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Calendar of Events: February-September

Jasmine Leonas
(847) 835-6829, direct
jleonas@chicagobotanic.org

Event Date: 
Wednesday, February 1, 2017 to Saturday, September 30, 2017
Release Date: 
Wednesday, January 25, 2017
Evening with Orchids

There’s always something going on at the Chicago Botanic Garden. From the Orchid Show in February and March to the Model Railroad Garden and Butterflies & Blooms exhibitions, which open in May, to weekday evening programs all summer long, each day brings a new experience at the Garden. Visit chicagobotanic.org for more information.

ONGOING

Story Time in the Lenhardt Library – Mondays, through May 22
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. Hours are 10 to 11 a.m.

Seed Library – Through Friday, 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 2017, seed library crops are tomato, pea, squash, sunflower, basil, soybean and pepper. Lenhardt Library hours are extended on the weekends to 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. for the Orchid Show from February 11 through March 26. 

FEBRUARY

Orchid Show Members’ Night – Friday, February 10
Members get an exclusive visit to the Orchid Show the night before it opens to the public. See the rich colors of the orchids and enjoy live music from Callaloo, light refreshments and a cash bar. Orchid experts will be on hand to answer questions. Hours are 5 to 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $30 per person.

Library Exhibition – Orchidpalooza: Illustrated Orchid Varieties – Friday, February 10, through Sunday, March 26
Orchidpalooza: Illustrated Orchid Varieties rare book exhibition features five oversized chromolithographs from Frederick Sander’s Reichenbachia: Orchids Illustrated and Described, published in 1895. These unique proof impressions are unsigned, untitled and unnumbered, and were likely intended for a third series of this work on orchids that was never issued. Library talks will be held at 2 p.m. Tuesday, February 21, and Sunday, February 26.

Orchids in Vogue: The Orchid Show – Saturday, February 11, through Sunday, March 26
Discover brilliantly beautiful and diverse orchids in a vibrant indoor show. This year’s exhibition expands to six weeks, giving visitors more time to enjoy the show. A great way to stay warm over a cold winter, the Orchid Show brings more than 10,000 orchids to the Chicago Botanic Garden’s Regenstein Center. Hours are 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Photography is allowed, but tripods and monopods are only welcome on Wednesday from noon to 4 p.m. Music events like Morning Music with Orchids and Evening with Orchids give visitors a chance to enjoy the talents of local musicians while surrounded by the beauty of the Orchid Show. Multiple adult education and family weekend classes on orchids will be offered. 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 currently on sale. Adults $12 non-member/$10 member; children (3-12 years) and seniors (62 years and up) $10 non-member/$8 member; children under 3 are free.

Winter Woods Walks – Sunday, February 12
Bundle up, get outside and go on a nature walk. Meet at the McDonald Woods Shelter at 2 p.m. for a guided, 40-minute trek. No reservations necessary.

Weekend Family Class: Sweet Treats: Cold Eats – Saturday, February 12, and Sunday, February 25
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 receive recipes to make at home. Weekend Family Classes bring adults and children together to explore cool things about how plants connect science, art, history and culture. Hours are 9:30 to 11 a.m. or 1 to 2:30 p.m. Each program includes a variety of hands-on activities and projects, as well as opportunities to bring the Garden home.

Morning Music with Orchids – Tuesdays and Thursdays, February 14, through Thursday, March 23
Enjoy an indoor concert at the Orchid Show on Tuesday and Thursday mornings from 10 to 11 a.m. Each week features different local musicians. The free, hour-long concerts take place in Nichols Hall. Visit http://www.chicagobotanic.org/interest/music/morning_music for the schedule.

School Day-off Camp – Monday, February 20
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. The camp on February 20 is about Presidents & Plants.

MARCH

Orchids in Vogue: The Orchid Show – Through Sunday, March 26
Discover brilliantly beautiful and diverse orchids in a vibrant indoor show. This year’s exhibition expands to six weeks, giving visitors more time to enjoy the show. A great way to stay warm over a cold winter, the Orchid Show brings more than 10,000 orchids to the Chicago Botanic Garden’s Regenstein Center. Hours are 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Photography is allowed, but tripods and monopods are only welcome on Wednesday from noon to 4 p.m. Music events like Morning Music with Orchids and Evening with Orchids give visitors a chance to enjoy the talents of local musicians while surrounded by the beauty of the Orchid Show. Multiple adult education and family weekend classes on orchids will be offered. 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 currently on sale. Adults $12 non-member/$10 member; children (3-12 years) and seniors (62 years and up) $10 non-member/$8 member; children under 3 are free.

Morning Music with Orchids – Tuesdays and Thursdays, through Thursday, March 23
Enjoy an indoor concert at the Orchid Show on Tuesday and Thursday mornings. Each week features different local musicians. The free concerts take place in Nichols Hall from 10 to 11 a.m. Visit http://www.chicagobotanic.org/interest/music/morning_music for the schedule. 

