The holidays are the only time of the year when it's appropriate to point at a dead plant and expect a kiss. Channel your mistletoe horticultural failure into new botanical knowledge with today's Groupon: for $30, you get four tickets, plus parking, to Wonderland Express at the Chicago Botanic Garden in Glencoe (up to a $65 value). Adult tickets ordinarily cost $10 for nonmembers and $8 for members; children 3–12 and seniors over 62 are $8 for nonmembers and $6 for members. Parking is worth $20 for one car and $25 for one van or rocket-powered sleigh.
Each winter, the Chicago Botanic Garden is transformed into a magical, sparkling holiday display known as the Wonderland Express. Outdoors, coniferous and deciduous topiaries are decked with 750,000 energy-conserving lights, which beckon scarf-swaddled, mitten-toting visitors to take the Wonderland Walk. Inside the Regenstein Center lies a 10,000-square-foot miniature-train exhibition, wherein shrunken diesels wend their way through more than 80 tiny replicas of such heralded Chicago landmarks as Navy Pier, Millennium Park, Solder Field, and the 181-foot-tall statue of Bruce Lee. New additions to this year’s display include re-creations of the Obama family's Kenwood home and a special tribute to the Stanley Cup–winning Blackhawks. A bevy of fun holiday activities and conifer folklore await young visitors, along with a full docket of Santa-centric events (extra charge applies for events).
- When life gets a little too crazy, take a trip to the Chicago Botanic Garden to stop and smell the roses...and the geraniums, daisies, irises, bonsai trees, prairie grasses...you get the picture. Or maybe you don't. Because with 23 gardens, three natural areas and a total of 385 acres of land, this is the kind of place you definitely need to see (and smell) for yourself. – Ashley Hamilton, Centerstage
- I greatly enjoy the Chicago Botanic Garden - the walks, the trees, the pond. It's a great way to spend an afternoon, just absorbing the way the light reflects and changes the look of the garden; or as a way to get some exercise [sic] with a vigorous walk around the property. – Tracy M., Insider Pages