Group Visits

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the Garden’s Hours?

November 1, 2013 through March 31, 2014: 8 a.m to sunset
April 1 through June 6, 2014: 8 a.m. to sunset
June 1 through September 2, 2014: 7 a.m. to 9 p.m.
September 2 through October 31, 2014: 8 a.m. to sunset

What is included in the Group Visit price?

  • Free parking for your motorcoach(es)/bus(es)
  • 10 percent discount at the Garden Shop
  • Reserved tram tickets or reserved exhibition entry times
  • Tours led by expert guides

What should we do upon arrival?

Bring your contract or agenda with you. Arrive at the gate and tell the guard your group name for free parking. Then proceed to the Visitor Center for drop-off, and park in the appropriate lot.

What happens if my group arrives late for our tour?

If you are aware you are running late, please contact Group Visits at (847) 835-6949 as soon as possible. We will try our best to accommodate your group on the next available public tour. Please note that the Garden can not guarantee if or when another tour might be available.

When do the trams run?

Trams are available during peak season (April-October). For exact times, please contact Group Visits at (847) 835-6949.

Where do the trams go?

The Grand Tram travels around the 2.6-mile perimeter of the Garden. The Bright Encounters tour showcases several gardens on the main island.

What are the meal options?

The Group Visits department offers a boxed lunch or buffet lunch or dinner.

What happens if it rains?

Trams run rain or shine and are only canceled in case of lightning. The Garden has several indoor exhibits and greenhouses.

Can I take a tour in the winter?

Yes, Wonderland Express is open November 23, 2012 through January 6, 2013. Contact Group Visits at (847) 835-6949 for additional details.

Is the Garden accessible by wheelchair?

Most of the Garden is accessible and both trams have space for wheelchairs. Complimentary wheelchairs are available at the Information Desk in the Visitor Center and motorized wheelchairs are available for rent.

What are the cancellation policies?

Cancellations must be made at least 10 business days prior to your visit. Final payments are nonrefundable after this time.

What are the deposit and final payment policies?

Deposits are due 14 days after the date of confirmation as noted on your contract. The final payment, guest count, and menu (when applicable) are due 10 business days prior to your visit.

How else can I enhance my group visit experience?

The Group Visits department offers demonstrations, workshops, and specialty walking tours. You may also wish to book a group visit during a free public event such as the Garden Chef Series or one of the many flower shows. The Group Visits department also has packages available for the annual Antiques & Garden Fair and the Wonderland Express Exhibit.

How do I contact the Group Visits department?

Call us at (847) 835-6949, e-mail us at tours@chicagobotanic.org or fill out a tour information request form.