Weekend Family Class: Churn It and Flip ’Em – Saturday, March 4, Sunday, March 12, and Saturday, March 25
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 way to enjoy your butter than by spreading it onto delicious buttermilk pancakes? Participants will learn about the plants used to make breakfast and take home recipes to replicate this delectable feast at home. Weekend Family Classes bring adults and children together to explore cool things about how plants connect science, art, history and culture. Hours are 9:30 to 11 a.m. or 1 to 2:30 p.m. Each program includes a variety of hands-on activities and projects, as well as opportunities to bring the Garden home.

ScreenBreak Week – Sunday, March 5, through Saturday, March 11
Started in 1995 by the Winnetka Alliance for Early Childhood, ScreenBreak encourages children to turn off devices with screens, including computers, video games and television, and explore other options for a week. Throughout the week, merchants and community organizations provide wonderful alternative activities. The Garden offers Story Time in the Lenhardt Library on Monday, as well as Family Drop-in Programs on Wednesday, March 8, and Friday, March 10, from 9 to 11 a.m. at the Regenstein Learning Campus. Free parking is offered to participants in ScreenBreak Week. Families need to show a ScreenBreak button, wristband or card to waive the parking fee. Visit www.theallianceforec.org more information.

Illinois Orchid Society Spring Show & Sale – Saturday, March 11, and Sunday, March 12
See artistically arranged displays of orchids – from the rarest species to cultivated hybrids – vying for ribbons at the Illinois Orchid Society’s show. After the show, buy your own orchid and growing supplies at the society’s sale to take home and cultivate your own beautiful blooms.  Hours are from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday, and from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Sunday.

One Book One Garden – Tuesday, March 14
Join us for a discussion of Andrea Wulf’s most recent book, The Invention of Nature: Alexander von Humboldt’s New World. The discussion will be led by reader’s advisor Becky Spratford, who trains library staff all over the world to match books with readers and lead book discussions. Wulf brings to life Alexander von Humboldt (1769-1859), an intrepid explorer and the most famous scientist of his age. Humboldt’s life was filled with adventure and discovery, and he translated his research into bestselling publications that changed science and thinking. Called “the Shakespeare of the sciences” by his contemporaries, he inspired scientists, thinkers and writers including Darwin, Wordsworth and Jules Verne. Largely forgotten (despite his name gracing numerous towns, counties, bays, lakes, mountains, animals and more), Andrea Wulf’s in-depth research and compelling writing shows the myriad fundamental ways in which Humboldt created our understanding of the world. Selections from the Lenhardt Library’s Rare Book Collection related to Alexander von Humboldt will be available for viewing. Please register early as space is limited.

Evening with Orchids – Thursday, March 16
Sample specialty cocktails and see spectacular orchids by night. Tickets include a wristband, tasting sheet and tasting glass, as well as entry to an evening viewing of the Orchid Show. Hours are 6 to 8 p.m. Advance tickets are $30; member tickets $25. Day-of tickets are $33; member tickets $28.

Chicago Flower & Garden Show – Saturday, March 18, through Sunday, March 26
Chicago Botanic Garden will provide educational opportunities at the Chicago Flower & Garden Show held at Navy Pier. Enjoy indoor landscapes and gardens, educational programming,  gardening seminars and cooking demonstrations, and a vendor marketplace. Garden members receive $4 off Chicago Flower & Garden Show admission by showing their membership card at the show box office at Navy Pier (may not be combined with other discount offers). This offer is valid at the box office only and not on online ticket orders. Visit chicagoflower.com for additional information and directions.

45-minute Garden staff-led seminars include:
On Saturday, March 18, Andrew Bunting presents “Designing with Tropicals” at 12:30 p.m. and “Magnolias for the Chicago Area” at 3:30 p.m.
On Monday, March 20, Tom Soulsby presents “Weed Identification for Gardeners” at 11 a.m. On Tuesday, March 21, Tim Johnson presents “Pruning Principles for an Outstanding Garden” at 12:30 p.m.
On Wednesday, March 22, Wade Wheatley presents “Orchid Growing Basics” at 11 a.m.
and “Growing Succulents Indoors” at 2 p.m.
On Thursday, March 23, Heather Sherwood presents “Peonies: Queen of the Garden” at 11 a.m.
20 to 30-minute Gardening Live Stage Demonstrations include:
On Tuesday, March 21, Kristie Webber presents Spring Dish Gardens at noon, Herbs in Containers at 2 p.m., and Seed Saving 101 at 4 p.m.
On Thursday, March 23, Jill Selinger presents Herbs in a Strawberry Jar at noon, Container Gardening Tips and Techniques at 2 p.m. and Window Box Herbs at 4 p.m.
On Friday, March 24, Nancy Clifton presents Herbal Tea Container at noon, Edible Salad Bowl at 2 p.m., and Make Your Own Seed Balls at 4 p.m.

