Picture palm trees, pools, orchids and cacti but you won’t have to float a loan for flights and hotels. When time and money are in short supply after the holidays, escape January’s icy weather close to home. Warm temps and exotic plants make Chicago Botanic Garden’s greenhouses and the Lincoln Park and Garfield Park conservatories welcome respites from Chicago’s wintery winds.
Dedicated exercisers briskly walk the Chicago Botanic Garden’s extensive paths in north suburban Glencoe no matter where the thermometer hovers and then warm-up in the Café with hot chocolate, coffee or tea. However, if craving warm air and beautiful foliage, then wander through the Tropical, Semitropical and Arid Greenhouses. You never know what you might spy such as a green bear or flying insect or cacao tree pod.
Details: Admission is free but parking is $20 to nonmembers. For more information visit Chicago Botanic Garden and call 847-835-5440. The Chicago Botanic Garden is at 1000 Lake Cook Rd., Glencoe, IL 60022 847-835-5440.
Runners can be seen zipping through Lincoln Park on Chicago’s near-north lakefront year round. The Lincoln Park Zoo is also a draw. But the beautiful Victorian Glass structure that is the Lincoln Park Conservatory, noticed in the park now that the leaves are gone, can transport you to other seasons and climes. Winding paths pass pools and blooms in the Palm, Fern, Orchid and Show Houses.
Details: Admission is free. Parking is metered and Chicago Transit Authority buses stop nearby. For more information visit Lincoln Park Conservatory and call 773-883-7275. The Lincoln Park Conservatory is at 2391 N. Stockton Drive, Chicago, IL 60614.
The Garfield Park Conservatory is a visitor destination. Among the largest in the United States, it features palms, desert plants, the Fern House with an indoor lagoon, a Children’s Garden, Aroid House with pool, Horticulture Hall and special exhibits.
Details: Admission is free. For more information and questions on parking and groups cCall 773-638-1766. In addition, visit Garfield Park Conservatory. For public transportation check CTA. The Garfield Park Conservatory is at 300 N. Central Park Ave., Chicago, IL 60624