Holiday Festivals Around Town

Chicago Botanic Garden celebrates the season with Lightscape. (J Jacobs photo)
Chicago Botanic Garden celebrates the season with Lightscape. (J Jacobs photo)

 

Around town Holiday festivals

Plan now because it seems everything from tree lightings and light festivals are starting early this year.

Remember when we used to think the holiday season began with Chicago’s Thanksgiving Parade early on “Turkey Day?” Then the Mag Mile pre-empted that with Mickey and Minnie Mouse turning on Michigan Avenue’s lights north of the Chicago River, accompanied by Santa. Meanwhile, Macy’s was following Marshal Field’s tradition of a Great Tree, lunch in the Walnut Room and wonderful holiday windows.

Chicago area’s two big zoos soon added to the holiday places-to-visit calendar with lights and animation. More recently gardens and nature walks such as the Morton Arboretum and Chicago Botanic Garden, got into the holiday spirit with color, lights and movement. Germany said, why not, so entered Chicago’s holiday season with the Christkindle Market.

 Macy’s liked Marshal Field’s tradition so continue the Great Tree, lunch in the Walnut Room and wonderful, story-telling holiday windows.

Keeping track of what is around, when and where in the Chicago area can be challenging even when suburban and neighborhood residents mark their calendars with local tree lightings and events.  So here is a short guide to the main holiday happenings.

Macy's holiday windows in Chicago (Photo courtesy of Macy's)
Macy’s holiday windows in Chicago (Photo courtesy of Macy’s)

 Already started early November

Macy’s came out with their Great Tree Lighting, Santa visits, Walnut Room availability and windows theme the first week of November.

What to know: The Great Tree is 45 feet tall and is decorated on a toy-shop theme and is up through Jan. 8 2023. Santa Claus photo ops and wish whispers have to be reserved in advance. Santa is in his toy workshop on the Fifth Floor and reservations to visit him go through Dec. 24, 2022. The windows are already decorated and good for photos through Jan. 1, 2022.  For reservations and more information  visit Macy’s Holiday Celebrations: Visit Santa & More – 2022 (macys.com)

 Macy’s is at 111 N State St., Chicago.

Second week in November

The switch went on and the last installation was done when Lightscape opened to Friends and Family at the Chicago Botanic Garden Nov. 9. Opened to the public (advance tickets needed) Nov. 11, Lightscape casts a fantasy vision over paths, trees, ponds and plantings with lights and music. It continues through Jan. 8, 2023. For tickets and more information visit Chicago Botanic/Lightscape

Christkindl Market downtown Chicago. (Photo by J Jacobs)
Christkindl Market downtown Chicago. (Photo by J Jacobs)

Third week and weekend in November

This is a very busy time for holiday events ranging from the city’s tree lighting and a European holiday market to zoo lights and lit paths at an arboretum.

Go downtown for Chicago’s tree lighting Nov. 18 in Millenium Park. It’s scheduled for 6 p.m. with a pre-program at 5 p.m. The action is near Cloud Gate on the Grainger Stage. Visitors should enter at the South Promenade on Monroe Street east of Michigan Avenue. Don’t expect the lighting to happen until 6:30 but stay because fireworks follow the ceremony. For more information visit City of Chicago :: City of Chicago Christmas Tree 

The German village-style Christkindl Market opens Nov. 18 a few blocks west of Millennium Park on Daley Plaza, 50 W. Washington St. A fun place to find gifts or take a yummy break from work or shopping, the Market is up through Dec. 24. For Chicago information visit Christkindlmarket | Holiday Market 2022 | Chicago

This German market is also happening in Wrigleyville at 3635 N. Clark Street at Gallager Way so visit German Christmas in Wrigleyville | Christkindlmarket and in Aurora in River Edge Park, 360 N. Broadway so visit  German Christmas in Aurora | Christkindlmarket.

 

Lincoln P:ark Zoolights(Photo by Jodie Jacobs)
Lincoln Park Zoolights (Photo by Jodie Jacobs)

Lincoln Park Zoo spreads out just west of Lake Michigan between downtown Chicago and Wrigleyville so visitors sometimes try to couple its Zoolights with another holiday goodie.  Presented by Com Ed with Invesco QQQ,, Zoolights is an impressive display at the city’s free zoo and costs only $5 a ticket for this holiday event. Zoo lights is Nov. 19, 2022 through Jan. 1, 2023. For hours, dates and more information visit ZooLights.

