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Chicago Botanic Garden Event Calendar

January through June 2018

Julie McCaffrey
(847) 835-8213, direct
jmccaffrey@chicagobotanic.org

Release Date: 
Monday, January 29, 2018

There’s always something going on at the Chicago Botanic Garden. From the Orchid Show in winter to the Model Railroad Garden and Butterflies & Blooms in summer, each day brings a new experience at the Garden. Visit www.chicagobotanic.org for more information.

JANUARY 

Story Time in the Lenhardt Library – Mondays, January 22 through May 21 (10-11 a.m.)
Children are invited to enjoy nature-themed activities and stories on Monday mornings in the Lenhardt Library. Program is geared for children ages 2 to 5, accompanied by a caregiver.

Library Exhibition – Asian Orchids Illustrated – Friday, January 26, through Sunday, April 15
This rare book exhibition in the Lenhardt Library features beautiful and colorful Asian orchid illustrations from the rare book collection. Free library talks will be held on Sunday, February 25, at 2 p.m. and on Tuesday, February 27, at 2 p.m. 

Seed Library – Monday, January 29, through Sunday, March 31
Stop by the Lenhardt Library to “borrow” seeds to plant, grow, harvest and save. At harvest time, save seeds for yourself, and return some to the Seed Library for others to “borrow” next season. With the borrowed seeds, you also receive resources on seed growing, harvesting, and saving. In 2018, seed library crops are tomato, pea, squash, sunflower, basil, soybean, and pepper. Hours are from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

FEBRUARY 

Library Exhibition – Asian Orchids Illustrated – Through Sunday, April 15
This rare book exhibition in the Lenhardt Library features beautiful and colorful Asian orchid illustrations from the Rare Book Collection. Free library talks will be held on Sunday, February 25, at 2 p.m. and on Tuesday, February 27, at 2 p.m. 

Seed Library – Through Sunday, March 31
Stop by the Lenhardt Library to “borrow” seeds to plant, grow, harvest and save. At harvest time, save seeds for yourself, and return some to the Seed Library for others to “borrow” next season. With the borrowed seeds, you also receive resources on seed growing, harvesting, and saving. In 2018, seed library crops are tomato, pea, squash, sunflower, basil, soybean, and pepper. Hours are from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. 

Story Time in the Lenhardt Library – Mondays, All Month (10–11 a.m.)
Children are invited to enjoy nature-themed activities and stories on Monday mornings in the Lenhardt Library. Program is geared for children ages 2 to 5, accompanied by a caregiver. 

Orchid Show Members’ Night – Friday, February 9 (5–7:30 p.m.)
Members get an exclusive visit to the Orchid Show the night before it opens to the public. See the rich colors of the orchids while enjoying live music, light refreshments and a cash bar. Orchid experts will be on hand to answer questions. Tickets are $30 per person.

Asia in Bloom: The Orchid Show – Saturday, February 10, through Sunday, March 25 (10 a.m.– 4 p.m.; Thursday evenings until 8 p.m.)
Look for sunlit orchids under colorful handmade parasols, listen for the trickle of water from a bamboo spout, and take in a Japanese-style dry garden surrounded by burnt cedar in the shou sugi ban tradition. The Chicago Botanic Garden’s Orchid Show is an homage to the rich culture of Asia and its stunning array of native orchids. Come see 10,000 orchids in bloom. Photography is allowed, but tripods and monopods are only welcome from 8:15 to 9:45 a.m. on Thursdays (tickets required). Enjoy musical events like Morning Music with Orchids on Tuesdays and Thursdays while surrounded by the beauty of the Orchid Show. Orchids After Hours is new on Thursdays—enjoy the orchids in the evening and Asian beer, sake, sushi with lite fare available for purchase. Partake in a cocktail tasting at Evening with Orchids on March 7 from 6 to 8 p.m.; separate ticket fee applies. Multiple adult education and family weekend classes will be offered that complement the exhibition. Visitors will be able to purchase the orchids displayed at the exhibition at a post-Orchid Show plant sale. Tickets for the Orchid Show are as follows: Adults $12 nonmember/$10 member; children (3–12 years) and seniors (62 years and up) $10 nonmember/$8 member; children under 3 are free. Regular hours are from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Open until 8 p.m. on Thursdays. Visit https://www.chicagobotanic.org/orchid for more information. 

Orchid Marketplace – Saturdays and Sundays, February 10 through March 25 (10 a.m.– 4 p.m.)
Orchids and orchid-related merchandise will be on sale every weekend of the Orchid Show in Nichols Hall. Admission to the marketplace is free. The Illinois Orchid Society will be present on select weekends to help answer orchid-related questions and to offer orchid repotting services ($5 fee applies for repotting service.) Visit https://www.chicagobotanic.org/orchid for more information.