Malott Japanese Garden Spring Weekend – Saturday, March 18, and Sunday, March 19
Celebrate spring by writing a seasonal haiku, making a cherry blossom hanging scroll, or watching a suminagashi demonstration. Enjoy traditional storytelling and a koto harp performance, and take a walk in the Elizabeth Hubert Malott Japanese Garden. Hours are 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. The schedule includes Pam Martinez: Interactive Suminagashi Demonstration from noon to 2 p.m.; Anne Shimojima: Traditional Storytelling at 1 p.m.; and Chicago Koto Group: Koto Harp at 2 p.m.

Weekend Family Class: Pizza Party – Saturday, March 25
Pizza has lots of ingredients from the garden – tomatoes, wheat, herbs and all the vegetables you can put on top. Learn how these plants grow and how they are used to make pizza. Participants will plant their own herb garden to take home. Weekend Family Classes bring adults and children together to explore cool things about how plants connect science, art, history and culture. Hours are 9:30 to 11 a.m. or 1 to 2:30 p.m. Each program includes a variety of hands-on activities and projects, as well as opportunities to bring the Garden home.

Northern Illinois Gesneriad Society Show & Sale – Saturday, March 25, and Sunday, March 26
Explore the world of this beautiful indoor plant family, which includes lipstick plant, primrose and African violets. The show features rare plants, artistic and educational entries, and a sale offering growing supplies and many unusual and difficult-to-find varieties. Learn about and enjoy the beauty of gesneriads, their diversity in flower and foliage, and their ease of culture. It's no wonder that this family includes some of the most popular houseplants. Hours are noon to 4:30 p.m. on Saturday and 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. on Sunday.

Midwest Fruit Explorers Grafting Workshop – Sunday, March 26
The Midwest Fruit Explorers present this hands-on workshop with step-by-step instructions on how to graft and care for fruit trees. The best varieties for the Midwest will be available, including apple, pear, and plum trees. MidFEx members will be on hand to guide visitors to select the right tree for the right location. After purchasing root stock, visitors can follow the demonstration and leave with one or more trees ready to plant in the ground. No preregistration is required. Hours are 1 to 4 p.m.

Spring Break Camp – Monday, March 27, through Friday, March 31
Children in kindergarten to 5th grade can participate in high-quality learning activities with experienced teachers who use inquiry-based, hands-on programming. Each day of camp revolves around a different theme, including art, cuisine and conservation. The activities range from dissecting and planting seeds to searching for birds and early springs plants on nature hikes. Campers will create take-home science themed projects. Hours are 9:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. Registration is open now.

Post-Orchid Show Plant Sale – Thursday, March 30
Take home one of the plants featured in the Orchid Show at the post-show sale. Hours are 10 a.m. to noon for Garden Plus Members; noon to 2 p.m. for Members; 2 to 4 p.m. for non-Members.

Library Exhibition – Botanical Charts: 19th Century Classroom Posters – Friday, March 31, through Sunday, June 11
This rare book exhibition in the Lenhardt Library features graphic representations of plant species, used as teaching tools. Free talk at 2 p.m. on Sunday, April 2.

APRIL

Weekend Family Class: Pizza Party – Sunday, April 2
Pizza has lots of ingredients from the garden – tomatoes, wheat, herbs and all vegetables you can put on top. Learn how these plants grow and how they are used to make pizza. Participants will plant their own herb garden to take home. Weekend Family Classes bring adults and children together to explore cool things about how plants connect science, art, history and culture. Hours are 9:30 to 11 a.m. or 1 to 2:30 p.m. Each program includes a variety of hands-on activities and projects, as well as opportunities to bring the Garden home.

Weekend Family Class: Gumballs & Superballs – Saturday, April 8
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. Weekend Family Classes bring adults and children together to explore cool things about how plants connect science, art, history and culture. Hours are 9:30 to 11 a.m. or 1 to 2:30 p.m. Each program includes a variety of hands-on activities and projects, as well as opportunities to bring the Garden home.

Easter Egg Brunch – Sunday, April 16
Join us for an Easter Egg Brunch filled with festivities for the whole family. Celebrate spring and enjoy a festive brunch buffet at the Garden. 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. Cash bar available. Tickets will be available online beginning February 1 and at the Visitor Center. Five seatings: 9 a.m., 10 a.m., 11 a.m., noon and 1 p.m. New this year: Family portraits available for an additional fee by Julie Kaplan, who has been named Best Photographer from Make It Better Magazine two years in a row. Sitting charge is $75 (for a 10-minute session). The advance fee will be applied to the purchase. Package prices start at $75 and go up. Photo location will be English Walled Garden, with the rain plan in Semitropical Greenhouse.