Also opening Jan 19 is the Morton Arboretum’s Illumination. Running through Jan. y7, 2023, Illumination transforms a mile long path among trees, meadow and gardens into a fairytale land of light, sound and color. The event combines old favorites such as the Enchanted Forest and Treeimagination, with new installations such as Late Nite Electric Illumination, tall, mirrored towers and a finale in the new Grand Garden. For more information visit Illumination: Tree Lights at The Morton Arboretum | The Morton Arboretum

Wait, as the commercials say: There’s more.

Last but not at all least this week is the Magnificent (Mag) Mile Lights Festival’s parade and day of activities starting at 11 a.m. at 401 N. Michigan Ave. Sponsored by Wintrust, the parade begins at 5:30 p.m. Mickey and Minnie Mouse (from the Walt Disney World Resort) lead the parade as they magically turn on one million lights along North Michigan Avenue.

What to expect: floats, helium balloons, marching bands, musical performances, Santa Claus ending with fireworks at the Chicago River. The event will also stream on Nov. 20 on ABC. For more information visit MagMileLights.

 

A giant helium baloon floats over State Street during a Chicago Thanksgiving Parade. (J Jacobs photo)

A giant helium balloon floats over State Street during a Chicago Thanksgiving Parade. (J Jacobs photo)

Fourth week and weekend in November

Chicago’s Thanksgiving Parade brings the sounds of cymbals, blares of trumpets and the sight of giant helium balloons and beautiful floats to State Street, that main street, Nov. 24.

The parade goes from Ida B Wells Drive at the south end to Randolph on the north. Figure that bands and entertainment from some of Chicago’s theaters could start as early as 8 a.m. and go to 11 a.m. For more information visit Chicago Thanksgiving Parade.

Holiday Magic at Brookfield Zoo starts Nov. 25 and continues on specific dates through Dec. 31 from 3 to 9 p.m. Presented by ComEd and Meijer, the zoo is a blaze with two miles of lights and colors moving to synchronized music. A new feature is a 600-foot “Tunnel of Lights” by Xfinity.

For parking, entrance and other information visit CZS.org/HolidayMagic.

Have fun

Jodie Jacobs

 

 

 

Botanic Garden and Shedd plus Brookfield Zoo news

 

Art of Fiber at Chicago Botanic Garden. (J Jacobs photo)
Art of Fiber at Chicago Botanic Garden. (J Jacobs photo)

Not all colors are outdoors at the Chicago Botanic Garden. While CBG is getting ready outdoors for its soon to be sold out holiday Lightscape, the Fine Art of Fiber has taken over the inside of the Regenstein Center. 

Chicago Theater and Arts stopped for a sneak preview while it was setting up. Its impressive.

Extraordinary quilts, wall hangings and wearable fiber art such as shawls and jewelry, can be seen and items bought at the Art of Fiber show but it only goes Nov. 4-6, 2022. Hours are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.  For more info visit Chicago Botanic Garden

 

Sea otters Suri (l) and Willow (r) have names now instead of numbers at Shedd Aquarium in Chicago. (Photo courtesy of Shedd)
Sea otters Suri (l) and Willow (r) have names now instead of numbers at Shedd Aquarium in Chicago. (Photo courtesy of Shedd)

Shedd Aquarium

Penguins aren’t the only cute, playful animals capturing attention at the Shedd.

Its two new otters now have names. The Shedd’s Animal Care Team has named Otter 926 as Suri for California’s Big Sur coast line between Carmel and San Simeon.

The other otter, known as 929 won the public vote name of Willow. For other otter news visit Shedd Aquarium and Sea Otter | Shedd Aquarium

 

Spree, a 20-year-old bottlenose dolphin, during a feeding session with Andy Ferris, a senior animal care specialist from Brookfield Zoo.(P:hoto courtesy of Brookfield Zoo)
Spree, a 20-year-old bottlenose dolphin, during a feeding session with Andy Ferris, a senior animal care specialist from Brookfield Zoo.(P:hoto courtesy of Brookfield Zoo)

Brookfield Zoo

Go to Brookfield Zoo operated by the Chicago Zoological Society in suburban Brookfield, IL for lots of animal sightings, but not for its seven bottlenose dolphins.

Beginning early November, the dolphins (along with their support staff) have taken up residence at the Minnesota Zoo for about seven months while Brookfield’s Seven Seas area is undergoing renovations.