Paul Lange: Big Blooms – Orchids – Friday, February 9, through Monday, September 24
In Krehbiel Gallery of the Regenstein Center, see a collection of 18 large-scale images of beautiful and somewhat petite orchid blooms, skillfully photographed. 

Winter Woods Walk – Sunday, February 11 (2–3 p.m.)
Bundle up, get outside and go on a nature walk. Warm up by the fire afterward. Meet at the McDonald Woods Shelter for a guided, 40-minute trek. No reservations necessary. If the temperature is below 20 degrees Fahrenheit, we will post a cancellation notice on the Garden’s website.

Weekend Family Class: Sweet Treats: Cold Eats – Sunday, February 11, or Saturday, February 24 (9:30–11 a.m. or 1-2:30 p.m.)
Together, adults and children can explore cool things about how plants connect to science, art, history, and culture. Each program includes a variety of hands-on activities and projects, as well as opportunities to bring the Garden home. Many of our favorite cold sweet treats get their flavors from plants—vanilla comes from an orchid and fruits grow on bushes, trees, or vines. In this class, participants will put together (and taste) some easy-to-make fruity treats like smoothies and flavored shaved ice and get recipes to make at home. Preregistration required. Visit https://www.chicagobotanic.org/familyprograms for fees and registration. 

Morning Music with Orchids – Tuesdays and Thursdays, February 13 through March 22 (10­–11 a.m.)
Enjoy an indoor concert at the Orchid Show on Tuesday and Thursday mornings. Each week features different local musicians; Thursdays are dedicated to Asian-inspired music. The free, hour-long concerts take place in Nichols Hall. Visit https://www.chicagobotanic.org/interest/music/morning_music for a full schedule of performers.  

School Day-off Camp – Monday, February 19 (9:30 a.m.– 3 p.m.)
School may be out, but camp at the Chicago Botanic Garden is on. Children will participate in high-quality learning activities with experienced teachers who use inquiry-based, hands-on activities. Each camp day’s theme changes depending on the season or holiday. Camp on February 20 is about Presidents & Plants.

Meet the Rare Books – Saturday, February 24 (1–2 p.m.)
Discover treasures of the Rare Book Collection in the Lenhardt Library. There are more than 4,000 titles in the collection, including some that are more than 500 years old. Discover botanical treasures that will intrigue, inform, and delight. Preregistration is required. Each session is limited to 15 adults.

MARCH 

Library Exhibition – Asian Orchids Illustrated – Through Sunday, April 15
This rare book exhibition in the Lenhardt Library features beautiful and colorful Asian orchid illustrations from the rare book collection. 

Seed Library – Through Sunday, March 31
Stop by the Lenhardt Library to “borrow” seeds to plant, grow, harvest and save. At harvest time, save seeds for yourself, and return some to the Seed Library for others to “borrow” next season. With the borrowed seeds, you also receive resources on seed growing, harvesting, and saving. In 2018, seed library crops are tomato, pea, squash, sunflower, basil, soybean, and pepper. Hours are from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. 

Paul Lange: Big Blooms—Orchids – Through Monday, September 24
In Krehbiel Gallery of the Regenstein Center, see this collection of 18 large-scale images of beautiful and somewhat petite orchid blooms, skillfully photographed. 

Story Time in the Lenhardt Library – Mondays, All Month (10–11 a.m.)
Children are invited to enjoy nature-themed activities and stories on Monday mornings in the Lenhardt Library. Program is geared for children ages 2 to 5, accompanied by a caregiver. 

Asia in Bloom: The Orchid Show – Through Sunday, March 25 (10 a.m.– 4 p.m.; Thursday evenings until 8 p.m.)
Look for sunlit orchids under colorful handmade parasols, listen for the trickle of water from a bamboo spout, and take in a Japanese-style dry garden surrounded by burnt cedar in the shou sugi ban tradition. The Chicago Botanic Garden’s Orchid Show is an homage to the rich culture of Asia and its stunning array of native orchids. Come see 10,000 orchids in bloom. Photography is allowed, but tripods and monopods are only welcome from 8:15 to 9:45 a.m. on Thursdays (tickets required). Enjoy musical events like Morning Music with Orchids on Tuesdays and Thursdays while surrounded by the beauty of the Orchid Show. Orchids After Hours is new on Thursdays—enjoy the orchids in the evening and Asian beer, sake, sushi with lite fare available for purchase. Partake in a cocktail tasting at Evening with Orchids on March 7 from 6 to 8 p.m.; separate ticket fee applies. Multiple adult education and family weekend classes will be offered that complement the exhibition. Visitors will be able to purchase the orchids displayed at the exhibition at a post-Orchid Show plant sale. Tickets for the Orchid Show are as follows: Adults $12 nonmember/$10 member; children (3–12 years) and seniors (62 years and up) $10 nonmember/$8 member; children under 3 are free. Regular hours are from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Open until 8 p.m. on Thursdays. Visit https://www.chicagobotanic.org/orchid for more information. 

