and their kids, and everyone is still talking about the experience.
It was an ideal day: Temps in the mid-80s, sun shining, a boundless array of flowers in full bloom, lunches packed, ducks hungry for our bread crust, and the kids eager to hike and become one with nature.
There are more than 350 acres of luxurious gardens in which to roam that are free to the public. Get ready for an extensive and exotic collection of flowers, plants and trees, as well as numerous lakes, waterfalls and fountains.
Hop on the tram to get a more efficient view of the property before heading out on your own to investigate spots like the Rose Garden, Dixon Prairie, English Oak Meadow or Japanese Garden more closely.
Many seasonal workshops, workouts and events are still happening at the Botanic Garden, though some have shifted online. Whatever you do, don’t forget to swing by the Model Railroad Garden exhibit. It is so unique, detailed and fun for all ages. The cost for this exhibit is $6-7 per person and so worth it. My six-year-old son and I spend an hour inside each time we visit.
To say our visit was time well spent would be a serious understatement. The sun, the breeze, the wildlife, the vibrant flowers, the bridges, the children’s laughter.
“Unbelievably beautiful,” said Aykut, our neighbor whose family moved here from Turkey two years ago and had never been to the Botanic Garden. “A truly unforgettable day.”
Couldn’t have said it better myself.
The Chicago Botanic Garden is located at 1000 Lake Cook Road. Parking is $25-30 per car, but admission is free. NOTE: Due to COVID-19 capacity regulations, all visitors must pre-register for a timed entry. ChicagoBotanic.org