Fodor's Expert Review Chicago Botanic Garden
Among the 26 different gardens here are the three-island Malott Japanese Garden, the 5-acre Evening Island, and the Grunsfeld Children's Growing Garden. Three big greenhouses showcase desert, tropical, and semitropical climates with beautiful and fragrant flowers blooming year-round. Weather permitting, 35-minute trams tours ($6) are offered daily from 10 to 4, April through October. Special summer exhibitions include the Model Railroad Garden, a 7,500-square-foot garden with 17 garden-scale trains traveling around nearly 50 models of American landmarks, all made from natural materials, as well as Butterflies & Blooms, a 2,800-square-foot white mesh enclosure filled with hundreds of colorful butterflies interacting with plant life; a $6 admission fee applies for each.