Chicago Botanical Garden
Located in Glencoe, IL the Chicago Botanical Garden can be an intimidating endeavor to reach. Driving will take about 40 minutes whereas using free transit will cost you just under 2 hours. Admission is free but the parking ranges from $20 to $25. This is a living plant museum that offers 25 different gardens that represent 4 distinct types of habitats. The best time of year to attend is the spring or summer to witness the color-blasted landscape of flowers. If interested, there are horticulture and other volunteer opportunities available for those who would like to work first-hand with the plants.
Since fall has arrived, the seasonal spectacle people enjoy is the color change in leaves. What better place to view the reds, oranges, and yellows than at a botanical park devoted to trees. Located in Lisle, the drive will also be around 40 minutes with an hour and a half transit commute. Just looking a trees sounds like it can get boring real fast, but fear not there are hiking trails, bike paths, and a maze to sustain your interest. Take part in the Troll Hunt where you seek out 6 massive wooden troll sculptures throughout the park that are constructed by Danish artist, Thomas Dambo.