Earth Day Walk – Saturday, April 22
Spend part of Earth Day exploring the McDonald Woods, a 100-acre, rare remnant of the oak woodlands once common in northeastern Illinois. April is a special time in the woods to see the rich variety of spring blooming ephemeral flowers. The group meets at the What’s in Bloom cart in front of the Visitor Center at 1 p.m. Volunteer Joanne Schmitz will identify wildflowers in bloom and explain their fleeting presence. This informative and timely walk in honor of Earth Day also will show how the woods have changed through the Garden’s history and the restoration efforts currently underway.

Midwest Daffodil Society Show – Saturday, April 29, and Sunday, April 30
The Midwest Daffodil Society’s show features hundreds of daffodils on display that will be judged by the society. The show includes cut blooms, floral design and photography competitions. The show will include floral designs inspired by the Garden. Daffodil growers of all skill levels are invited to participate. Hours are noon to 4:30 p.m. on Saturday and 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. on Sunday.

MAY

Hoosier African Violet Society Show & Sale – Saturday, May 6, and Sunday, May 7
The Hoosier African Violet Society presents an annual show that features displays of more than 50 African violets and other gesneriads. Some plants will be available for purchase. Society members will be available to answer questions. Hours are 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

Central States Dahlia Society Sale – Saturday, May 6, and Sunday, May 7
The Central States Dahlia Society presents its annual plant and root sale. The sale features dahlias in an array of sizes, shapes and colors. This is a great opportunity to purchase dahlias seen on display at the society's annual show in September. Society members will be available to answer questions and provide written information about dahlia planting and care. Hours are 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

Garden Talks Series: Scott D. Sampson, Ph.D. – Saturday, May 6
The title of Dr. Sampson’s book—How to Raise a Wild Child: The Art and Science of Falling in Love with Nature—says a lot about how the dinosaur paleontologist and science communicator believes children learn. Experiences in science and nature are critical to a child’s development, and Sampson helps make that important connection through his new role as president and CEO of Science World in Vancouver and as the host of the Emmy-nominated PBS series Dinosaur Train. The lecture begins at 3 p.m. Tickets are $25; member tickets are 20% off. Visit http://www.chicagobotanic.org/garden-talks/scott-sampson for registration.

Grapevines & Wines – Thursday, May 11
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. Hours are 6 to 8 p.m. Advance tickets are $30 nonmembers; $25 members. Day of tickets are $33 nonmembers; $28 members. Parking is per car; free for Garden members. Must be 21 or older to attend event; valid ID card must be shown.

Model Railroad Garden: Landmarks of America – Saturday, May 13, through Sunday, October 29
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, groundcovers 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. From June 7 through August 30 on Wednesdays, the exhibition stays open until 8 p.m. Tickets are $6; $5 Seniors; $4 Children (3-12); free for children 2 and under. Members receive $1 off each price. Garden Plus members are free on Wednesdays. Ten-visit pass is $45; $40 members. Strollers are not permitted in the exhibition; however, stroller parking is located near the entrance.

World Bonsai Day – Saturday, May 13
World Bonsai Day was created in 2010 to promote bonsai and friendship throughout the world. Bonsai curator Chris Baker and bonsai volunteers demonstrate bonsai rock planting and bonsai tree styling. Demonstrations take place in the Runnells Courtyard. At 1 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. Hours are 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Mother’s Day Brunch – Sunday, May 14
Pamper mom with spring flowers and family time at the Chicago Botanic Garden. Enjoy an elegant and sumptuous brunch at the Garden and spend the rest of the day viewing all that spring has to offer. The all-you-can-eat buffet includes a carving station, made-to-order omelets and an abundance of fresh, delicious selections; afterward, take a walk to the Regenstein Fruit & Vegetable Garden to see where our organic produce is grown. Tables accommodate 10 to 12 guests, and each seating will have fewer than 200 people, which will allow families to enjoy a leisurely and comfortable brunch. Parties of eight or fewer may share a table with other guests. Families of all ages will find the beautiful Greenhouses and outdoor garden spaces wonderful to explore before and after their brunch seating. Three seatings: 9 a.m., 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. New this year: Family portraits available for an additional fee by Julie Kaplan, who has been named Best Photographer from Make It Better Magazine two years in a row. Sitting charge is $75, (for a 10-minute session). The advance fee will be applied to the purchase. Package prices start at $75 and go up. Photo location will be English Walled Garden, with the rain plan in Semitropical Greenhouse.

Plant Giveaway – Wednesday, May 17, through Sunday, October 8
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. 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.

Midwest Bonsai Society Spring Bonsai Exhibition – Saturday, May 20, and Sunday, May 21
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. Hours are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Malott Japanese Garden Children’s Festival – Saturday, May 20, and Sunday, May 21
Learn about children’s 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. Kids of all ages can make projects to celebrate the traditional Girls' Day and Boys' Day—design a kimono-clad paper doll, create a miniature carp kite, construct an origami samurai helmet and more at family-friendly, hands-on stations. Hours are 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. The schedule includes: members of the Urasenke Chicago Association: tea ceremony at 10:30 a.m.; Michael Gould: shakuhachi flute at 11:30 a.m.; Anne Shimojima: traditional storytelling at 12:30 p.m.; Chicago Koto Group: koto harp at 1:30 p.m. 

