Showing 1-96 of 100 items found in Outdoors & Play
Allerton Park & Retreat Center
Allerton Park was the private estate of Robert Henry Allerton, who donated it to the University of Illinois in 1946. It features 1,500 acres of woodlands, formal gardens and more than 100 sculptures. The park is open to the public for hiking, picnicking, cross-country skiing and leisurely garden strolls.
Anderson Japanese Gardens
Anderson Japanese Gardens has been named one of the highest quality Japanese gardens in North America by Sukiya Living Magazine since 2004. Inspired by calm and tranquility, this 12 acre award winning landscape is comprised of koi-filled ponds, winding paths, gentle streams, cascading waterfalls, raked gravel gardens, beautifully trained pines, and more. Master craftsmanship and 16th century traditional architecture is found throughout the garden.
Anna Bethel Fisher Rock Garden
Created in 1927 from an old sand pit across the road from Lake Decatur, the city's oldest garden was extensively renovated in 1992. Its resurrected look features secluded paths leading through rocky terraces planted with unusual trees, and landscapes brimming with colorful perennials. Towering bald Cypress trees, planted in the 1920s, still reign over these delightful grounds.
Artesian Well at Paradise Cove
Nestled along Indian Creek is a natural artesian well where thousands of gallons of pure water flow each day - as it has since 1927. A ten foot water wheel is turned continually by the flowing water. The site, which is accessed by Stephenson County's only covered bridge, includes a waterfall, large flower beds and gazebo to enjoy while sipping the bubbling water. Open: 7 am - 8 pm.
Ballard Nature Center
Just minutes away from the city but a world away, Ballard Nature Center is home to dozens of species of birds and wildlife. Natural prairie, wetlands, butterfly and hummingbird gardens, ponds and creeks round out the outdoor experience.
A 32-acre park built in cooperation with Batavia Park District, the city of Batavia and the Batavia Riverwalk Committee. Park your bikes by the Depot Museum and stroll the boardwalks through the wildflower garden.
Belvidere Park District
The Belvidere Park District spans stretches of the Kishwaukee River and Mill Race. It's a great place for fishing, biking and playing tennis, and includes a playground, picnic shelters, pool, swinging bridge and the historic Baltic Mill.
Billie Limacher Bicentennial Park
On historic Bluff Street along the waterway in downtown Joliet, this park features free summer concerts, lush grounds, outdoor bandshell and indoor theatre. Office hours: Monday - Thursday 8:00 am - 4:30 pm and Friday 8:00 am - 12:00 noon.
Bird Haven Greenhouse and Conservatory
Lord and Burnham designed this historic greenhouse featuring a tropical house, cacti room, show house and outdoor gardens.
Buxton's Garden Farm
Open year-round and offering annual and perennial flowers, mums, fall decor, pumpkins, squash, and fall treats. Known also for the 7 acre corn maze, haunted maze and mind twisted maze. School tours and groups welcome. Christmas trees and wreaths offered in winter months.
DuPage County, Chicago’s Western Suburbs - Set among mature oak and hickory trees, lakes & streams, this full-service event facility with 27 holes of golf offers both 18 and 9-hole play and is nationally recognized as one of the best public courses in America. Cantigny Golf is a part of the McCormick Foundation, committed to making life better for our children, communities and country. As one of the nation’s largest public charities, we’ve granted more than $1 billion to organizations in local communities across the country. The golf course is part of the historic 500-acre Cantigny Park, where memorable family experiences happen. The grounds include museums, formal gardens and picnic areas.
Consisting of the Robert McCormick Mansion Museum, the First Division Military Museum, ten acres of gardens and parks, 27-hole championship golf course and nine-hole Cantigny Youth Links.
One of Oak Park's finest showplaces, the 12,000 sq. foot, 1913 mansion is located in the Historic District. Reminiscent of a gracious English country home and surrounded by 2 acres of beautiful gardens, a greenhouse and coach house. It is available for private and corporate event rentals.
CITY: Oak Park
Chicago Botanic Garden
The Chicago Botanic Garden opened a little more than 40 years ago as a beautiful place to visit, and it has matured into one of the world's great living museums and conservation science centers. Each year, nearly one million people visit the Garden's 26 gardens and four natural areas, uniquely situated on 385 acres of land on and around nine islands. Six miles of shoreline extend along 81 acres of water, including the Great Basin, North Lake, and Skokie River Corridor. The Garden also has a renowned Bonsai Collection.
