Chicago Botanic Garden

Chicago Botanic Garden, Glencoe: Address, Phone Number, Chicago Botanic Garden Reviews: 5/5

Chicago Botanic Garden
5
Gardens • Scenic Walking Areas
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Just a short trip from Chicago, the Chicago Botanic Garden is a 385-acre complex of flora, footbridges and waterways.
Suggested duration
2-3 hours
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5.0
1,217 reviews
Excellent
1,044
Very good
139
Average
16
Poor
8
Terrible
10

LifeAsMummyPeanut
Chicago, IL390 contributions
May 2021 • Family
You must have a prepaid parking pass which you can book online and just show it as you enter the garden.

We went on Mother's Day and there were a lot of people but everyone was wearing a mask even outside and even apart. I think it was more because it was chilly but I am glad to see them aware of everyone else. The place is really big and there were beautiful blooms all around. We did not get to every island because it was just so large. We took a Tram tour around the garden. The tour guide was very knowledgeable and I learned a lot about prairies and the behind the scenes of the garden as well. I can feel she really loved nature and the whole place.

This garden is so beautiful. It offers a different feel and ambience than Morton Arboretum (of which we are members) and I love the cultivated feel of the place. There is also a children's interactive playground about 5 minutes from the visitor center.

If you are a member of a reciprocal garden, you can ask for a refund for your prepaid parking at the customer service. Just show them your membership and paid ticket.

We did not ask for a refund because we want to support the garden. Admission is free. Parking was $30 (weekend rate) per car regardless of how many people are inside.
Written May 10, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

chi-lette
Chicago, IL9 contributions
Feb 2022
This is an extremely calming place, especially if you arrive early or go on a weekday.

Stroll around to each of the specialty areas, like edible fruits and vegetables (see what well-tended lettuce, peppers, and more look like in late summer!), the walled English garden, Japanese garden, sensory garden.

In the summers, they have beer gardens. In autumn, stunning color. In winter, the light and orchid shows. There is also a cafe and gift shop in the welcome area.

A few times that I've been there very early, I've seen amazing wildlife: deer, heron, frogs.

It's not too far outside Chicago and easily accessible by public transit too (take the 213 bus from Howard station or check for the nearest stop North of Howard).

It used to be free but this year (2022) they started charging admission fees and are members-only before 10 AM. There are free days and it's cheaper if you book in advance. If you're coming from out of town or have other garden memberships, see if they offer reciprocal admission privileges with Chicago Botanic Garden.

It seems to draw a lot of people from various different cultural backgrounds. You'll hear different languages spoken around the grounds and the like. I don't see many people who look like me there, but I've never personally felt unwelcome.

Go and enjoy some quality nature time.
Written February 20, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Ellen B
Hortonville, WI582 contributions
Sep 2020
Once again, the garden exceeds expectations. They are managing the flow of visitors very well during COVID by having everyone register & pre-pay for admission. You sign up for a one hour window of time for your arrival, and can remain until the garden closes (5:00 p.m.). It is very easy to do.

The gardens are as beautiful as ever. Since we had a toddler with us, we didn't see the entire garden, but did stroll through the English garden, the water lily garden, the walled garden, the Japanese garden, and the rose garden. The gardens are very well maintained, and the flowers are just breathtaking in their variety and beauty. Some of the flowers are so unusual!

There were a lot of people visiting the garden on Saturday when we were there, but everyone was very respectful of other's personal space, and properly masked. In the cafe (where we lunched) every table was sanitized after each group left. It was a relaxing, wonderful way to spend a fall afternoon.
Written September 28, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

CultureVulture60657
Chicago, IL8,628 contributions
Jul 2020
Visiting the Botanic Garden nowadays requires some advance planning. You are required to reserve a one-hour time slot to visit. This must be done in advance by visiting the Garden's website. You need to remember to bring evidence with you that you've made a reservation, either on your phone or by printing out a copy of the form they email you. A face covering is required in all indoor spaces, when keeping 6 feet of social distancing isn't possible and when speaking to any of the staff. Water fountains are shut off, so you need to bring water with you. Only some restrooms are open and the Garden View Cafe has a limited menu. Some of the narrower walkways in some parts of the gardens are closed but there is still plenty to see. You are required to show up during your one-hour window but you can stay as long as you want up until closing time.

On the plus side, there are far fewer visitors. You can find a parking spot at one of the closer-in lots. With fewer visitors it's easy to maintain the proper distance and it's more peaceful without the hordes of people that are normally there.
Written July 28, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Cheri N
Peoria, Illinois, United States109 contributions
Aug 2021
Beautifully kept grounds! My favorite thing about Chicago Botanic was their mission to bring back the native Illinois prairies. We took the tram ride and we enjoyed every part of our experience here--including the reciprocity with a local museum (we live downstate) and them honoring this to the cafe where we enjoyed a quick refreshment, the model train exhibit and most especially, the tram ride. Casey sold us the guided tram tour and our guide was Carol. Not only did she navigate us safely throughout the 40-minute tour, she was also a wealth of information and we learned about weirs, the seed bank they retain here at the complex and all the research work. We loved that we got to see so much of the 'behind the scenes' activity.
Written August 30, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

135jbb
Georgia226 contributions
May 2021 • Friends
We had a wonderful, early Mother's Day visit to the Chicago Botanic Garden. We initially planned the visit because we wanted to see the Philip Juras exhibition. The landscape paintings were amazing and paired nicely with this garden that emphasizes experiencing the landscape in addition to the individual plants. There are numerous viewpoints along the garden walking paths that are picture perfect. By the time we left, my battery was low from taking so many pictures!

Parking reservations were required in advance, but we didn't have any trouble booking the reservation online. One other current safety precaution of note was that the gift shop was not accepting cash payment.

I hope to visit the garden again to see the colors and foliage in a different season.
Written May 9, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

CityFam
Chicago, IL1 contribution
Dec 2020 • Friends
The 515pm time slot felt so crowded!!! We were rushed from behind and so many children were running separately from their families. It was crowded and not fun at all. Perhaps you should consider going during the late times so
you can enjoy the pace and light show without being pushed through.
Written December 29, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

annmarz
Wayne, IL145 contributions
May 2022
I visited on a Sunday in late May with my son and two year old granddaughter. My son and his family are members and they visit often - this was my first visit. So I was not paying attention to prices, parking etc.

I loved it! The place is beautiful and large. We arrived during the early entry time for members and it was noncrowded. I enjoyed the mix of plants, whimsical art, and water features. The model railroad area was great too! Definitely something for everyone.

Next time I would love to ride the tram, visit the gift shop and cafe.
Written June 6, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Lois S
Lake Mary, FL30 contributions
Feb 2020
A delightful way to spend an afternoon in wintry Chicago! Who knew that there were so many varieties of Orchids, and some have distinctive fragrances, that at least 22 varieties are native to Illinois and Indiana, and some varieties are endangered such as the beautiful white Ghost Orchid that is being nurtured right there at the Garden. The setup, display, information panels and overall good feeling was delightfull to the senses and a great outing.
To wrap our outing, we stopped at the cafe that offered a delicious and reasonably priced variety of food, from sandwiches and salads to soups and dessert; and overlooked the gardens.
Written February 11, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

PLan977
Winter Garden, FL680 contributions
Dec 2020 • Friends
The 3 of us got timed entry tickets for Lightscape, a beautiful display of lights and music for Christmas.
The event was handled very well during this pandemic. They updated you with emails on what to expect and when you should arrive.
Everyone had to wait until their time to enter so it was easy to keep your distance. Everything is outside
The light and music displays were just fantastic.
A wonderful event to enjoy.
Written December 7, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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