Garden Talk Series: Sam Kass – Saturday, May 20
As chef at the White House, Kass did more than cook for the First Family. He played an integral part in Let's Move!, the national healthy eating campaign; planted a vegetable garden on the White House’s South Lawn and served as senior policy adviser on nutrition. He continues to advocate for healthy food choices as the senior food analyst at NBC News. His talk begins at 3 p.m. Tickets are $25; member tickets are 20% off. Visit http://www.chicagobotanic.org/garden-talks/scott-sampson for registration.

Get Growing Weekend  – Saturday, May 20, and Sunday, May 21
This is the time to get growing with your edible garden—herbs, vegetables, and fruit—at this new event. Learn how to start a garden, the recommended plant varieties, whether to direct sow or plant a seedling, the best tools for the job and more. Vendors will have transplants for sale, as well as select merchandise and food products. Learn from the experts, including Chicago Botanic Garden staff members. Hours are 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. The event offers opportunities to see a variety of seasonal spring plantings at the Regenstein Fruit & Vegetable Garden; gain gardening facts and tips and participate in hands-on activities designed especially for kids and families.

Summer Little Diggers - Saturdays (May 20, June 24, July 22, August 19)
The popular four-class series for 2, 3 and 4 year olds is expanding to include a summer session. Children will explore nature, learn about the changing seasons and discover animals with caregivers. Each class includes group activities, free play time and a planting project. Two session times are available: 9:30 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. (registration is full) and 11 a.m. to noon.

Rose Terrace Beer Garden - Saturday, May 27
A new spot to enjoy food and drinks opens Memorial Day Weekend when the Rose Terrace transforms into a beer garden for the season. A wide array of beers will be available both on tap and in cans and bottles. Local and seasonal beers, as well as wine, will be served. A mix of tasty appetizers, sandwiches and salads will also be on the menu, which will be different from the offerings in the Garden View Cafe and Garden Grille. The Rose Terrace Beer Garden will be open throughout the summer and on weekends after Labor Day, as weather permits. Hours are: 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. (May 27-29); 11 a.m. to 9 p.m., last call at 8:30 p.m. (June 3-Sept. 4); 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. (Sept. 5-mid-Oct.; weekends only after Labor Day).

Northshore Iris & Daylily Society Iris Show & Sale – Saturday, May 27, through Sunday, May 28
Sponsored by the Northshore Iris & Daylily Society, the show features more than 10 artistic arrangements and 75 irises in bloom. Irises and daylilies will also be available for purchase. Hours are 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

Bromeliad Society of Greater Chicago Show & Sale – Saturday, May 27, through Sunday, May 28
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.

Garden Chef Series – Saturdays and Sundays from Saturday, May 27, through Sunday, October 8
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. Visitors will need to use sun protection and wear caps in this sunny location. No umbrellas, please. Demonstrations begin at 1:30 p.m. and 2:30 p.m.

Butterflies & Blooms – Saturday, May 27, through Sunday, September 4
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 Illinois. The 2,800-square-foot white mesh enclosure is in a new location this year at the Regenstein Learning Campus. Up to 500 butterflies can be seen at any one visit. Visitors can also observe butterflies hatching 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.

JUNE

World Environment Day – Saturday, June 3
Conservation is a big term that covers a lot of ground. That's why we set aside a full day for kids and adults to explore conservation and sustainability on World Environment Day. Learn about topics large and small—from the global reach of our plant conservation scientists, to sustainable gardening. This year, the focus will be on biodiversity and its importance. Hours are 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Plant Container Recycling – Saturday, June 3
Help keep reusable materials out of landfills! Bring your plastic garden pots, cellpacks, trays and plant labels to the Chicago Botanic Garden for recycling. Recyclables accepted are labeled with numbers 2, 4, 5 and 6. Staff and volunteers will be on-site to accept and sort recyclables. This program is available to Garden members and visitors as part of World Environment Day programming. Hours are 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Northern Illinois Hosta Society Show & Sale – Saturday, June 3 and Sunday, June 4
The Northern Illinois Hosta Society presents this show, which features more than 100 cut-leaf specimens of hosta, including rare and unusual varieties. Hosta growers will have garden-ready plants for sale. Hours are 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

Family Drop-In Activities in the Cove – Wednesdays, Saturdays and Sundays, Saturday, June 3, through Sunday, August 27
Enjoy fun, hands-on activities for families and children in the Kleinman Family Cove. Explore the plants and animals in aquatic habitats and learn what kinds of animals depend on ponds and lakes. Splash in the water table, use scientific tools to examine macroinvertebrates or find out how a tadpole turns into a frog. Activities will vary from week to week. Hours are 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Family Drop-In Activities in the Nature Play Garden – Saturdays and Sundays, Saturday, June 3, through Sunday, August 27
Learn about how plants grow and the animals you might find at the Garden. Pollinate flowers, compost with worms, build a life-sized bird nest, explore underwater life and more.  Activities vary from week to week. During inclement weather, activities will move to the Astellas Atrium. Hours are 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. from June 3 to August 27 and 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. from September 2 to October 1.