Chicago Botanic Garden Loop
The Chicago Botanic Garden Loop offers a moderate level of difficulty to those wanting to experience quiet beauty in far north Cook County. The 385-acre garden is home to 2.4 million plants and is one of the most visited gardens in the country. Hiking will take you 4.5 hours and with almost 7 miles of trails, mostly paved you will get to experience both the lagoons and the Botanic Garden.
Chicago Park District
Come out and play with the Chicago Park District. Founded in 1934, the Chicago Park District is the largest municipal park manager in the nation and owner of more than 8,100 acres of green space. We invite you to take in a concert or a movie at one of our 580 parks.
Plays host to community festivals in Hanover Park.
CITY: Hanover Park
Coral Woods - McHenry County Conservation District
This sugar maple forest provides the sweet sap necessary for annual maple sugar programs, and is also known for its magnificent display of spring wildflowers. Activities include hiking, x-country skiing, picnic shelters and scenic views.
Decatur Park District
In addition to 39 neighborhood and community parks, our green spaces boast bike trails, picnic and camping facilities, gardens, golf courses, playgrounds, tennis courts, baseball diamonds, and swimming pools.
Douglas-Hart Nature Center
Explore 70 acres of prairie, wetlands and forest habitat.The Visitor Center features interpretive exhibits, sensory displays and live critters, including a bird observation area.
Evergreen Tree Walk
The Evergreen Tree Walk features over 90 species of trees indigenous to Illinois. Markers beside the trees list the common and Latin names of each species. The tree walk is a relaxing experience, especially after a long day of travel.
Fabyan Japanese Garden
A tranquil oasis where history melds with nature and design. This historic garden affords the opportunity to experience the uniqueness of Japanese gardening and enjoy a moment of harmony with nature.
With 45-acres of recreation, Fairview Park features a swimming pool, baseball and softball fields, Skateboard Park, several picnic shelters, and a variety of playground equipment.
Flossmoor Sculpture Gardens
The Flossmoor Sculpture Gardens is an outdoor arts program that places sculptures in the village square, along charming residental streets and in the Flossmoor Sculpture and Garden Park.
Fon du Lac Park District
Experience what 1600+ acres of parks, natural areas, riverfront and trails have to offer. Enjoy 2 golf courses, a picturesque marina and campground, Splashdown Water Park, and a variety of recreational programs and activities for all ages.
CITY: East Peoria
Home to the Balloon Fest, Foundation Park has many walking trails, nature areas, and gathering places.
Fox River Bike Trail
Dawn until dusk, a 36 m. trail is the forefront of outdoor recreation passing through Elgin, St. Charles, Geneva, Batavia and Aurora. It winds along the banks of the Fox River through miles of prairie grass, overshadowing trees and blooming flowers.
This 20-year-old herb and perennial plant nursery offers more than 200 varieties of common and uncommon plants. Sip a glass of lemonade as you view the gardens, feed the catfish in the pond and shop for garden items.
Fults Hill Prairie State Nature Preserve
The preserve consists of nearly 1,000 acres of both upland prairie and lowland wetland marshes. A variety of plants and animals can be found in the preserve, some common, and some cannot be found anywhere else in the state.
CITY: Prairie du Rocher
Gardens of Heartland Hall
Located just minutes outside of Effingham. The Gardens of Heartland can fully satisfy your requirements for affordable & elegant receptions & outdoor weddings, or small gatherings.
Garfield Park Conservatory
Garfield Park Conservatory is one of the largest gardens under glass in the world. Opened in 1908, this landmark building was the vision of celebrated landscape architect Jens Jensen. The eight exhibit halls feature plants from around the world.
Genevieve Green Gardens
The Genevieve Green Gardens offer a relaxing setting for contemplation and the appreciation of nature's beauty. Small gardens are tucked in at various locations; there is also a formal compass garden with a beautiful arbor, a Japanese garden, and a main plaza that is highlighted by a water feature. Walkways, accompanied by tasteful signage, conveniently guide visitors around the property and are in harmony with the landscape's topography. Carefully designed lighting makes it possible to enjoy the gardens during evening hours.
