Garfield Park Conservatory


CHICAGO, ILLINOIS - DECEMBER 9: Fern Room of the Garfield Park Conservatory on December 9, 2013 in Chicago, Illinois; Shutterstock ID 166759727; Your name (First / Last): Josh Vogel; Project no. or GL code: 56530; Network activity no. or Cost Centre: Online-Design; Product or Project: 65050/7529/Josh Vogel/ Destination Galleries

Shutterstock / Nagel Photography

Built in 1907, these two acres under glass are a lovely spot to while away a few hours sauntering around rooms of palms, ferns, orchids and koi-filled ponds. Between May and October the 10 acres of outdoor grounds are open, including the lily pool, a carnivorous plant bog and the Monet Garden, which is based on the Impressionist painter’s flower patch at Giverny, France. The Demonstration Garden shows urbanites how to grow veggies, keep bees and compost in city plots.

Kids can get dirty with roots and seeds in the indoor Children’s Garden. Newer halls contain displays of seasonal plants that are especially spectacular in the weeks before Easter.

Garfield Park is about four L stops west of the West Loop. The L station is a stone’s throw from the conservatory’s front door. If you drive, lock up: the surrounding neighborhood isn’t the safest.