Orchid Marketplace – Saturdays and Sundays through March 25 (10 a.m.–4 p.m.)
Orchids and orchid-related merchandise will be on sale every weekend of the Orchid Show in Nichols Hall. Admission to the marketplace is free. The Illinois Orchid Society will be present on select weekends to help answer orchid-related questions and to offer orchid repotting services ($5 fee applies for repotting service.) Visit https://www.chicagobotanic.org/orchid for more information. 

Morning Music with Orchids – Tuesdays and Thursdays through March 22 (10–11 a.m.)
Enjoy an indoor concert at the Orchid Show on Tuesday and Thursday mornings. Each week features different local musicians; Thursdays are dedicated to Asian-inspired music. The free, hour-long concerts take place in Nichols Hall. Visit https://www.chicagobotanic.org/interest/music/morning_music for a full schedule of performers.  

Weekend Family Class: Make Your Own Butter and Pancakes – Saturday, March 4, or Sunday, March 10 (9:30–11 a.m. or 1–2:30 p.m.)
Together, adults and children can explore cool things about how plants connect to science, art, history, and culture. Each program includes a variety of hands-on activities and projects, as well as opportunities to bring the Garden home. Your next homemade breakfast won’t be the same after you learn how fun and easy it is to make your own butter. What better to way to enjoy your butter than by spreading it onto delicious buttermilk pancakes? Participants will learn about the plants used to make breakfast and get recipes to replicate this delectable feast at home. Preregistration required. Visit https://www.chicagobotanic.org/familyprograms for fees and registration.

Evening with Orchids – Wednesday, March 7 (6–8 p.m.)
Enjoy a cocktail tasting among the 10,000 orchids at the Orchid Show. Light fare will be available for purchase. Must be 21 or older to attend event; valid ID card must be shown. Advance: $32 nonmember/$27 member; Day-of: $35 nonmember/$30 member. Visit https://www.chicagobotanic.org/orchid/evening_orchids for more information.   

Illinois Orchid Society Show & Sale – Saturday, March 10, and Sunday, March 11 (10 a.m.–4 p.m.)
See dozens of artistically arranged displays of orchids, from the rarest species to cultivated hybrids, vying for ribbons at the Illinois Orchid Society’s show. Buy your own orchid and growing supplies at the society’s marketplace to take home and cultivate your own beautiful blooms. On Sunday, there is a photographers’ hour from 9 to 10 a.m. 

Weekend Family Class: Pizza Party – Sunday, March 18, or Saturday, March 24 (9:30 – 11 a.m. or 1 – 2:30 p.m.)
Together, adults and children can explore cool things about how plants connect to science, art, history, and culture. Each program includes a variety of hands-on activities and projects, as well as opportunities to bring the Garden home. Pizza has lots of ingredients from the garden—tomatoes, wheat, herbs, and all vegetables. Learn how these plants grow and how they are used to make pizza. Participants will plant their own herb garden to take home. Preregistration required. Visit https://www.chicagobotanic.org/familyprograms for fees and registration. 

One Book One Garden – Tuesday, March 20 (6:30 – 8 p.m.)
The Lenhardt Library hosts a book discussion group on The Hidden Life of Trees: What They Feel, How They Communicate: Discoveries from a Secret World by Peter Wohlleben from 6:30 to 8 p.m. on Tuesday, March 20. Space is limited; visit https://www.chicagobotanic.org/events/featured_events/one_book_one_garden to register in advance.

Northern Illinois Gesneriad Society Show & Sale – Saturday, March 24, and Sunday, March 25 (10 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.)
Learn about gesneriads, a family that includes some of the most decorative and widely grown of the tropical plants including African violet, gloxinia, lipstick vine, goldfish plant, peacock plant, and cape primrose. Approximately 50 exhibits of 20 different types of gesneriads will be on display. Free demonstrations on propagation, characteristics and soil will be featured. Visitors can also purchase gesneriads to take home. Hours are from 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday. 

Midwest Fruit Explorers Grafting Workshop – Sunday, March 25 (1–4 p.m.)
Learn how to graft your own fruit tree at this workshop from 1 to 4 p.m. Members of the Midwest Fruit Explorers sell grafting supplies including scion wood and guide newcomers in grafting fruit trees. There is a small fee for the scion wood. No registration is required.