Goebbert's Pumpkin Farm and Garden Center
Fall: festival with haunted house, corn maze, farm animals, and more. Spring/Summer: large selection of annuals, perennials, vegetable plants, trees, shrubs, aquatic plants, roses, planters, and gourmet food items. Admission is free - cost for some activities.
CITY: South Barrington
Magnificent full-service inn celebrating more than 30 years of hospitality. Featuring elite amenities, dining and spa services in a romantic setting overlooking the Mississippi River.
Proudly referred to as Chicago's "Front yard," Grant Park is a public park, 319 acres located in Chicago’s central business district in the Loop Community area. Grant Park’s most notable features include Millennium Park, Buckingham Fountain, The Art Institute of Chicago and the Museum Campus. Named for United States President and Civil War General, Ulysses S. Grant, Grant Park was developed as one of Chicago's first parks and expanded through land reclamation.
Green View Nursery, Inc.
Enjoy the ever-changing beauty of nature and discover Green View Nursery. Green View is a family-owned business that offers a full service garden center and a gift show. Expert horticulturists and extensive irrigation and fertilization practices allow Green View to produce what we feel is some of Illinois' finest nursery stock: the Green View Grown® Brand. "Today's Garden Center" recognized Green View Companies as one of the Top 100 Revolutionary Garden Centers in the United States for 2009. We join the ranks of the horticulture industry's top independent garden centers for the second consecutive year. Green View was also featured on ABC-TV's "Extreme Home Makeover: Home Edition" for their work on the Grys' home in Pekin, IL.
Grosse Point Lighthouse
Built on the shores of Lake Michigan by the United States Government in 1873 after several shipwrecks demonstrated its need, this was the lead lighthouse marking the approach to Chicago. In 1999, Grosse Point Lighthouse was designated a National Historic Landmark by the National Park Service; the first lighthouse on the Great Lakes to carry that status. The Garden Club on Evanston maintains wildflower and butterfly gardens on its property.
Bea Gurler was nine years old when her father George moved his family into the house in 1893. Her cousins, the children of her father’s brother Henry, had been living since 1888 in the Ellwood Mansion. Everyone said it was magnificent. Bea’s parents George and Zillah, evidently shared a taste in homes that favored the elegance of simplicity. It was the unimposing yet dignified structure on Pine Street–where the back door was always open. George and Henry Gurler were both prominent businessmen, and joint owners of a number of dairies. They quickly became world-famous and respected by many dairy farmers. Bea eventually made it a goal of hers to renovate The Gurler House to be the home that she once new and loved. The Gurler House hosts an annual Folk Music Festival every summer, where people are encouraged to bring lawn chairs and blankets to enjoy the music. While you are at The Gurler House, make sure to take a walk through their beautiful garden.
Herrin Park District
Herrin Park District is a beautiful, well kept park with a seasonal outdoor swimming pool as well as a multipurpose recreation complex. The park offers two walking paths with a quarter-mile all weather track, and a one-mile lighted walking trail. Herrin Park is an excellent place for a leisurely jog. You can even enjoy feeding the beautiful ducks.
Hornbaker Gardens is a family owned and operated nursery specializing in perennial flowers. Large collections of hostas, daylilies, iris and other perennials draw plant enthusiasts from all over the Midwest to this nursery in the country. Whatever we get interested in as gardeners, we seem to start providing for our customers as well. Thus, the offerings of granite and pottery, bronze sculptures and rusty metal artwork. In 2008, we put up a new building which we call The Shop at Hornbaker Gardens. It is stocked with garden art and other garden accessories where you are sure to find something unique for your garden.
I&M Canal State Trail
Enjoy hiking, jogging, cross-country skiing, camping, snowmobiling, fishing, boating, canoeing and biking along the I&M Canal State Trail. This 61-mile recreational trail begins at Brandon Road in Rockdale and parallels the canal to LaSalle Peru.
Irons Oaks Environmental Learning Center
The Irons Oaks Environmental Learning Center is a joint project of the Homewood-Flossmoor (HF Parks.com) and Olympia Fields (OF Parks.com) park districts. The near 40-acre nature preserve is home to a diversity of wildlife and habitat types. See beautiful woods, wildflowers, birds and furry friends along the way. There are trails along both sides of the park which is located at Vollmer and Western Avenues in Olympia Fields. Please be careful when crossing Vollmer Road. The Park is open to the public daily, sunrise to sunset
CITY: Olympia Fields
Kennekuk County Park
The 3000 acre park includes a seven mile backpack trail among its 15 miles of trail system. Boats and canoes are available for rental in season, and seven lakes are available for fishing. Hunting of pheasant, rabbit, squirrel, dove, waterfowl, goose, mushrooms, turkey, and deer is permitted (Illinois and Vermilion County Conservation District regulations apply).
