We’ve been sticking to the quarantine life despite the reopening of many businesses and activities in the Chicago area. But when the Chicago Botanic Garden announced its reopening this month, we felt comfortable planning a visit. This is because its outdoors and visitors must make a reservations and pick a time slot for entry. While the entry time is reserved, you may obviously stay as long as you want until closing. We felt safe because everyone must wear masks when indoors or within 6 feet of others.
Walking around the garden trails admiring the flowers was a welcome change from our usual quarantine activities. It’s nice to be able to explore one of my favorite places in Chicagoland. The blooms were gorgeous, as always! The Chicago Botanic Garden allows a unique experience with each visit because the flora changes and grows throughout the year.
Some services were closed, like the gift shop, but the cafe was open for limited service. The cafe has outdoor seating with umbrellas and there’s another grab-and-go snack/drink shop, theEsplanade, nearby. Bring a water bottle; drinking fountains are not available.
We had no issues with maintaining distance from others for the most part, with exception of the narrow path in the Japanese Garden. Most people wore masks, though. The trail was one-way to allow distancing. A few people missed the One-Way sign, but it was no big deal.
You can easily spend an entire day walking around the garden.
Restrooms were available in the visitor welcome center as well as the Regenstein Center’s Greenhouse Galleries. (Greenhouses are closed, though.)
Parking was $20 for us as non-members of the garden. While events have been canceled, online classes are available. Chicago Botanic Garden hours are 8 a.m.–8 p.m. Reservations are made online, not at the garden.