Spring Break Camp – Monday, March 26, through Friday, March 30 (9:30 a.m. – 3 p.m.)
Children in grades K – 5 will participate in high-quality learning activities with experienced teachers who use inquiry-based, hands-on activities. Programming connects nature to a range of themes including art, cuisine, and conservation. This spring, children will dissect and plant seeds, explore fragrant herbs and flowers, search for birds and early spring plants on nature hikes, take a trolley ride around the Garden, create take-home science-themed projects, and much more.

Post Orchid Show Plant Sale – Thursday, March 29 (10 a.m. to noon for Garden Plus Members; Noon to 2 p.m. for Members; 2 to 4 p.m. for the public)
Take home one of the plants featured in the Orchid Show at the post-show sale. Early entry times are based on membership levels. The sale opens to the general public at 2 p.m. 

Nature in View: Garden Photographic Society Exhibition – Friday, March 30, through Sunday, April 22
Members of the Garden Photographic Society share photographic images captured at the Chicago Botanic Garden, as well as other scenes in nature in the Joutras Gallery. Many images are available for purchase. The Garden Photographic Society has been meeting at the Garden for more than thirty years.   

APRIL 

Library Exhibition – Asian Orchids Illustrated – Through Sunday, April 15
This rare book exhibition in the Lenhardt Library features beautiful and colorful Asian orchid illustrations from the Rare Book Collection.

Paul Lange: Big Blooms – Orchids – Through Monday, September 24
In Krehbiel Gallery of the Regenstein Center, see a collection of 18 large-scale images of beautiful and somewhat petite orchid blooms, skillfully photographed.

Story Time in the Lenhardt Library – Mondays, All Month (10–11 a.m.)
Children are invited to enjoy nature-themed activities and stories on Monday mornings in the Lenhardt Library. Program is geared for children ages 2 to 5, accompanied by a caregiver. 

Nature in View: Garden Photographic Society Exhibition – Through Sunday, April 22
Members of the Garden Photographic Society share photographic images captured at the Chicago Botanic Garden, as well as other scenes in nature in the Joutras Gallery. Many images are available for purchase. The Garden Photographic Society has been meeting at the Garden for more than thirty years.   

Easter Egg Brunch – Sunday, April 1 (9, 10, 11 a.m., noon and 1 p.m.)
Celebrate spring and enjoy a festive brunch buffet and festivities for the whole family at the Easter Egg Brunch. Bring a basket because the hunt begins after brunch. Hop to the Rose Garden lawn and join in the Easter egg hunt before taking a stroll to explore the vibrant colors and spring blooms. Adults $40 nonmember/$35 member; children (3–12 years) $30 nonmember/$25 member; children under 3 are free. Guests with reservation receive free parking. Family portraits are available for an additional fee. Please see the website for this additional package information. 

Weekend Family Class: Superballs and Gumballs – Saturday, April 7 (9:30–11 a.m. or 1–2:30 p.m.)
Together, adults and children can explore cool things about how plants connect to science, art, history, and culture. Each program includes a variety of hands-on activities and projects, as well as opportunities to bring the Garden home. Find out how people use parts of rainforest trees to make chewing gum and rubber. Create your own bouncing ball and flavorful gum to take home. This program includes the use of liquid latex. The chewing gum is vegan and nut-free. Preregistration required. Visit https://www.chicagobotanic.org/familyprograms for fees and registration. 

Library Exhibition – Color My World: Hues of Nature – Friday, April 20, through Sunday, July 15
This rare book exhibition in the Lenhardt Library features volumes from the Rare Book Collection pertaining to color taxonomy including color charts and color samples. A free library talk will be held on Sunday, May 20, at 2 p.m. 

Unearth Science Festival – Saturday, April 21, and Sunday, April 22 (10 a.m. to 4 p.m.)
This new two-day family festival on Earth Day weekend focuses on hands-on science. Through a variety of interactive and dynamic programs and activities, visitors will learn about the plant science taking place at the Chicago Botanic Garden and why science is so important today. Activities for all ages will celebrate science and nature, foster environmental knowledge and, hopefully, inspire future scientists. Visitors can become part of a collaborative art project by sharing their photos of the sky to the Sky Day Project. Sky Day founder and artist Ben Whitehouse and Northwestern University climate scientist Daniel Horton will be available to introduce this participatory citizen science opportunity. Seattle artist Vaughn Bell, working with Garden scientist Pati Vitt, tells a conservation story through three larger-than-life terrariums on exhibition in Burnstein Hall. During a special Friday night performance, adults can also enjoy a unique, performance-based, interpretation of Chicago Botanic Garden research in Experimental Words. Five Garden scientists partner with five Chicago poets to create and perform interactive performance art pieces interpreting their research. Registration for Experimental Words required; fee applies. All other programming for Unearth Science festival is free; usual parking fees apply. Registration is required for some programs.