Klehm Arboretum & Botanic Garden
Klehm Arboretum & Botanic Garden is a 155-acre living museum filled with spectacular gardens and rare trees. There’s beauty in every season from fragrant magnolia trees in spring and a butterfly garden in summer to the brilliant colors of fall and snow-capped evergreens in winter, when trails are cleared for walkers, cross-country skiers and snowshoeing. A 1.8 mile, handicapped-accessible paved path winds through the arboretum plus many secondary, chipped trails. Kids will have fun navigating the maze in the Children’s Garden. Klehm is dog-friendly and any leashed dog is welcome. Filled with four season beauty, Klehm Arboretum & Botanic Garden is waiting for you to explore.
This beautiful Freeport park offers an antique carousel, waterfall, seasonal duck pond, miniature golf course, 18-hole disc golf course, tennis courts, a baseball diamond, 3 miles of recreational paths, paddle boats, canoes, fishing, hiking, biking, a performance amphitheater, gardens, picnic areas, shelters, playgrounds including "Kid's Kastle", and sledding in the winter. The Yellow Creek Adventure Golf Course (miniature golf) is open daily from Memorial Day thru Labor Day from Noon to Dusk. The Disc Golf Course is open during regular park hours and is free to play. Discs may be rented at the Miniature Golf Course building for $2. The carousel is open prior to Memorial Day on weekends from Noon to Dusk and from Memorial Day to Labor Day, it is open daily from Noon to Dusk. Yellow Creek boat rentals, including the duck paddle boats or the larger swan boat, are available daily from Memorial Day thru Labor Day weekend from Noon to Dusk. Park attractions are open seasonally; call ahead to confirm availability of specific attractions.
Lake Katherine Trail
Lake Katherine Trail is a 3.2-mile trail of moderate difficulty, located near Palos Heights, Illinois. This 1.5-hour hike over wood chip, dirt and gravel roads is one of the best urban nature walk trails in the area. The Preserve features an attractive lake, an arboretum, a waterfall garden, an herb and conifer garden and expansive views from atop a ridge in the eastern section.
CITY: Palos Heights
Lake of the Woods Forest Preserve
Lake of the Woods County Park is a 900-acre preserve that features an 18-hole regulation golf course, a 9-hole par 3 course and practice range, fishing, boating, hiking, picnicking, cross-country skiing, sledding the Hi-Tower bell carillon and observation area, a 3.3 mile bicycle/pedestrian path, the Museum of the Grand Prairie, Mabery Gelvin Botanical Gardens, building rentals and various programs.
Lavender Creek Farm
Lavender Creek Farm grows fields of organic lavender plants. Walk the lavender fields, pick bouquets and browse the plants for sale. Lavender soaps, oils, lotions, candles and more are made at the farmhouse - the old fashioned way!
Eight acres of beautiful landscaping and flower gardens include the Life of Christ Memorial Garden, featuring life-sized sculptures tracing the life of Christ from birth to ascension.
CITY: Monroe Center
Lincoln Memorial Garden Nature Center
Located on the shores of Lake Springfield and designed by landscape architect, Jens Jensen, five miles of wooded trails lead you on a journey through the Illinois landscape Lincoln walked.
Lincoln Memorial Park
Site of one of the historic Lincoln-Douglas Debates, this park features picnic shelters, walking paths and hiking trails.
Located across from the Statehouse in Vandalia, the park features a life-size, bronze statue of Abraham Lincoln. This is a favorite spot for photos with the 16th president.
Lincoln Park Conservatory
Step inside and be transported to another place and time! We invite you to take a journey to the Lincoln Park Conservatory where you will find tropical palms and ancient ferns right in the heart of Lincoln Park. Designed both to showcase exotic plants and grow the thousands of plants needed for use in the parks, the Conservatory offers visitors a tropical experience within its four display houses: Palm House, Fern Room, Orchid House and Show House, which is home to the annual flower shows. This historic facility continues to provide an escape to nature to the millions that live in and visit Chicago. No matter the time of year, Lincoln Park Conservatory is always green and lush. Come take a stroll and let yourself be transported away. Admission is free.