Among the renovations is installation of a lift platform to allow quick adjustment to water depth, a new roof and a climate-controlled purifying system.

For more Brookfield Zoo info visit Chicago Zoological Society/Brookfield.

Jodie Jacobs

Chicago Botanic Garden does a nifty fifty

 

Adsila by Juan angel Chavez. (J Jacobs photo)
Adsila by Juan angel Chavez. (J Jacobs photo)

Yes lighted displays at the Chicago Botanic Garden look spectacular when Lightscape stars and sparkling plants line walkways from Mid-November 2022 to early January 2023. 

 But the Garden also amazes right now as you wander among art installations, special plant groupings and the Greenhouse Galleries packed with the garden’s past and imagined future. 

The art and other special exhibits are part of Flourish, The Garden at 50,” an anniversary celebration up now through Sept. 25, 2022.

Pick up a Flourish brochure at the membership/information desk near the Café, to see a map and information on 10 art installations.

Take some photos by the lily ponds while wondering the Chicago Botanic Garden. (J Jacobs photo)
Take some photos by the lily ponds while wondering the Chicago Botanic Garden. (J Jacobs photo)

Leaving the building you are walking across a bridge to the garden’s main area. Look right to see a huge nature sign on the opposite bank and then look near it further west in the water to see Casa Isle, an aluminum island house constructed by artist Edra Soto in what the Garden calls its “North Lake.”

A turn south past the lily ponds brings Juan Angel Chavéz’s wood and fabric Adsila sculpture into view.

Check the brochure for other art installations and then go over to the Regenstein Greenhouses for a look back at the garden’s past and thoughts of its future.

See where the plants along the paths near the lily pads are from. (J Jacobs photo)
See where the plants along the paths near the lily pads are from. (J Jacobs photo)

Be sure to stop at the plant installations on the path back to the bridge. They are plant groups from different countries.

To learn more about each artist, pop-up events and tours go to  Flourish: The Garden at 50.  

The Rookery by Patrick Dougherty is installed near the entry road and the butterfly exhibit. Photo courtesy of the Chicago Botanic Garden
The Rookery by Patrick Dougherty is installed near the Dixon Prairie at the south end of the main island. ( Photo courtesy of the Chicago Botanic Garden)

“What began as an ambitious vision to have Chicago’s own public garden is now 28 gardens and four natural areas in Glencoe, 16 community garden and farm sites in Chicago and Lake County, and dozens of conservation and restoration research sites around the country,” said Jean Franczyk, the Garden’s president and chief executive officer.

“We are thankful to all who have shown up for nature, supported our conservation mission, and inspired us to keep imagining a future where people and planet thrive,” Franczyk said.

The Chicago Botanic Garden is at 1000 Lake Cook Road, Glencoe., IL

Jodie Jacobs

 

 

Three gift ideas for Mom

 

One of a Kind Show at The Mart features artists' works and gourmet foods. (J Jacobs photo)
One of a Kind Show at The Mart features artists’ works and gourmet foods. (J Jacobs photo)

Nothing wrong with sending flowers to celebrate Mother’s Day, May 8, 2022. but if looking for something different consider saying it with something unique.

Say it with an artistic gift from the Spring One of a Kind Show. It’s at TheMart this weekend, April 29-May 1. A fun show that has loads of gift ideas, even for yourself, items range from gourmet foods, paintings and jewelry to ceramics, leather, wood and glass sculpture. The show’s title means you and your mom are unlikely to find the gift elsewhere.

TheMart is a few blocks north of the METRA/Union Pacific train station on the Chicago River at 222 Merchandise Mart Plaza, Chicago, IL Visit One of a Kind Show  or call (312) 527-4141 or (800) 677-6278.

 

Shop online for an artistic gift at the Art Institute of Chicago’s store. There are lots of choices and price points such as a 1000-piece William Morris Golden Lily Puzzle for $19.99 that reflects the current exhibition of “The Business of Beauty.”

See the  beautiful Tiffany Hartwell Memorial Window Scarf for $45 or the fun Barbara Kruger “Too Big To Fail” tote for $25. For these and more items visit  Museum Shop ARTIC.