Midwest Daffodil Society Display & Floral Design Show – Saturday, April 28, and Sunday, April 29
The Midwest Daffodil Society hosts this show in Burnstein Hall. Hours are from noon to 4:30 p.m. on Saturday and from 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. on Sunday. 

Malott Japanese Garden Spring Festival – Saturday, April 28, and Sunday, April 29
Learn about spring celebrations in Japan during this special weekend of activities. Listen to koto harp and shakuhachi flute music, enjoy traditional folk tales and watch a tea ceremony. For the first time, a traditional tea and sweet will be served to visitors after the ceremony demonstration. Space is limited and is open to the first 50 people to inquire the day of the festival. Kids of all ages can make projects to celebrate the traditional Girls' Day and Boys' Day—design a kimono-clad paper doll, create a hanging scroll, construct an origami samurai helmet and more at family-friendly, hands-on stations. Hours are 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. The schedule includes: members of the Urasenke Chicago Association: tea ceremony at 10:30 a.m. and tea tasting at 11 a.m.; Pam Martinez: Suminigashi (making marbled paper) from noon – 2 p.m..; Michael Gould: shakuhachi flute at 1 p.m.; Chicago Koto Group: koto harp at 2 p.m.

MAY 

Library Exhibition – Color My World: Hues of Nature – Through Sunday, July 15
This rare book exhibition in the Lenhardt Library features volumes from the Rare Book Collection pertaining to color taxonomy including color charts and color samples. A free library talk will be held on Sunday, May 20, at 2 p.m.

Paul Lange: Big Blooms – Orchids – Through Monday, September 24
In Krehbiel Gallery of the Regenstein Center, see a collection of 18 large-scale images of beautiful and somewhat petite orchid blooms, skillfully photographed. 

Story Time in the Lenhardt Library – Mondays, through May 21 (10–11 a.m.)
Children are invited to enjoy nature-themed activities and stories on Monday mornings in the Lenhardt Library. Program is geared for children ages 2 to 5, accompanied by a caregiver. 

Inspiring Nature Play – Wednesday, May 2 (9 a.m. – 3:30 p.m.)
Inspiring Nature Play is an annual conference geared toward enabling access to developmentally appropriate nature play experiences for an early childhood audience (birth through age 8). Keynote speaker will be David Sobel, addressing innovations in nature play for early childhood and early elementary age groups. Attendees of the conference include approximately 200 formal and informal educators, administrators, and parents with a wide range of both early childhood and environmental education backgrounds and expertise. Inspiring Nature Play is possible because of the collaborative effort between Chicago Botanic Garden, The Alliance for Early Childhood, BackYard Nature Center, Greeley Elementary School, Forest Preserves of Cook County, Kohl Children’s Museum, Natural Start Alliance (a project of the North American Association for Environmental Education), and Northfield Community Nursery School.

Penelope Gottlieb – Against Forgetting exhibition – Friday, May 4, to Sunday, August 12
This exhibition of large, colorful paintings by Penelope Gottlieb reflects a sense of urgency. Gottlieb paints plants that have gone extinct, species that are endangered or invasive plants that are jeopardizing balance in our natural environments. Gottlieb is a Santa Barbara-based painter who received her B.F.A. from Art Center College of Design in Pasadena and her M.F.A. from University of California, Santa Barbara. The exhibition will be in the Joutras Gallery of the Regenstein Center.

Central States Dahlia Society Dahlia Sale – Saturday, May 5, to Sunday, May 6 (10 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.)
The Central States Dahlia Society presents this dahlia plant and root sale, featuring dahlias in a wide variety of sizes, shapes and colors. Members of the society will be available to answer questions about dahlias. 

Model Railroad Garden: Landmarks of America – Saturday, May 12, to Sunday, October 21
The 7,500-square-foot Model Railroad Garden features 18 trains running on 1,600 feet of track. The garden-scale trains are 1/29th the size of life-size trains. Train and garden enthusiasts, young and old, return year after year for the delightful sights and sounds of the miniature trains traversing high and low through tunnels, across bridges, and around close to 50 American landmarks. All are intricately handcrafted with natural materials, including twigs, bark, leaves, acorns and pebbles. More than 5,000 tiny trees, shrubs, ground covers and flowering plants of close to 300 varieties re-create the topographical landscape of America. Vignettes of tiny people and animals give the exhibit a storybook feel, while sound effects and a working geyser capture visitors’ imaginations. Hours are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily, weather permitting. Admission fee applies. Strollers are not permitted in the exhibition; however, stroller parking is located near the entrance. 

World Bonsai Day – Saturday, May 12 (11 a.m. – 3 p.m.)
World Bonsai Day was created in 2010 to promote bonsai and friendship throughout the world. Bonsai curator Chris Baker and bonsai volunteers demonstrate bonsai tree styling. Demonstrations take place in the Runnells Courtyard. At 1:30 p.m., Baker leads a Bonsai Collection Highlights tour. Spring-blooming highlights in the Bonsai Collection may include wisteria, crabapple and azalea. Meet in Runnells Courtyard for the tour. 

