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.
Garfield park is a hidden world! Once you are there, you forget the weather, who is around you or which neighborhood you are in. Its magic! The different displays in the conservatory are definitely eye catching and well thought out. The various events offered by the conservatory show nothing but support for the natural life. Been there several times and love talking about what a hidden gem that place is!! And the best part is its also free!! Had our wedding reception there and it was as magical as I could have imagined. The nature surrounding, fresh air, covered and beautiful place was a huge success!!
Beautiful gem in the middle of the city. It's a true oasis! I recommend to friends and family all the time. They also have free workshops, which are great. Fun afternoon getaway with kids or stroll through on your own. Free to public!
We visited the conservatory on as bitterly cold day after Christmas. It was like paradise. One of my adult children claimed that it was one of his favorite places ever. The beautiful glass building is separated by theme and temperature/ humidity. There is a room for desert plants, one for food producing plants, a treehouse room for kids. Beautiful specimen plants, exquisitely well maintained. maintained. Free but donations welcomed.
A fantastic botanical garden in the heart of Chicago. Hosted inside a huge glass conservatory, the gardens are arranged according to the types of plants housed in each wing. An impressive array of desert succulents are a particular highlight. Other excellent features include the large koi pond decorated with intricate glass flowers (and a smaller fish pond under the roots of a mangrove tree), and the seasonal displays and arrangements. Well located and easy to access (step right off the green line on the elevated railway and right into the front door!).
Beautiful setting for meeting or event. Helpful staff and volunteers. Peaceful atmosphere among the many plant displays. Family-friendly. Open 365 days a year. Free admission, donations welcome. Nice gift shop. Ample parking, wheelchair ramp from parking lot. Accessible to public transportation.