 

The Orchid Show is among many reasons to visit the Chicago Botanic Garden ( J Jacobs photo)
The Orchid Show is among many reasons to visit the Chicago Botanic Garden ( J Jacobs photo)

Or say it with flowers and exhibits that go on all year long via a Chicago Botanic Garden membership. Having that means not having to pay for parking and getting a discount on store items and events. Chicago Botanic Garden

One year for one person is $109 (see other options). Member benefits include:  Admission for 1 adult each visit ($10-$25 savings each visit), free parking ($8 savings each visit), members-only Garden hours 8-10 a.m. daily, 20% discount on most classes, 10% Garden Shop discount, Cafe discount, advance sales and discounts on ticketed events such as Lightscape and Night of 1,000 Jack-o’-Lanterns. Plus members get free admission to 300 botanic gardens and arboreta nationwide.

Yes, it’s hard to choose so go with more than one options. After all it’s for Mother’s Day

Love,

Jodie Jacobs

Earth Day celebration ideas

 

NASA Earth Day poster 2022 (Photo and poster courtesy of NASA)
NASA Earth Day poster 2022 (Photo and poster courtesy of NASA)

 

Earth Day is April 22, 2022. Here are some ideas on how to celebrate our Planet Earth, but also check with your local park district and forest preserve location.

On the national scene

Join NASA in its live chats with experts or with its virtual trivia games and at the @NASAEarth Twitter Space. See all the activities at Earth Day 2022 | NASA.

In Chicago

The Chicago Park District is doing a cleanup at more than 80 parks including the North Park Nature Center on April 23. To see which park is near you or where you would like to volunteer visit Chicago Park District/EarthDay..

In the burbs

At the Morton Arboretum,  run in the Champion of Trees 10 K on April 23. For more info and to register visit The Champion of Trees 10K | The Morton Arboretum. Then, celebrate Arbor Day with the Arboretum’s giant plant sale April  29-May 1. Ticket still available at Arbor Day Plant Sale | The Morton Arboretum .

At the Chicago Botanic Garden Look for and enjoy the garden’s budding plants or go online April 22 to Budburst which celebrates Earth Day with a webinar about climate change’s impact visit ChicagoBotanic/Budburst.

Jodie Jacobs

 

 

Orchids doing their thing

 

Chicago Botanic Garden Orchid Show, February and March, 2022. (J Jacobs photo)
Chicago Botanic Garden Orchid Show, February and March, 2022. (J Jacobs photo)

 

Expect the unexpected at the Chicago Botanic Garden’s Orchid show during this unpredictable year of 2022.

Stretching from the Regenstein Center into the greenhouses, orchids are rooting in an old upright piano, finding nooks in a secret garden, latching onto trees and winding around old strands of damp wood.

The show’s theme, “Untamed” is quite different from recent past years. Instead of remarking on how orchids are cultivated for celebrations or different uses, the show suggests they are resilient so can grow almost anywhere if left alone including where other plants might have trouble rooting.

Orchids and plants take over a secret garden at the Chicago Botanic Garden show. (J Jacobs photo)
Orchids and plants take over a secret garden at the Chicago Botanic Garden show. (J Jacobs photo)

Opened Feb. 12 and extending through March 27, 2022, the Orchid Show arrived in the Chicago area with more than 10,000 colorful orchids just as the weather seesaws from icy and snowy to warmer and rainy.

A special treat is Orchids After Hours on Thursdays from 5 to 8 p.m. when cocktails and hors d’oeuvres are also available.

The Chicago Botanic Garden is at 10000 Lake Cook Road, Glencoe, just east of Edens Expressway.

For tickets and more information visit Chicago Botanic Garden

Jodie Jacobs

 

Around Chicago: October

 

Pumpkins and skeletons and lining up in Highwood for the Great Pumpkin Fest ( J jacobs photo)
Pumpkins and skeletons and lining up in Highwood for the Great Pumpkin Fest ( J jacobs photo)

From the city and Oak Park to Glencoe and Highwood, there are events worth posting on the calendar.

Highwood

In the past few years with the exception of COVID 2020 tiny, north suburban Highwood has been trying for a Guinness record of carved pumpkins. But what area residents and visitors like is that the town’s Great Highwood Pumpkinn Fest includes music, a charity run, food, games and rides.

The event opens Oct. 7 with pumpkin carving and music, then continues, Oct. 8-10 from 9 a.m. to 11 p.m. This year, it also includes free COVI D testing. Check the schedule for specific event times and ride cost.

Highwood snuggles east of Highland Park along Waukegan Avenue, Green Bay Road and Sheridan Road.