Midwest Bonsai Society Show and Sale — Saturday, May 12, and Sunday, May 13
The Midwest Bonsai Society’s spring show features spring-blooming trees, bonsai on rocks, and suiseki (the Japanese art of stones). Visitors can also enjoy demonstrations and workshops and shop for bonsai and bonsai supplies. Registration is required for workshops. 

Meet the Rare Books – Saturday, May 12 (1 – 2 p.m.)
Discover treasures of the Rare Book Collection in the Lenhardt Library. There are more than 4,000 titles in the collection, including some that are more than 500 years old. Discover botanical treasures that will intrigue, inform, and delight. Preregistration is required. Each session is limited to 15 adults. 

Plant Giveaway – Wednesday, May 16, through Sunday, October 7
Volunteers in the Regenstein Fruit & Vegetable Garden share information about each month's featured plant and encourage visitors to plant seeds or seedlings (while supplies last) to take home to their own gardens. This year’s plants are: May – Cornito Giallo pepper, June – Igleheart Yellow Cherry tomato, July – Giant of Italy parsley, August – Sandy lettuce, September – Joi Choi pac choi. A flyer with care information and a recipe is available. Hours are 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Wednesdays through Fridays; and 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturdays and Sundays. 

Discovery Programs in the Buehler Enabling, Regenstein Fruit & Vegetable, Malott Japanese and English Walled Gardens – Wednesday – Sunday, May 16 – October 7
Volunteers stationed at discovery carts and throughout specific gardens (Buehler Enabling, Regenstein Fruit & Vegetable, Malott Japanese, and English Walled) offer information and hands-on experiences on a variety of topics through Discovery Programs. Hours are from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Wednesday through Friday; and 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. In the Regenstein Fruit & Vegetable Garden, topics will include herbs, composting, edible flowers, beneficial insects, tomatoes, watering, container gardening, attracting pollinators to the garden, tools, seed saving and bees. Volunteers in the Malott Japanese Garden will share features of landscape design, talk about the Shoin House (which was modeled on a Japanese feudal lord’s retreat during the Edo Period, from 1603 to 1867), explain dry garden and raking techniques, and discuss the garden’s history and design. In the Enabling Garden, volunteers will demonstrate the advantages of a universal design garden while performing maintenance tasks. The Tool Shed, a resource center staffed by volunteers who answer questions and demonstrate tools that make gardening easier for people of all abilities, will also be open. Volunteers in the English Walled Garden will compare the garden’s design in six distinct interior "rooms," identify signature plants in each area, and discuss the garden’s history and design. 

Gardens That Heal: A Prescription for Wellness Healthcare Garden Design Certificate Seminar – Wednesday, May 16 (9 a.m. to 5 p.m.)
In a healthcare environment, gardens provide a sense of order, safety, and privacy for those coping with illness. During this seminar, industry leaders will present the latest research demonstrating the benefits of healthcare gardens, while providing an introduction to the tools needed to effectively design, manage, and evaluate such gardens. Fee includes morning coffee and lunch. This program is registered with the American Society of Landscape Architects for continuing education credit. Registrations made after Wednesday, May 9, are not eligible for the lunch option. Cost is $149 or $129 before April 11; members receive 20 percent discount. Visit https://www.chicagobotanic.org/education/certificate_programs/healthcare for more information. 

Grapevines & Wines – Thursday, May 17 (6–8 p.m.)
Have a crush on wine? Make an evening of it at the Garden's spring tasting event. In the idyllic setting of the McGinley Pavilion, sample wines from around the world. Indulge your senses with the range of bouquets. Light fare will be available for purchase as well as wine by the glass. Advance: $32 nonmember/$27 member; Day-of: $35 nonmember/$30 member. Hours are 6 to 8 p.m. 

Get Growing Weekend – Friday, May 18, to Sunday, May 20
Get Growing Weekend is designed to set up gardeners to succeed in the growing season. Visitors can shop a specialty plant sale and a gardener’s marketplace, and learn from demonstrations and talks. The Woman’s Board of the Chicago Horticultural Society presents the plant sale with hundreds of plants cultivated from nurseries and botanical institutions from across the country. A highlight of the sale is the “potted paradise” with composed planters grown on-site and designed by horticultural celebrities as well as our own staff and Woman’s Board members. Plant Sale hours on Friday are from 10 a.m. to noon with a cost of $50 for Director’s Circle members and above; noon to 4 p.m. for all members. Public hours are from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday, May 19, and Sunday, May 20. On Friday, May 18, Jeff Ross, farmstead educator and artisan chef at Blackberry Farm in Tennessee will be the featured speaker at 1 p.m. in the Alsdorf Auditorium. A book signing will follow. Tickets will be $20 at the door; $18 in advance; Garden members received $3 off.

