The Best Indoor Gardens In Chicago

Photo of Benita Gingerella
9 February 2017

Chicago is home to 570 parks and gardens. Due to the cold, however, many of the outdoor gardens are not active during the winter months. The following indoor gardens located throughout the city allow you to enjoy the beauty of plants, trees, and flowers throughout the year, come rain, snow or shine.

Inside of the Lincoln Park Conservatory | © Benita Gingerella

Lincoln Park Conservatory

Located right next to the Lincoln Park Zoo, the Lincoln Park Conservatory features tropical plants, ferns and palms, all showcased in four display houses. Each season, the conservatory also has rotating exhibits such as the spring flower show. The conservatory is open daily from 9am-5pm, and best of all, it’s free.

Crystal Gardens | © felice/Flickr

The Crystal Gardens at Navy Pier

Along with the Shakespeare Theater, Children’s Museum, and the iconic Ferris wheel, Navy Pier also features an indoor garden. The Crystal Gardens is one acre of plants, palm trees and leaping fountains. Since the garden is made from glass top to bottom, visitors are able to take in the stunning views of the lake, city as well as the Ferris wheel.

Garfield Park Conservatory | © Steven Vance/Flickr

Garfield Park Conservatory

Garfield Park Conservatory is located on the West Side of Chicago and is over 100 years old. Along with eight rooms that house thousands of plant species, the conservatory also offers a wide range of instructional classes and demonstrations from beekeeping to Bonsai tree care classes. Admission is free with a suggested donation at the door.

Botanical Garden | © Uroburos/Pixabay

Chicago Botanic Garden

One of Chicago’s biggest gardens, the Chicago Botanic Garden offers 385 acres full of different varieties of plants, including Alice — the garden’s 4.5-foot-tall corpse flower. Admission to the garden is free, however, many of their events are not. The Chicago Botanic Garden is open every day of the year, however, their hours change depending on the season so make sure to check their website before visiting.

Entrance to the Kilbourn Park Organic Greenhouse | © Benita Gingerella

Kilbourn Park Organic Greenhouse

The Kilbourn Park Organic Greenhouse is a part of Kilbourn Park located in Irving Park. The greenhouse is primarily used for teaching and is open to the public every Tuesday to Saturday. Each spring, the greenhouse hosts a plant sale, and in the fall, the greenhouse holds a harvest festival that includes crafts as well as cooking and gardening demonstrations.

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