Chicago Botanic Garden Open and Free on Christmas Day

For those looking for something to do on Christmas Day, the Chicago Botanic Garden will be open to the public on Christmas Day for the first time in its history and it’s free! Visitors will have free access to the garden’s grounds, the visitors center and the greenhouses. However, the Wonderland Express train exhibit, ice skating at the Esplanade, the Garden Cafe and the Garden Shop will all be closed.

As each season passes at the Garden, nature lovers and gardeners alike have the pleasure of seeing spectacular vistas, lush display gardens, and a variety of wildlife – and winter is no exception. During this free day day, visitors can walk through the grounds and see how the tall conifers, woody plants, ornamental grasses, and perennials look against the wintry landscape. As the sun sets, see the Garden transform into a winter wonderland of trees and shrubs, dramatically lit with more than 750,000 energy-efficient LED lights.

The Chicago Botanic Garden will be open with free admission from 8 a.m. to sunset, on Friday, Dec. 25, at 1000 Lake-Cook Road, Glencoe. Free – no admission or parking fees. (847) 835-5440 or

The Chicago Botanic Garden, one of the treasures of the Forest Preserve District of Cook County, is a 385-acre living plant museum featuring 24 distinct display gardens surrounded by lakes, as well as a prairie and woodlands. With events, programs and activities for all ages, the Garden is open every day of the year. Admission is free; select event fees apply. Parking is $20 per car; free for Garden members. The Garden is located at 1000 Lake Cook Road in Glencoe, Ill. Visit, or call (847) 835-5440 for seasonal hours, images of the Garden and commuter transportation information.

The Chicago Botanic Garden is managed by the Chicago Horticultural Society. It opened to the public in 1972 and is home to the Joseph Regenstein, Jr. School of the Chicago Botanic Garden, offering a broad array of adult classes in plant science, landscape design and gardening arts. Through the Division of Plant Science and Conservation, Garden scientists work on plant conservation, research and environmental initiatives that have global impact. The Center for Teaching and Learning brings the wonder of nature and plants to children, teens and teachers. The Garden’s Horticultural Therapy and Community Gardening programs provide nationally recognized community outreach and service programs. A program of the Chicago Botanic Garden, Windy City Harvest is an organic vegetable and plant production enterprise that provides instruction in sustainable horticulture and urban agriculture to residents of Chicago’s North Lawndale and West Side neighborhoods.

The Chicago Botanic Garden is accredited by the American Association of Museums and is a member of the American Public Gardens Association (APGA). The Chicago Botanic Garden is also host to Botanic Gardens Conservation International-U.S., and a member of the Center for Plant Conservation. In 2006, the Chicago Botanic Garden received the Award for Garden Excellence, given yearly by the APGA and Horticulture magazine to a public garden that exemplifies the highest standards of horticultural practices and has shown a commitment to supporting and demonstrating best gardening practices.

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