Glencoe

Merely strolling among trees, water features and gardens at the Chicago Botanic Garden is worth the trip. However, CBG also holds the Night of 1000 Jack O’ Lanterns Oct. 13-17 and Oct. 20-24 from 6:30 to 10:30 p.m. Creative faces may spark ideas for home carving and are a terrific photo op (selfie?) Find more information at Chicago Botanic Garden

Chicago Botanic Garden is just east of Edens Expressway at 1000 Lake Cook Road, Glencoe.

Wilmette

Chalet Nursery’s Scarecrow Making is sold out its garden is stacked with pumpkins, corn stalks and other decorations for October and Halloween. Plus it has some fun selfie areas.\

It’s events calendar includes the movie “Haunted Mansion” shown outside Oct 14 at 6:30 p.m. Registration needed and a “Howl-O Ween” Pet Parade, Oct. 31 from 11 a.m. to noon.

Chalet Nursery is at 3132 Lake Ave., Wilmette. Visit Events – Chalet Nursery for more information.

 

Chalet Nursery decorates for fall. (J Jacobs photo)
Chalet Nursery decorates for fall. (J Jacobs photo)

 

Oak Park

Poe’s dark side is perfect for the season. The Oak Park Park Theatre Festival brings “The Madness of Edgar Allan P:oe: A Love Story” to the Pleasant Home Foundation Oct. 15-Nov. 7, 2021. where audiences can move from room to room for different scenes.

Pleasant Home is at 217 Home Avenue, Oak Park.For tickets and more information visit Oak Park Theatre Festival

Lisle

Fall is a great time to drive through the Morton Arboretum but there is also something doing among the trees for walkers. The Arboretum has “Walking Plays” of popular fairy tales. Oct. 15-Nov. 7, 2021. Tales area abut 90 minutes and walks are less than two miles. To sign up and find more information visit Walking Plays/MortonArboretum.

Chicago

The whole city is open virtually in October through a Chicago Architecture Center app during Open House Chicago. There are trails, neighborhoods and treasures to explore. To see some of it in person, go Oct. 16-17. Registration needed. Visit Open house Chicago.

Jodie Jacobs

Two fall ticketed events to get now

 

Chicago botanic Garden Night of 1,000 Jack o Lanterns. (Botanic Garden photo)
Chicago botanic Garden Night of 1,000 Jack o Lanterns. (Botanic Garden photo)

 

Ready for fall?

The signs are there. A few leaves are already floating on the wind, Cars are filling school parking lots, Theater billboards and marquees announce show openings. According to the Old Farmer’s Almanac, the next full moon after this weekend’s large orb, is the Harvest Moon on Sept. 20, 2021.

It’s time to start marking the calendar with fun, fall activities. Just don’t let too many weeks go by without snagging tickets for events that sell out.

Two 2021 festivals that sell out before people on the go realize the tickets are gone, are the Chicago Botanic Garden’s Night of 1,000 Jack o Lanterns and Lightscape.

Jack o Lanterns Oct. 13-17 and Oct. 20-24, 2021

“A: Night of 1,000 Jack-o’-Lanterns is one of our most popular events at the Garden and in 2019, we expanded this event to run for 10 evenings due to popular demand, “said Zombolo, associate vice president of visitor events and programs.

“I’ts become an annual fall tradition,” she said and added, that people are “ amazed by the artistically carved pumpkins.”  And it’s all “ in a beautiful fall setting,” said Zombolo.

According to Zombolo, the event adapted procedures to fit recommended pandemic protocols.  “Last year we implemented new procedures including limited capacity per timeslot, a one-way trail with a separate entrance and exit, and extra space between pumpkins. We will be continuing those procedures in 2021.”

Tickets are time and date sensitive. They go on sale to members Aug. 23, 2021 and to the public Aug. 27.  Adults: $16/$18, Children 3 – 12: $12/$14
Children 2 and under are free. A $20 parking fee applies to  nonmembers and must be purchased ahead, online. Members park for free.  The Garden closes at 5 p.m. during the event and reopens at 6 for ticketed event guests.

Lightscape Nov. 12, 2021 to Jan. 2, 2022.

Now in its third year, the event’s famed winter cathedral will be back along with sing along musical trees but there will also be new features and a newly reworked, 1.25 mile path.

Tickets are already on sale for Lightscape. As with Jack o Lanterns, tickets are date and time sensitive. Ticket information for Lightscape.

