Garfield Park Conservatory
The Garfield Park Conservatory is one of the largest and most stunning conservatories in the nation. Often referred to as "landscape art under glass," the conservatory occupies approximately two acres inside, where thousands of plant species are on display throughout eight rooms in this magnificent facility. Travel through the conservatory and experience the lush flora and tropical temperatures taking you away from the hustle and bustle of Chicago. Don’t forget to visit the 12 acres of stunning outdoor gardens during the summer!
The Palm House is home to graceful palms, interspersed with a variety of other tropical plants, and soar up to a vaulted ceiling. Most impressive is the Conservatory’s historic Fern Room with lush ferns, rocky outcroppings and an indoor lagoon that evoke the swampy landscape of prehistoric Chicago. The Fern Room is home to the palm-like cycad; one of the oldest species of plants on earth. Head to the newest exhibit, Sugar from the Sun, and discover how plants make energy. The Show House displays the season’s best rotating floral exhibit. For an educational and interactive experience for your kids, head to the Elizabeth Morse Genius Children’s Garden. Visit the Aroid House and see Dale Chihuly’s 16 yellow lily pads permanently displayed in the "Persian Pool". The Desert House holds one of the region's most varied collections of cacti and succulents. Lastly, Horticulture Hall is a great place to sit and relax, marvel at the mosaic Morrocan Fountain, or rent for a corporate event or wedding.
In 2008, the Conservatory celebrated its 100th birthday by opening a brand new exhibit, Sugar from the Sun. This exhibit teaches visitors how plants capture sunlight and use it to change small parts of air and water into sugar – the energy that sustains life on Earth. Most recently, the Conservatory has reopened the restored Fern Room, Desert House, and Show House widely damaged in a devastating June 2011 hailstorm.
In 1995, the Garfield Park Conservatory Alliance was created, a private organization that has raised millions of dollars for educational programming, community relations, and visitor services. The Alliance has worked to connect the community to this historic west side gem with its innovative and popular programing and events that include, County Fair, Creatures of the Night, Beer Under Glass, , Creatures of the Night, and Fleurotica, to name a few. Attendance and interest in the historic facility has grown tremendously over the last decade, to the point the Garfield Park Conservatory is now well on its way to becoming, once again, one of Chicago’s premier cultural institutions.
Amazing! Seriously. Amazing! While the neighborhood might not the safest, the walk from the L stop to the conservatory is a very safe one. That should not deter you from enjoying a great experience here. Donations are encouraged as it is surprising that this place is free for everyone. On sunny days, you can take advantage of the outdoor for a picnic.
One of my favorite places in Chicago! Very grand, well maintained green houses. They serve as a great retreat from the cold Chicago winter. Signage is well done, and the staff we encountered were very friendly and excited to answer our questions.
Admission is free, but there is a suggested donation box. You can spend at least an hour here walking around their expansive greenhouse complex. They have everything from tropical to desert plants, and the selection is stunning. Just the desert room alone has hundreds of individual species, some extremely rare. All were in phenomenal shape showing the level of care this institution has for its plants.
Awesome place to visit, especially in the winter months. It's basically a big green house with a wide variety of plants on display from all over the world. The fern room is probably my favourite. Also they have a gift shop where you can buy some of the more popular varieties of plants
Peaceful place to visit during cold winter months. Admission is free, parking is free and the train (green line) is right outside the door. Kids have fun on the slide or playing in the dirt in the kids area located at the back of the building. You will enjoy the architecture and plantings.