Enchanting Linmar Gardens is nestled in a hillside overlooking the historic town of Galena. The secluded 3.5-acre garden is situated on natural outcroppings which have been enhanced with hand-built terraces. Meander on a guided tour along paths through a collection vibrant annual and perennial flowers including hostas, viburnums, conifers, grasses and daylilies.
Little Red Schoolhouse Nature Center - Willow Springs
Forest preserve nature center designed to educate the public about the importance of wildlife and our environment.
CITY: Willow Springs
Tour the walk-through gardens and browse the nursery selling 170 different ornamental grasses, trees and shrubs.
Luthy Botanical Gardens
This beautiful spot features five acres of landscaped gardens including the Woodland Garden, Children's Garden, Herb Garden and several others. Tropical conservatory is open year-round. Outdoor Garden is open 8:30am to dusk year-round. Closed Mondays.
Mabery Gelvin Botanical Garden
The gardens boast some of the most beautiful and diverse flora in east-central IL. It also features the award-winning Miriam Davies Memorial Enabling Garden.
Macon County Conservation District
Our green spaces boast bike and walking trails, picnic and camping facilities, and gardens.
The arboretum houses more than 6,000 species of trees, plus shrubs, wildflowers and wildlife. A hiking trail takes you through the woods and past stones from a Shawnee Indian Council fire.
Mari-Mann Herb Farm
Spanning six rolling acres on bluffs overlooking the Sangamon River Walk, Mari-Mann Herb Farm is a potpourri of herb beds, wildflower fields and formal gardens.
Melvin Price Memorial Park
The 24-acre park has a pavilion, walking trails, and many other amenities. It is also the site of the Veterans of All Wars Memorial and the September 11 Memorial.
Merrick Rose Garden
This public park exhibits 100 varieties of roses, with historic Centennial Fountain as the garden's focal point.
MetroWalkz Self-Guided Walking Tours
Our numerous self-guided walking tours with easy-to-use maps and insider narratives make sightseeing a breeze. Current tours include Loop Architecture, Millennium Park, Navy Pier, Magnificent Mile, Museum Campus, Grant Park, Chinatown, Old Town, Gold Coast and the West Loop.
An eclectic district filled with dining and multi-cultural attractions, Midtown Champaign, with the beautiful Boneyard Creek flowing, connects Downtown and Campustown Champaign.
Midway Village Museum
The museum campus consists of a Victorian village with 26 historical buildings filled with artifacts of the era as well as several beautiful 19th century gardens that depict life in northern Illinois from 1890 to 1910. Interpreters in authentic period dress are available seasonally for guided tours. The main museum building holds large group meeting rooms and exhibit space with a number of permanent exhibits reflecting Rockford's history and culture. Special events throughout the year include a World War II re-enatment, Sock Monkey and Scarecrow Harvest Festivals, and more. Free recreational path located on property.
Mt. Carroll Garden Walk
Stroll the brick streets and enjoy unique historic architecture while viewing beautiful flower, perennial and water gardens. Garden vendors and a farmer's market will be stationed in the Courthouse Square.
CITY: Mount Carroll
National Shrine of Our Lady of the Snows
The Shrine has 200 beautifully landscaped acres of gardens and devotional areas, including the Outdoor Amphitheatre, Shrine Church, Lourdes Grotto, Stations of the Cross, Millennium Spire, the Visitors Center with a restaurant and gift shop, and the Shrine Hotel.
Natural Resource Center
The Natural Resource Center is located at Russell Preserve, and is open to the public on weekends. The Center offers a great stop for exploration and live animal viewing for all members of the family. The Center can be reserved by school groups and other organizations for outdoor educational field trips. While there, take a walk through Russell Preserve, beneath mature oaks and hickories, surrounded by woodland wildflowers. In the winter, Russell Preserve is a great place for tobogganning.
Nicholas Conservatory & Gardens
Situated along the banks of the beautiful Rock River in Sinnissippi Gardens, the Nicholas Conservatory & Gardens brings the tropics to the Midwest. The entire facility is the third largest conservatory in Illinois with a total of 22,000 square feet, and at the highest point stands 52 feet. A tropical setting includes an 11,000 square foot plant exhibition area complete with water features, seating areas, and sculptures, all in a tropical plant setting. Changing seasonal floral displays, a gift shop and special events; educational programs where children can learn the importance of plants; special workshops and lecture series for adults; the perfect place to host your event--small weddings, receptions, business meetings.
