Luminarias FAQ

Where will we see the luminaries?
The luminaries will light up safe, wheelchair-accessible paths in select areas, and take you through the Crescent Garden and Esplanade, around the Farwell Landscape Garden and Graham Bulb Garden, and wind you through the Heritage Garden and Linden Allee, concluding in the Krasberg Rose Garden.

Will there be any special displays?
Intricate displays that complement the design of our gardens will be especially prominent on the Esplanade and in the Rose Garden.

How much time should we allow for this event?
That depends on how fast you walk and how many pictures you take, but in general, you should allow about an hour.

What is the best time slot to sign up for?
Any time! If you’d like photos of the candlelit Garden at twilight, you might consider getting tickets for an earlier slot. If you prefer a more atmospheric, romantic experience, a later time slot might work better.

Will there be places to get a drink and a snack?
Grab a drink and quick bite to eat at the Esplanade Grab & Go Café.

Will there be places to shop?
The Garden Shop will not be open for this event.

How do we post about this event on social media?
Post your photos and comments, using #GardenLuminarias, and tag us: @chicagobotanic. No tripods or monopods, please.

What happens if the weather turns bad after we buy tickets?  
We’ll track any wind or rain closely and will let you know by 3 p.m. the day of the event if this pop-up event has to be canceled because of weather. If the Garden cancels the event, you will be contacted via email to receive a full refund. Also, check our website and social media pages for updates.  

Should I arrive in advance of my visit time?
Do allow extra time for entry and parking, but do not arrive more than 15 minutes before the entrance time printed on your ticket. The time on your ticket allows you to enter at any time within your 15-minute time slot. After you are admitted, you may stay as long as you would like. The event ends at 10 p.m. Our goal is to reduce wait times by staggering ticket sales.

I am visiting the Chicago Botanic Garden during the day.  Will I have to leave the Garden before entering Luminarias at the Garden in the evening?
The Garden will close each day at 5 p.m. and will reopen at 7 p.m. for ticketed guests only. If you have a ticket to Luminarias at the Garden and are in the Garden prior to 5 p.m., you will be asked to either leave or wait in your vehicle until your entry time.

Do I have to book tickets in advance?
Yes, you must purchase your tickets to this event in advance online. There will be no walk-up sales. Each timed entry has a limited capacity and we expect this event to sell out.

Do I have to buy or reserve parking in advance?
Members always park for free and do not need a reservation if you have an event ticket. Show that upon entry.

If you are not a member, you must purchase parking online before your visit for entry. Parking will not be sold on-site. Please ensure that your parking purchase is for the same date as your Luminarias at the Garden tickets.

Limited complimentary parking is allowed for the following: active duty U.S. military personnel and/or their families, reservists, and former POWs; reciprocal memberships (i.e., the Morton Arboretum, Cantigny Park). Please present your ID/membership card at the entry gatehouse (one car per entry).
Note: Complimentary parking for corporate partners and teachers does not apply to nighttime-ticketed events, including Luminarias at the Garden.
If I book the wrong date, can I transfer my ticket to another date?
No. It is important to make sure that you have chosen the right date and time slot at the time of making your booking as we are not able to offer exchanges or refunds once tickets have been purchased. If you are purchasing parking, please ensure you select the same date for parking as your event tickets.
If I am delayed and miss my slot, can I join a later slot?
Yes. We will accommodate you in the next slots based on availability, but please be aware that the last entry is at 9:30 p.m. and the event ends at 10:30 p.m.

How long is the trail?
The trail is approximately ¾ of a mile and is entirely on the Garden’s main island.

Are the pathways wheelchair accessible?
The route is designed so that it can be navigated and viewed from paved paths. The Chicago Botanic Garden has wheelchairs that can be loaned, free of charge, on a first-come, first-served basis. ECVs will not be available for rent. If you have particular access requirements, please call the Chicago Botanic Garden at (847) 835-6801 for further inquiries.

What are you doing differently this year due to the COVID-19 health crisis?
The health and safety of our staff and our visitors is our top priority. This year, we've made modifications, and we continue to monitor state and local guidelines in response to the COVID-19 health crisis.
New procedures include:

  • Face coverings are required for those over the age of 2 who are medically abl
  • Limited capacity
  • One-way trail
  • Separate entrance and exit
  • Keeping the event outdoors (except entering via the Visitor Center)
  • No interactive elements

We ask anyone who is sick, or who has been in contact with someone who is sick, to please stay home. You may contact our Customer Call Center at (847) 835-6801 regarding your tickets.