Type: Family Friendly, Gardens
Free Things to Do: Designed by renowned landscape architect, Jens Jensen, in 1906, the Conservatory is one of the world's largest indoor gardens, a respite of serenity, and it's also a great place for kids of all ages, too. Since the collection is constantly evolving with new specimens and hybrids, and the Show House changes several times a year, consider visiting more than once. Locals love lolling in the tropical Palm House or the Desert House especially in winter. The Elizabeth Morse Genius Children's Garden is open during normal hours where they can see larger-than-life sized roots and seven-foot-tall seeds begging to be climbed. It's quite alright to touch the Sensitive Plant which cringes when touched and take a whiff of French Fry plants that may have them clamoring for a stop at McDonald's on the way home.
Things to Do with Kids: A serene, tranquil setting is the trademark of one of the world's largest indoor gardens but it's also a great place for kids of all ages, too. The Elizabeth Morse Genius Children's Garden is open during normal hours. As kids enter the garden they are greeted by a giant, meandering vine with larger-than-life sized roots. A 7-foot-tall seed begs to be climbed (climbing is encouraged) and kids love to touch the Sensitive Plant which is so shy it cringes when touched. Another favorite is the Balsa Tree which emits a hollow sound when its trunk is tapped. The youngest set have their own place to explore colors and textures of soft-form blocks and play rings in the special permanent Crawling Area.
300 N Central Park Ave
Chicago, IL 60624
Map / Directions
Free Things to Do: "Eat before you visit or pack a lunch. Dining options at the Conservatory and in the surrounding neighborhood are limited."
Best for Free Things to Do Because: The third largest garden under glass on the planet, Garfield Park Conservatory offers 12 acres of indoor and outdoor gardens.
Things to Do with Kids: "Eat before you visit or pack a lunch. The options at the Conservatory and in the surrounding neighborhood are very limited."
Best for Things to Do with Kids Because: Wild Wednesdays allow kids to get up close and personal with some fascinating critters.