Nygren Wetland Preserve
Nygren Wetland Preserve is a 721-acre tract near the confluence of the Rock River and Pecatonica River, making it an important stopover and nesting spot for many species of birds including Sandhill Cranes. The Natural Land Institute, a private, not-for-profit land conservation organization, owns the preserve and began restoration of prairies, wetlands and woodlands to the area in 2000.
Oak Park Conservatory
Come and discover this botanical gem, the Oak Park Conservatory! Visit fern, tropical and desert greenhouses. Special floral displays offered in January, February, March, April, November and December. The Tropical Room also boasts birds and a bridged lagoon with fish and turtles. Private rentals are available at the Conservatory Center and Rubinstein Room. The Rubinstein Room is great for small events, while the operations room is perfect for hands on arts and crafts.
CITY: Oak Park
Olympic Tribute & Laborer's Memorial
Honoring the extraordinary achievements of Champaign County residents who have participated in the Olympic and Paralympic Games, this granite platform inscribed with the names of the athletes and the Olympic symbol is surrounded by playing fields, gardens and a community college campus. Tribute to Olympic Athletes rises from an ordinary prairie landscape transformed by playing fields, gardens and a community college campus.
Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum
The urban gateway to nature and science. The Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum is a place where city dwellers can reconnect with the wonder of the natural world. From a hands-on water lab to a wilderness walk to the only international, year-round butterfly haven, science comes alive.
Pleasant Ridge Park
Tucked back away from the street, a relaxing place to get away from it all is Pleasant Ridge Park. The centerpiece is the Kensella Log Home.
CITY: Fairview Heights
The University of Illinois Pollinitarium is the first free-standing science center in the nation devoted to flowering plants and their pollinators. Its location in the midst of the Arboretum brings together flowers and pollinators physically and conceptually. Changing exhibits relate to world events and ongoing research on pollinators. Guests can explore beekeeping equipment, see live demonstrations and play interactive games. Because so much depends on pollination, the UI Pollinatarium is dedicated to increasing awareness and appreciation of pollination as a remarkable ecological partnership and an essential ecosystem service.
Quad City Botanical Center
Rock Island's Quad City Botanical Center houses exotic tropical flowers, a 14-foot waterfall and reflecting pools with koi. Seasonal attractions include a butterfly garden and the Garden Train Railway exhibit. The Botanical Center also regularly hosts art exhibitions and special events for families.
CITY: Rock Island
Ratz Memorial Park and Lincoln Park
Located in Red Bud, these parks feature picnic shelters, and plenty of playground equipment. Both are great places to take the kids.
CITY: Red Bud
Red Bud Lane Iris Garden
Feast your eyes on the gardens of iris, hostas and day lillies. These bulbs and rhizomes are shipped all over the country. Please call before your visit.
Robert Ridgeway Memorial Arboretum & Sanctuary
This living tribute to naturalist and author Robert Ridgeway features more than 50 types of trees, flowers and wildlife.
Sangamon River Forest Preserve
Sangamon River Forest Preserve, a 160-acre gem, offers a variety of natural features and is ideal for low-impact activities such as picnicking, bird-watching, hiking and river fishing. The preserve hosts the Lincoln Ash Tree, one of the largest ash trees in the state.
Schaub Floral Display Center
Bursting with seasonal exhibits, our brightest newcomer nurtures flowering trees and scrubs such as weeping Japanese cherry, mock orange, forsythia, fragrant bulbs, and delightfully colored pansies. A perennial garden joins the array this summer, and the spring exhibit opens mid-March.
This expansive park features picnic areas, baseball and softball fields, playgrounds, tennis courts, horseshoe pits, and sand volleyball courts. The centerpiece of the park is an old train depot, a full-size caboose, and a train car that can be reserved for groups.
Scovill House & Oriental Gardens
Serenity envelopes this intimate area, where visitors are welcomed by a Chinese Fu dog and flowering dogwoods, star magnolia, Japanese lilac, and rhododendron -- foliage native to the Orient. Originally commissioned by Guy and Rose Scovill in the 1920's and reconstructed in the 1980's, the gardens' soothing nature encompasses a small reflective point, sod bridge, and oriental sculptures, and surrounds a small cottage, which is available for gatherings and retreats.