Northshore Iris and Daylily Society Iris Show and Sale – Saturday, May 26, through Sunday, May 27
Sponsored by the Northshore Iris & Daylily Society, the show features more than ten artistic arrangements and 75 irises in bloom. Irises and daylilies will also be available for purchase. 

Garden Chef Series – Saturdays and Sundays from Saturday, May 26, through Sunday, October 7
Learn to cook with garden-fresh ingredients all summer long at the Garden Chef Series. Noted chefs prepare recipes in the Regenstein Fruit & Vegetable Garden’s open-air amphitheater. Seating is first-come, first-served for these free demonstrations. Demonstrations begin at 1:30 and 2:30 p.m.

Butterflies & Blooms – Saturday, May 26, through Sunday, September 3 (10 a.m. – 5 p.m.)
Butterflies & Blooms is a butterfly exhibition where visitors can immerse themselves in a habitat filled with hundreds of live butterflies. This exhibition is filled with species native to South America, Asia, North America and Africa, as well as those native to North America. The 2,800-square-foot white mesh enclosure is located in the Regenstein Learning Campus. Visitors can also observe butterflies emerging through a window into the pupa emergence room. Hours are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily, weather permitting (last ticket sold at 4:30 p.m.) Visit http://www.chicagobotanic.org/butterflies for tickets and information.

Bromeliad Society of Greater Chicago Show & Sale – Saturday, May 26, through Sunday, May 27 (10 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.)
The Bromeliad Society of Greater Chicago show and sale features plants such as pineapples and Spanish moss, which are generally easy to grow, require little care and reward the grower with brilliant, long-lasting blooms and ornamental foliage. Society members will be on hand; information on growing bromeliads will be provided. Various bromeliads will be for sale. Hours are 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

JUNE 

Library Exhibition – Color My World: Hues of Nature – Through Sunday, July 15
This rare book exhibition in the Lenhardt Library features volumes from the Rare Book Collection pertaining to color taxonomy including color charts and color samples.

Paul Lange: Big Blooms—Orchids – Through Monday, September 24
In Krehbiel Gallery of the Regenstein Center, see this collection of 18 large-scale images of beautiful and somewhat petite orchid blooms, skillfully photographed. 

Plant Giveaway –Through Sunday, October 7
Volunteers in the Regenstein Fruit & Vegetable Garden share information about each month's featured plant and encourage visitors to plant seeds or seedlings (while supplies last) to take home to their own gardens. This year’s plants are: June – Igleheart Yellow Cherry tomato, July – Giant of Italy parsley, August – Sandy lettuce, September – Joi Choi pac choi. A flyer with care information and a recipe is available. Hours are 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Wednesdays through Fridays; and 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturdays and Sundays. 

Discovery Programs in the Buehler Enabling, Regenstein Fruit & Vegetable, Malott Japanese and English Walled Gardens – Wednesday – Sunday Through October 7
Volunteers stationed at discovery carts and throughout specific gardens (Buehler Enabling, Regenstein Fruit & Vegetable, Malott Japanese, and English Walled) offer information and hands-on experiences on a variety of topics through Discovery Programs. Hours are from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Wednesday through Friday; and 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. In the Regenstein Fruit & Vegetable Garden, topics will include herbs, composting, edible flowers, beneficial insects, tomatoes, watering, container gardening, attracting pollinators to the garden, tools, seed saving and bees. Volunteers in the Malott Japanese Garden will share features of landscape design, talk about the Shoin House (which was modeled on a Japanese feudal lord’s retreat during the Edo Period, from 1603 to 1867), explain dry garden and raking techniques, and discuss the garden’s history and design. In the Enabling Garden, volunteers will demonstrate the advantages of a universal design garden while performing maintenance tasks. The Tool Shed, a resource center staffed by volunteers who answer questions and demonstrate tools that make gardening easier for people of all abilities, will also be open. Volunteers in the English Walled Garden will compare the garden’s design in six distinct interior "rooms," identify signature plants in each area, and discuss the garden’s history and design.

Family Drop-In Activities in the Nature Play Garden – Saturdays and Sundays, Saturday, June 2, through Sunday, August 26 (10 a.m. – 4 p.m.)
Join us for outdoor adventures in the Nature Play Garden. Go on a guided walk, build a life-sized bird nest, play with worms, construct forts with natural materials, and more. Activities vary from week to week. During inclement weather, activities will move to the Astellas Atrium. 

