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Parenting Alone In Chicago # 20: The Garfield Park Conservatory
This is number 20 in my series of things to do with your kids during or after a divorce or separation. I always truly believe in putting the kids first during a divorce. Whether it’s recommending a therapist or just suggesting something to do with the kids for the afternoon, a family law lawyer should have be giving his or her clients ALL the information he has available.
The winters in Chicago are brutal. More than brutal they are just long. It is incredibly difficult to adequately entertain a child indoors from November through April. It is also unadvisable to just allow children to watch movies or play video games throughout these frigid months. If you look closely enough, you will find that there are many positive, educational activities you and your children can do in the wintertime.
One of the weirder things to do in the winter is to visit the Garfield Park Conservatory. The Garfield Park Conservatory is located at 300 N. Central Ave., Chicago, Illinois in Garfield Park. You can get to the Chicago Botanical Gardens directly off the Green line getting off at the Conservatory/Central Park Drive stop. The Garfield Park Conservatory is open daily from 9AM to 5PM and stays open late on Wednesdays until 8 PM.
The Garfield Park Conservatory is completely under glass. You step out of the cold Chicago winters and into a lush humid atmosphere.
Garfield Park Conservatory was constructed in 1906. It is a really impressive institution to this day. In fact, In 2012, the Garfield Park Conservatory won the National Medal for Museum and Library Services
For younger children there is a children’s garden where children are encouraged to touch the plants.
Some of the games you can play with your kids here is to award a prize for finding certain plants. A list of the plants that can be found are here. I saved you the trouble and here is a list of scattered plants throughout the facility.
1) French Fry Plant (it really smells like French fries)
2) Sensitive Plant (it moves when you touch it)
3) Bird of Paradise (not a real bird. It’s a colorful flower)
4) Canuba Wax Palm
6) Chocolate Tree (chocolate comes from trees?!?)
7) Prickly Pear (from the song Baloo sings in “The Jungle Book”)
8) Calabash Tree
9) Powderpuff Tree
These plants are all indoors but there are lots of outside gardens too if you visit the Garfield Park Conservatory during the warm weather.
There are regularly scheduled exhibits throughout the year if you’re a big plant fan. I’m not so sure children would appreciate them, though. For children there is usually a family focused theme available.
The area surrounding the Chicago Botanical Gardens is not great for finding a place to eat lunch or a snack after your visit. But, since you’re on the west side it might be nice to quickly drive or take the Green line to Oak park where you can enjoy their nice downtown, world famous architecture and library.
The Garfield Park Sanctuary is 6 miles from my Chicago family law firm. Directions below: