Welcome to the Chicago Botanic Gardens, one of the world's’ greatest living museums and conservation science centers. This garden center is actually comprised of 26 different gardens and 4 natural areas uniquely situated on 385 acres, on and around 9 islands and 6 miles of lake shoreline. The Chicago Botanic Gardens was started by the Chicago Horticultural Society, which was itself founded in 1890, between 1965 and 1972 based on the city’s theme of ‘urbs in horto’, or city in a garden. Today this series of gardens is known for its renowned bonsai collection, various education programs and classes, 9 different learning labs of the Daniel F and Ada L Rice Plant Conservation Science Center, and 50,000 members.
While here your group can tour the grounds, stroll around the themed gardens such as the Japanese garden or English Walled Garden, hike the many different nature trails, check out the Lenhardt Library, or see for yourselves the special species collections, including things such as oaks, willows, or ginkgos. You can see the side array of plant research in the learning centers and visitor center, find out why this is one of the only 17 accredited botanic gardens in the nation, or take in a quick class about subjects such as urban agriculture, horticulture therapy, or other adult or children themed education courses. Have fun exploring the 2.4 million plants from 9,084 different taxa and 17 genera of plants before you head over to the Garden View Cafe for some healthy and delicious garden fresh lunch or the Garden Shop, full of tools and books to help any horticultural habits!