Nature Nights – Saturdays, June 3 and 10, July 8 and 15, August 5 and 12, and September 2 and 9
Bring a picnic dinner and spend an evening in the Garden! Children ages 4 to 10 and their families will explore different areas of the Garden and enjoy a variety of discovery-based activities. Each Nature Nights also includes a short tram ride, planting project, and s’mores around the campfire. Nature Nights is held rain or shine. Visit https://www.chicagobotanic.org/naturenights for more information. 

Malott Japanese Garden Family Sundays – Sundays, June 4, 18, July 2, 16, August 6, September 3 and 17
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. Hours are 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Carillon Concerts – Mondays, June 5 through September 4
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 6 through August 29
Each Tuesday evening brings a different kind of music, from big band to swing to bluegrass. Watch the sun set over the Smith Fountain. Hours are 6 to 8 p.m. Please note: You are encouraged to bring your own chairs as the Garden has a limited supply available each evening.

Tuesday Morning Music – Tuesdays, June 6 through August 29
Hear chamber music, jazz, Spanish guitar and even carillon music. Free concerts in the McGinley Pavilion, rain or shine. Hours are 10 to 11 a.m.

Dancin’ Sprouts – Wednesdays, June 7 through August 30
Dancin' Sprouts provides free musical entertainment for kids! Bring the whole family and enjoy live music in this idyllic summer setting. Hours are 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. Please note: You are encouraged to bring your own chairs as the Garden has a limited supply available each evening.

Hot Summer Nights – Thursdays, June 8 through August 31
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. Hours are 6 to 8 p.m. Please note: You are encouraged to bring your own chairs as the Garden has a limited supply available each evening.

Sogetsu School of Illinois Ikebana Sogestu Exhibition – Saturday, June 10, and Sunday, June 11
Visitors will be wowed as they view more than 50 Ikebana (Japanese flower arrangements) in this exhibition presented by the Sogetsu School of Illinois. Ikebana remains one of the most distinct arts in Japanese culture. Hours are noon to 4:30 p.m. on Saturday and 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. on Sunday.

Summer Dinner Dance "An Evening in Brazil" – Friday, June 16
The Chicago Horticultural Society Board of Directors presents the Summer Dinner Dance “An Evening in Brazil,” the most important fundraising event 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. Proceeds from the black-tie event make it possible for more than one million visitors to enjoy the Garden each year and for many more to benefit from our horticulture, conservation science, and education programs locally, nationally, and internationally. Through October, the Garden celebrates Brazil and its spectacular beauty, biodiversity, and culture. The Summer Dinner Dance begins at 6 p.m. Tickets are $750; tables from $7,500-$50,000. For details please call 847-835-6833 or visit www.chicagobotanic.org

Library Exhibition – Brazil in the Garden – Friday, June 16, through Sunday, October 15
This rare book exhibition in the Lenhardt Library features Flora Brasil. Free talks at 2 p.m. on Tuesday, June 27, Sunday July 16, Tuesday, August 22, and Tuesday, September 12.

Brazil in the Garden – Friday, June 16, through Sunday, October 15
Come experience the vibrant sights and sounds of Brazil at the Chicago Botanic Garden. We'll celebrate with music, food, and plants, along with an exhibition on modernist Brazilian designer Roberto Burle Marx (opening May 26). Burle Marx is known for championing the use of native plants from Brazil and for modernist landscape designs including the promenade along Copacabana Beach in Rio de Janeiro. Watch for Burle Marx-inspired plantings at the entrance on Lake Cook Road, the Crescent Garden, the Circle Garden, the Heritage Garden, and other locations. 

Show of Summer – Saturday, June 24 and Sunday, June 25
Six Chicago-area garden clubs affiliated with the Garden Club of America (GCA) present the competitive exhibition at the Chicago Botanic Garden. Visitors will find competitive flower-arrangement classes, horticulture classes, photography classes and classes for children. More than 100 GCA members, representing dozens of GCA clubs around the country, will interpret the theme of thr show, "Children at Play." Exhibits will be judged and awards presented. On Saturday, June 24, contemporary floral design artist Annette von Einem will give a floral design lecture and demonstration from 10 to 11:30 a.m. The six Chicago-area garden clubs affiliated with GCA are the Garden Club of Barrington, Garden Club of Evanston, Garden Guild of Winnetka, Kenilworth Garden Club, Lake Forest Garden Club, and the Winnetka Garden Club. Hours are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Visit https://www.chicagobotanic.org/calendar/event/show_summer for more information. 