A gift of the Garden Club of Evanston in 1920, the Shakespeare Garden, tucked away on the Northwestern University Campus, boasts 29 varieties of flowers.
Shoal Creek Nature Preserve
This 260-acre site offers nature trails for visitors to explore wetlands, prairie openings, and sandstone bluffs and ledges. The preserve is home to more than 700 plants and 70 bird species, including bald eagles during the winter months.
Siegel's Cottonwood Farms
Siegel's Cottoonwood Farm is an over 100 years old 4th Generation working family farm established in 1909. We offer Spring and Fall Educational Farm Tours. In the Spring and Summer the farm is open with a Garden Center featuring Bedding Plants, Veggie Plants, Shrubs, Trees, Hanging Baskets, Fresh Baked Pies, Jams and Jellies & much more. Starting in July the farm has Fresh Picked Xtra Sweet, Sweet Corn and other Farm Fresh Produce. Sweet Corn & Produce are also available at the Joliet and Shorewood roadside stands. Starting June 1st thru October the farm is available for company picnics, group outings, corporate events and fundraisers. Starting the 3rd Weekend of September the Annual Pumpkin Fest opens with "Affordable Fun on the Farm" with over 20 different attractions; among them a Petting Zoo, 10 Acre Zombie Cornfield Maze, Grain Train, Gem Mining, Train Rides and new attractions added every year, like this years Zombie Farm Paintball Ride. For the adults don't miss out on the #1 Voted Haunted House, Statesville Haunted Prison, Open the first weekend of October.
With special attention to individuals with cognitive and physical needs, this state-of-the-art park is both peaceful and accessible. Check the treeless treehouse for a towering view of the park.
Spring Valley Nature Center/ Volkening Heritage Farm
135 acres, natural history museum, handicapped-accessible trails, 1880's living history farm and pioneer cooking demos. Cost for some programs.
View the spectacular display of 15,000 flowers of 15 varieties, plus a three-tiered fountain and the Four Seasons statues that complement this exquisite English garden.
The Farm includes 23 theme gardens, a rustic shop in the barn featuring herbal gifts and supplies, picnics, hayrides and a greenhouse.
The Homestead Sculpture Garden and Labyrinth
Art lovers will admire the beautiful brick labyrinth and distinctive contemporary sculpture garden here.
The Morton Arboretum
Magnificent, 1,700-acre museum of trees and plants from around the world. Hiking trails, paved roads, restaurant, gift shop, open-air tram and handicapped accessible facilities.
Trolley Car #36
Trolley Car #36 is a turn-of-the-century, open-air trolley, the kind your grandparents might have taken to work, except you don't have to go to work. Board the Trolley at the Trolley Station in Riverview Park (on Thursdays, board at Nicholas Conservatory), ride along Madison Street beside the scenic Rock River Recreation Path, stop for a brief visit to the Eclipse Lagoon and Gardens, travel to the Symbol, then turn around and return to the Trolley Station. Trolley Car #36 is wheelchair accessible; however, the trolley is limited to 2 wheelchairs per ride.
University of Illinois Arboretum
The University of Illinois Arboretum is a living laboratory, including plant collections and facilities that support the teaching, research and public service programs of several units throughout campus. Central to the Arboretum was the development of the "All American Selection Trial Gardens" established by a bequest from Miles C. Hartley in the early 90s. Other highlights of the Arboretum include the Welcome Garden, Hosta Garden, Kari Walkway and native ponds plantings, the Idea Garden, sponsored by Champaign County Master Gardeners, and the Japanese Tea and Dry Gardens at the Japan House.
Wandell Sculpture Garden
The Wandell Sculpture Garden was established in honor of Willett and Celia Wandell in 1998. This unique, free outdoor sculpture garden sits among 22 acres of recreated Illinois tallgrass prairie in 130-acre Meadowbrook Park. While walking the looped paths, one can encounter bikers, joggers and other sculpture lovers as the park serves both recreational and educational purposes. Works from local artists with ties to the University of Illinois grace the garden, as well as pieces from artists who reside in New York, California and New Mexico. The garden has both permanent sculptures and some that are rotated every second or third year, keeping it fresh for visitors. Open daily from dawn to dusk.