Summer Nature Explorer: Reading and Activity Program – Saturday, June 2, through Sunday, August 26
Visit the Lenhardt Library this summer to read, play and earn prizes. This program was developed to encourage the joy of reading and literary skills and help reluctant readers enjoy nature STEM activities to develop critical thinking skills. Research has shown that reading 20 minutes per day (or 300 minutes per summer) reduces the “summer slide” and enables students to maintain their reading level during summer vacation. Sign up at the Lenhardt Library and receive a reading and activity log to record your child’s progress. Visit https://www.chicagobotanic.org/library/summer_reading for more information.  

Malott Japanese Garden Family Sundays – Sundays, June 3, 17, July 1, 15, August 5, September 2 and 16 (11 a.m. – 4 p.m.)
Drop by the Elizabeth Hubert Malott Japanese Garden for hands-on activities related to Japanese arts and culture. Practice using chopsticks, rake miniature dry gardens, make Japanese kites, and more. The free activities vary each time and are subject to change.

Carillon Concerts – Mondays, June 4, through September 3
Enjoy an enchanting one-hour musical performance of carillon bells on a warm summer evening and watch lights illuminate Evening Island. Through a regularly scheduled series of concerts each summer, carillonneurs from around the world delight Garden visitors with the captivating music of the 48-bell Theodore C. Butz Memorial Carillon. Meet the performers and enjoy a free carillon tour and demonstration before the concert—you can even try your hand at ringing the bells. Since 1986, the carillon has remained both a noted landmark and a source of remarkable music at the Garden. Crafted in Holland, the tower's bronze bells and playing device with a range of four octaves constitutes one of the few hand-played carillons in the nation. Preconcert carillon tours and demonstrations 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. (every 15 minutes). Concerts begin at 7 p.m.

Music on the Esplanade – Tuesdays, June 5 through August 28 (6 – 8 p.m.)
Each Tuesday evening brings a different kind of music, from big band to swing to bluegrass. Watch the sun set over the Smith Fountain. Please note: You are encouraged to bring your own chairs as the Garden has a limited supply available.

Tuesday Morning Music – Tuesdays, June 5 through August 28 (10 – 11 a.m.)
Hear chamber music, jazz, Spanish guitar and even carillon music. Free concerts in the McGinley Pavilion, rain or shine.

Dancin’ Sprouts – Wednesdays, June 6 through August 29 (5:30 – 7:30 p.m.)
Dancin' Sprouts provides free musical entertainment for kids! Bring the whole family and enjoy live music in this idyllic summer setting. This year’s Dancin’ Sprouts will take place in the Rose Garden. Please note: You are encouraged to bring your own chairs as the Garden has a limited supply available.

Hot Summer Nights – Thursdays, June 7 through August 30 (6 – 8 p.m.)
Bring your dancing friends and kick it up a notch with high-energy music as you dance (or listen) to the upbeat tempo of a host of diverse genres. Please note: You are encouraged to bring your own chairs as the Garden has a limited supply available.

Summer Dinner Dance – Friday, June 15, 6:30 p.m.
The Summer Dinner Dance raises vital funds for the Chicago Botanic Garden. We believe that beautiful gardens and natural environments are fundamentally important to the mental and physical well-being of all people. More than one million visitors come to the Garden each year and many more benefit from our horticulture, conservation science, and education programs locally, nationally, and internationally. Proceeds from this special night make this possible. Summer Dinner Dance tickets are $750. 

Father’s Day Canoe Adventure – Saturday, June 16, or Sunday, June 17
How’s this for a unique way to spend part of Father’s Day? In partnership with Friends of the Chicago River, the Garden invites you to participate in a rare opportunity to canoe the lakes of the Chicago Botanic Garden. Herons, ducks, small fish, and maybe even a few turtles and frogs will greet you as we explore their watery habitat. No experience with canoeing is necessary; instruction, canoes, life jackets, and paddles are all provided. Choose from start times 9 a.m., 11 a.m., or 1 p.m. You’ll enjoy a full hour canoeing the lakes of Chicago Botanic Garden. Be sure to register early, as this event always sells out. Cost is: $57 nonmember/$45.60 member; Day-of: $35 nonmember/$30 member. Children must be at least 5 years old to participate. Maximum three participants per boat.

New! Creatures of the Cove (Free Family Friendly Cove Weekends) – Saturdays and Sundays, June 16 & 17, July 21 & 22, and August 11 & 12 (10 a.m. – 4 p.m.)
There will be three special weekends during the summer when the Kleinman Family Cove will be open for free wading exploration. Bring your boots and learn about the plants and animals that depend on our waterways.

 

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Editors, please note: For digital images, contact Jasmine Leonas at (847) 835-6829 or at jleonas@chicagobotanic.org.

Interact with the Garden for this and other Garden events and programs:

 

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