JULY

Art Festival – Saturday, July 1, and Sunday, July 2
Stroll and shop among 100 juried artists on the Esplanade. This one-of-a-kind art festival brings botanic-themed and botanic-made photography, paintings, ceramics, cement, metal, fiber, wood, jewelry and other pieces to the Chicago Botanic Garden. Find remarkable items to purchase or just admire them during your visit to the fifth annual event. Bring budding artists to the Family Activity tent to create their own masterpieces. View masters at work with interactive art demos and booth chats taking place all weekend long. A full listing of artists appearing at this event can be found at Amdur Productions' website. Hours are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Members’ Preview on Friday June 30  is 4. to 7 p.m.

Northshore Iris and Daylily Society Daylily Show & Sale – Saturday, July 8, and Sunday, July 9
Sponsored by the Northshore Iris and Daylily Society, this show features more than 10 artistic arrangements and more than 50 daylily varieties in bloom. The sale features iris and daylily plants, available for purchase on both Saturday and Sunday. The show is on Sunday only. Hours are 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

Farm Dinners – Wednesdays, July 12, August 16 and September 6
Enjoy a spectacular meal prepared with locally grown ingredients by award-winning chef Cleetus Friedman. Guests will enjoy cocktails and a tour of the Regenstein Fruit & Vegetable Garden, followed by a unique dining experience under the grape arbor, where they will converse with their tablemates while learning more about the food and beverages being served. The dinner takes place in the beautiful Fruit & Vegetable Garden, where guests will not only revel in the surroundings and food, but also learn how the Garden is growing organic. Hear firsthand from Windy City Harvest Youth Farm students about how produce is planted, cultivated and harvested. Hours are 5 to 8 p.m. The Fruit & Vegetable Garden is open until 6 p.m. daily but closes at 4 p.m. on Farm Dinner dates. Tickets are available online or at the Visitor Center. Admission is $220 per person. Ticket price includes cocktails and hors d'oeuvres, a tour, a multi-course meal with drinks, parking, and good company. Proceeds from the dinner support the Garden’s Windy City Harvest Youth Farm program, offering students the opportunity to learn all aspects of organic farming. Vegetarian and dietary restrictions can be accommodated upon request. Visit http://www.chicagobotanic.org/farmdinners for tickets and information.

Summer Farmers’ Market  – Saturday, July 15, and Sunday, July 16
Gather seasonal produce, flowers, herbs and other local, sustainable products at this Garden event that is held rain or shine. Talk with vendors and sample fresh fare. Hours are 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Cactus & Succulent Society of Greater Chicago Show & Sale– Saturday, July 15, and Sunday, July 16
The Cactus and Succulent Society of Greater Chicago presents a show and sale of cactuses and succulents. The sale features plants grown by members of the society. Hours are 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

Ikebana International Show – Saturday, July 22, and Sunday, July 23
The Ikebana International Society presents an exhibition of traditional Japanese flower arranging. This event features many educational opportunities to learn about the mechanics and techniques of ikebana. Hours are 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

AUGUST

Garden Clubs of Illinois District IX Show  – Saturday, August 5, and Sunday, August 6
This is a standard flower show presented by the District IX Garden Clubs of Illinois. The show includes table top arrangements, floral designs, educational exhibits, photography, artistic crafts, youth exhibits and horticulture exhibits. Garden Clubs of Illinois is comprised of nearly 10,000 members and is divided up into nine districts. Hours are noon to 4:30 p.m. on Saturday and 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. on Sunday. 

Kite Festival – Saturday, August 12, and Sunday, August 13
In the meadow west of Evening Island, enjoy soaring stunt-kite performances set to music by members of the Chicago Fire Kite Team and members of the Kite Society of Wisconsin & Illinois. These high-flying professionals demonstrate awesome feats of beauty and great skill. The Chicago Fire Kite Team has been competing and demonstrating team sport kite ballet and precision since 1986. Invited to kite festivals around the world, they have flown in front of friendly crowds in England, France, Japan, Canada and the United States. Walk or take the free tram to the festival. Ice cream, beverages, and many lunch options will be available for purchase on the west meadow. Hours are 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Gardeners of the North Shore Show & Sale – Saturday, August 12, and Sunday, August 13
The Gardeners of the North Shore host this annual show, which includes a judged exhibition with more than 500 entries of anything a home gardener can grow, including flowers, vegetables, herbs and houseplants. Hours are noon to 4:30 p.m. on Saturday and 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. on Sunday.

Mid-America Bonsai Society Show & Sale – Friday, August 18, and Sunday, August 20
Presented by the Midwest Bonsai Society, this show draws visitors from across the United States and is often regarded as one of the top three shows of its kind in the country. Enjoy a display of 200 bonsai trees judged by guest bonsai master. Shop more than a dozen vendors for bonsai trees and supplies. Free demonstrations and lectures will be available. Also, workshops will be held throughout the weekend for bonsai enthusiasts of all skill levels. Visit midwestbonsai.org for more information on workshops. Hours are noon to 4:30 p.m. on Saturday and 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. on Sunday.

