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.
Wonderful place to go to get a way from the hustle of downtown for an hour or two. Beautiful collection of plants indoors and lovely outdoor spaces for when the weather is nice. So easy to get here - just take the Green Line "L" from downtown and get off at the Garfield stop. The conservatory is right next to the station. Also, it is FREE (although they do accept and appreciate donations).
Garfield Park Conservatory is such a gem. It's incredible to see all of the different plants they're able to grow. I learn something new every time I visit. The outdoor areas are just as neat as the indoor gardens- don't miss those, even if it's cold outside! Plus, they have free yoga every other Saturday and interesting programs year round.
Great gem in Chicago! It's about a 20 minute train ride from the Loop and a great spot to check out if you're looking for a free activity. Beautiful plants and landscapes to walk through, plus they host neat events like Beer Under Glass. Definitely worth checking out.
One of the most beautiful places in the city. The historic conservatory is wonderful especially during Chicago's cold winters. The changing display in the showroom is always outstanding, fun, and fresh, especially this past winters magic forest of floating firs. The outdoor spaces are just as beautiful too, but what's really great is the outdoor exploration/playspace for kids. It gives kids a unique opportunity to interact nature and learn. The indoor children's garden us, great too and features special programming on Monday mornings. Parking is easy and free in the secure lot next to the conservatory and the conservatory is also free, but does have a suggested donation.
great place to go. all the plants are super well cared for, with a wide variety (ferns, cacti, children's area and more). plus the sensitive plant