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The Chicago Botanic Garden celebrates the delightful nostalgia of carnivals and the enchantment of the circus during The Orchid Show of Wonders. Starting February 10 and running through March 24, the Garden’s indoor galleries will be filled with a whimsical world of more than 10,000 fresh, vibrant blooms under the big top.
“We are excited to showcase an orchid spectacle unlike any other this year,” said Jodi Zombolo, associate vice president, Visitor Events and Programs. “This Show provides a new twist on the circus that is sure to entertain visitors of all ages.”
In its tenth year, the Show will feature blooming displays inspired by carnival and circus attractions such as walking under Ferris wheel seats, marveling at unicycles on tightropes and other gravity-defying surprises, all while listening to classic circus tunes.
On select Thursday and Friday evenings, Orchids After Hours is a captivating way to experience a nighttime viewing of the Show. Cocktails and light bites, including cotton candy and funnel cakes, will be available for purchase. A special Orchids After Hours will be held on Wednesday, February 14 (Valentine’s Day), and will feature a menu including prosecco splits and decadent chocolate desserts as well as Fotio, a vintage open-air photo booth to capture photos.
Regular hours are from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., daily. During Orchids After Hours, the Show is open on select evenings from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m., and for Photographers’ Hours, the Show is open 8:15 to 9:45 a.m. and 4:15 to 5:45 p.m. on Tuesdays. Tickets are on sale now. Visit https://www.chicagobotanic.org/orchid for more information and to purchase tickets.
The following events will take place during the Show:
- Library Exhibition – Captivating Cattleyas – Saturday, February 10, through Sunday, March 24 (Wednesday – Sunday from noon to 4 p.m.) This rare book exhibition in the Lenhardt Library features colorful illustrations of Cattleya orchids published in the nineteenth century. Free library talks will be held on Sunday, February 25, and Saturday, March 23, at 2 p.m.
- Photographers’ Hours – Tuesdays, February 13 through March 19 (8:15 a.m. to 9:45 a.m. and 4:15 p.m. to 5:45 p.m.) Offered for photographers who would like to capture orchids using tripods and monopods. Ticket fees apply, but only a limited number of tickets will be available each day.
- Illinois Orchid Society Spring Show & Sale – Saturday, March 9, and Sunday, March 10 (10 a.m. to 4 p.m.) Displays of orchids from the rarest of species to cultivated hybrids will be artistically arranged. Families can take part in orchid-based activities for children. Vendors will also be on-site to sell orchid plants and related products and Illinois Orchid Society members will offer repotting services.
- Post-Orchid Show Sale – Thursday, March 28 (9 a.m. to 4 p.m.) This sale is an opportunity to take home favorite orchids from the Show. Early access from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. is based on member level. All members and the public are welcome from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m., while supplies last. Please check our website and social media for updates; this event sells out quickly.
An image gallery is available for media download here.
About Chicago Botanic Garden
The Chicago Botanic Garden provides the opportunity for people and planet to thrive, showcasing the power of plants through its leadership in plant conservation science, community engagement, and learning, and the beauty of its 385-acre living museum. Every year, more than one million people visit the Garden’s 28 gardens and four natural areas. The Garden’s urban agriculture initiative, Windy City Harvest, helps build healthy communities through its 15 urban farms and programs in Chicago and nearby counties. The Garden is a nonprofit organization run as a public/private partnership with the Forest Preserves of Cook County.