Malott Japanese Garden Summer Festival  – Saturday, August 19, and Sunday, August 20
Learn about the summer festivals (matsuri) celebrated in Japan during this special weekend of activities. Listen to taiko drum and koto harp music, enjoy traditional folktales, and watch a tea ceremony. Kids of all ages can make projects to celebrate summer — make fish prints (gyotaku), create a paper fan (uchiwa), design a kite and more at family-friendly, hands-on stations. Hours are 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Ikenobo Ikebana Chicago Chapter Show – Saturday, August 26, and Sunday, August 27
Ikebana, the Japanese art of flower arranging, originated with Ikenobo in Kyoto, Japan, as a Buddhist floral offering. This show is presented by the Ikenobo Ikebana Society, Chicago Chapter, and will feature arrangements from members who will be on hand to answer questions about Ikenobo. Hours are 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

Heirloom Tomato Weekend – Saturday, August 26, and Sunday, August 27
Get new ideas about everyone’s garden favorite, tomatoes, with programs focused on growing and using heirloom varieties. Trace the fascinating history of tomatoes as they’ve traveled the world. Volunteers will also provide tips on growing and cooking with tomatoes as well as assistance with gardeners’ tomato problems. Tour the tomatoes growing at the Regenstein Fruit & Vegetable Garden with the staff horticulturist and learn how easy it is to save your own heirloom/open-pollinated tomato seeds at demonstrations throughout the weekend. Shop for tomato-related items in the Wheelbarrow Shop and from local vendors. Families can take part in a variety of hands-on games and activities. Hours are 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Bike the Garden  – Sunday, August 27
Bicyclists of all ages can ride the full perimeter of the Garden and end with a finish-line celebration! Participants in this free event will be able to ride on the East and West Roads, enabling access to areas that are usually off-limits to bicyclists. After the ride, come to the McDonald Woods pavilion to enjoy festivities, check out the vendor, and learn at the information tables. Trek Bicycle Store of Highland Park will offer helmet checks for children and adults; basic bicycle safety checks including bicycle brakes, shifting and tires; and a flat tire and basic maintenance clinic at 8 and 9 a.m. You may also take test rides on some of their new Trek bicycles! Helmets are recommended for all riders, and required for riders 14 and under. Children under age of 13 need to be accompanied by an adult. Don't have a bike? Rent one at the Garden! Registration is 7 to 7:30 a.m.; event is 7:30 to 9:30 a.m.

SEPTEMBER

Illinois Mycological Association Mushroom Show & Sale – Sunday, September 3
The Illinois Mycological Association celebrates the richness of fall mushrooms in Illinois with an exhibition of 50 to 100 varieties of mushroom foraged from area forests. Members provide information and answer questions regarding mushrooms and fungi. A children's education area is available, and mushrooms, books and T-shirts will be for sale. Mycology is the study of fungi and their use to humans as a source for medicine and food; their dangers, such as poisoning or infection; and their benefits to natural ecosystems. Hours are 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

American Dahlia Society National Show – Saturday, September 9, and Sunday, September 10
Hundreds of dahlia blooms ranging in size from a silver dollar to a dinner plate will be judged and on display, with floral designs and photography completing the show. Dahlias are known for their bright, vibrant colors and perfect petal arrangements. Society members will be on hand to provide written information and to answer questions about dahlias. Hours are noon to 4:30 p.m. on Saturday and 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. on Sunday.

American Craft Exposition  – Friday, September 15, and Sunday, September 17
Passionate about the arts? This highly competitive juried show and sale of fine craft featuring one-of-a-kind handcrafted artwork and luxury collections from the country's leading craftspeople is in its 32nd year. Meet some of the country’s top artists—along with selected emerging artists—in 12 media, including jewelry, ceramics, metal, glass, leather and baskets. Peruse and purchase unique works of art before the exposition opens to the public. Enjoy an elegant evening with cocktails, hors d’oeuvres and an exclusive sneak peek at the Benefit Preview Party on Thursday, September 14. Proceeds support pharmacogenomics research at NorthShore University HealthSystem. The show is presented by the Auxiliary of NorthShore University HealthSystem. Take a break from the show and check out the early fall colors on 385 acres at the Garden: gold katsura trees, garnet chrysanthemums, burgundy smoke tree, purple-copper eastern ninebark and more. Hours are 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Friday and Saturday and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Sunday.

Harvest Weekend – Saturday, September 23, and Sunday, September 24
Learn how to harvest, preserve and store your homegrown produce or Farmers’ Market bounty during Harvest Weekend. Join us at the Regenstein Fruit & Vegetable Garden for “how-to” demonstrations, shopping from local vendors, hands-on activities for kids and families, Garden Chef Series presentations, a cookbook swap, and more. Hours are 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.

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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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