Despite Chicago’s status as the third largest U.S. city, it still holds a treasure trove of beautiful, baby friendly gardens. From the sprawling Chicago Botanic Garden to the quaint Lurie Garden, there’s no shortage of green space in the Windy City. Here are five baby friendly Chicago Gardens that are worth a visit with the whole family.
Chicago Botanic Garden
When Chicagoans think of gardens in their city, they think of the Chicago Botanic Garden. Bring baby along to see the blooms from their Rose garden, the perennials in their Circle Garden, and many more. The Chicago Botanic Garden is stroller/pram accessible and their food court offers a variety of nutritious fare for picky eaters. Events are also a staple of the Chicago Botanic Garden, including their winter light show, Lightscape, that drapes the trees in lights. And if you need a break on your feet but still want to make the most of your trip, you can hop aboard a tram for a garden tour, which is included with your admission. Tickets range in price from $9.95 to $25.95 per person.
Garden of the Phoenix
The Garden of the Phoenix (locally known as the Japanese/Osaka Garden) is located on its own little island beside Lake Michigan. Enclosed by the West and East Lagoon, this beautiful Chicago garden offers a tranquil, secluded stroll that will make for a relaxing time out with bébé. This garden is stroller accessible, but please be aware that it has dirt paths, which may pose problems if you visit after some rainfall. If you can, be sure to drop by during spring time to show your little ones the cherry blossom trees in full bloom. This garden is free to visit and is definitely worth the trip.
Alfred Caldwell Lily Pool
Many Chicagoans will recommend checking out Lincoln Park, pointing to its award-winning free zoo and its bevy of delicious restaurants. And amongst those amazing venues, we’d like to toss Alfred Caldwell Lily Pool into the mix. Located in the Lincoln Park Conservatory, this Chicago garden features a large lily pool, framed by a stone path that guests can traverse. Please be aware that this garden is not stroller accessible and has plenty of stone steps and jutting rocks that could catch on the wheels. Be sure to bring a baby carrier if the little one needs a nap! The Lily Pool is free to visit and is open from mid-April to mid-November.
Garfield Park Conservatory
Another memorable and unique garden on our list is Chicago’s Garfield Park Conservatory. This beautiful Chicago garden has eight greenhouses that grow native plants as well as flora from around the world. Explore their cacti and succulent filled Desert House or see the palm trees in their Palm House. They also feature play spaces for kids to run around and enjoy the park to the fullest. The Garfield Park Conservatory is stroller accessible, making traversal with your toddler or bébé a breeze. Admission is free, but reservations are required to enter the park.
Busy pursuing downtown Chicago? Consider swinging by Lurie Garden in Millennium Park; it’s the perfect rest stop for you and bébé. Known as Chicago’s ‘Secret Garden,’ Lurie Garden is sheltered by hedges and trees from the rest of the city, providing the perfect oasis. The strip of water beside the Boardwalk of the garden is another memorable feature, framing its seasonal flowers and plants. Lurie Garden is also stroller accessible and offers free admission, making it an easy detour.
For curious parents who want to learn more about traveling with bébé in Chicago, our Chicago Destination Guide and Itineraries have recently been updated, containing helpful info for navigating this big, beautiful city with the whole family.
Have you visited any of these Chicago gardens before? Let us know in the comments. Happy Traveling!