The Chicago Botanic Garden in north suburban Glencoe is one of
the most picturesque spots in the area. Its wide open spaces and
elaborate Model Railroad Garden make it a family favorite from
spring through Halloween. But not content to be a three-season
destination, the Botanic Garden offers special classes and family
events to attract visitors in the quiet winter months.
From January through April, it offers weekly Little Diggers
classes on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays for preschool-aged
kids. All classes include digging in the dirt and walking either
outdoors or through the greenhouse if the weather is prohibitive.
($64 for a four-class series.) For older kids, there are family
classes on Saturdays. Each hands-on class exposes kids to important
ideas about science and how plants connect to art, history and
culture. ($22 per child.) Lastly, the Botanic Garden offers free
drop-in nature-themed story times at 10 a.m. Mondays. Afterward,
kids can pick up a Bingo Card and take a walk through the garden or
greenhouse to find the plants featured on their card.
Even if your family just needs some warmth and greenery during
the long cold winter, the Botanic Garden's three display
greenhouses are just what the doctor ordered. The Desert, Tropical
and Semi-Tropical Greenhouses display unusual and fragrant plants
from around the world in a temperate atmosphere. And when you smell
the flowers and see the sun shining through the greenhouse glass
panes, you almost believe that it's summer again.
Until you walk outside into a foot of snow, that is.