Frequently Asked Questions

What are the Garden’s Hours?


What is included in the Group Visit price?

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

What should we do upon arrival?

Mention your group name to the Gatehouse attendant to receive complimentary parking for personal vehicles/motor coach. Please unload buses in the front of parking lot 1. Buses are to park in parking lot 3. After you are parked, please proceed to the Visitor Center to pick up your map and coupons from the front desk. 

What happens if my group arrives late for our tour?

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

When do the trams run?

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

Where do the trams go?

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

What are the meal options?

All food is provided by the Culinary Landscape, the Chicago Botanic Garden's exclusive in-house caterer. Elegant meal options include boxed lunches, hot lunch buffets, and dinner buffets. For additional menu details, please contact your sales manager or the Group Visits department at (847) 835-6949. 

What happens if it rains?

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

Can I take a tour in the winter?

Yes, we have wonderful seasonal exhibits to enjoy. Our new holiday light exhibit, Lightscape, will be open from November to January. Our next spring exhibit, the Orchid Show, is open from February to March. Contact Group Visits at (847) 835-6949 for additional details and pricing. 

Is the Garden accessible by wheelchair?

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

What are the cancellation policies?

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

What are the deposit and final payment policies?

Deposits are due with your signed contract in order to confirm your Group Visit experience. The final payment, guaranteed guest count, and menu (when applicable) are due 10 business days prior to your visit.

How else can I enhance my group visit experience?

Want to see what is in bloom at the Garden? The Group Visits department offers specialty walking tours to see gardens of your interest. You can add access to an additional exhibit for $6 per guest per exhibit. You may also wish to book a group visit during Night of 1,000 Jack-o'-Lanterns, Lightscape, or the Orchid Show. Contact Group Visits at (847) 835-6949 for additional details.

How do I contact the Group Visits department?

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

 

Can I book group tickets for Lightscape? 

This option is not offered thru the Group Visits department. Our Lightscape packages include catering services in addition to entry—an exclusive way to experience the show! Packages start at $65 per guest and include complimentary motorcoach/ bus admission, priority drop-off, Lightscape admission, catered dinner, and private dining space in the Greenhouse Galleries. Please contact Group Visits at (847) 835-6949 for additional details.