Jodie Jacobs

 

Ideas to celebrate Earth Day

Lake Forest beach (J Jacobs photo)
Lake Forest beach (J Jacobs photo)

A half century ago, Wisconsin Senator Gaylord Nelson pushed for a national day that would jump start legislation and events stopping industrial pollution and remind earth’s residents of the importance of their planet’s health.

First held and celebrated in the United States with marches and programs in April 1970, Earth Day was then established as April 22 by an executive order given in July that year.

It was followed by the creation of the US Environmental Protection Agency to regulate and enforce national pollution legislation and led to the Endangered Species Act, the Clean Water Act and the Clean Air Act.

Earth Day is now celebrated by towns and institutions around the world. Here are some ways to celebrate and/or participate.

 

Check your community for cleanup and other activities.

Join the Lake Forest/Lake Bluff League of Women Voters and Lake Forest Open Lands Association to clean up the lakefront April 17 from 1:30 to 3:30 p.m.. Capacity if 50 people. For tickets needed to meet state protocols and more information visit Earth Day Beach Clean-up.  Face mask required. Parking is at lower south beach near boat launch.

The Andersonville neighborhood invites everyone to visit the shops for special promotions during Andersonville in Bloom, April 22-25.

 

The EarthDay Organization

Earthday.org has three days of activities beginning April 20 and culminating in workshops and speakers on April 22. Among the topics covered are emerging green technologies, climate restoration technologies and reforestation efforts.

 

 Art Institute of Chicago

Celebrate Earth Day with the museum’s virtual programs, live performances, conversations and art activities. Registration is needed for conversations beginning April 21, art activities beginning April 23, and performances beginning April 30. For registration and more information visit AICEarthDay Highlights.

 

Chicago Botanic Garden (J Jacobs photo)
Chicago Botanic Garden (J Jacobs photo)

 

Chicago Botanic Garden

See Earth Day/Chicago botanic Garden for loads of ideas from “Be a citizen scientist” and “Eco-friendly gardening” to “Understanding bio-diversity” and “Conservation and restoration.”

 

At the Shedd

Visit Earth Day Shedd Aquarium to find activities and suggestions you can do at home to help planet Earth. The Shedd site talks about reducing food waste and greenhouse gases, saving energy by switching to LED bulbs and being a climate-friendly gardener.  It also talks about Shedd and partners’ science projects, such as  Shedd’s Great Lakes Fish Finder app, Project Budburst and Zooniverse Penguin Watch. In addition, it urges people to join Shedd in supporting the Global 30 x 30 movement and signing the Campaign for Nature petition.

Jodie Jacobs

Around Town: In person outings

Hope, a 5-year-old polar bear recently arrived at Brookfield Zoo (Photo by Jim Schulz for CZS)

Hope, a 5-year-old polar bear recently arrived at Brookfield Zoo (Photo by Jim Schulz for CZS)

Some of these places, such as the Chicago Botanic Gardens and Morton Arboretum didn’t really close because they are outside but they want to remind visitors to come back and that their hours may have expanded. Others, such as Brookfield Zoo are re-opening and the Cook County Forest Preserve has March events.

Brookfield Zoo

Visitors will find some new residents at Brookfield Zoo which re-opened March 1, 2021.

Hope, a 5-year-old female polar bear arrived the end of January, 2021 in time for Chicago’s icy weather. Look for Hope in the zoo’s outdoor habitat in the Great Bear Wilderness.

Also look for Sibi and her nearly 2-year-old daughter, Lorena, in the Regenstein Wolf Woods habitat. The two female Mexican wolves recently arrived from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s Sevilleta National Wildlife Refuge in Socorro, New Mexico..

Sibi and Lorena, two Mexican wolves, are also new Brookfield Zoo residents. (Photo by Jim Schulz for CZS)

 

While at the zoo, go over to the Dinos Everywhere exhibition that is up March 1 through Sept. 6, 2021. Find the three-story-high Argentinosaurus on the zoo’s West Mall.

But don’t forget to see the grey seals, snow leopards and bald eagles that also can go into their outdoor habitats.

Brookfield Zoo is a Chicago Zoological property at 8400 31st St., Brookfield, IL. For hours, timed-ticket entry and other information go to Plan your visit Brookfield Zoo.

 

North American river otters in Cook County (Photo by Peter Pekarek)
North American river otters in Cook County (Photo by Peter Pekarek)

Forest Preserves of Cook County

Given that Cook County Forest Preserves covers 70,000 acres, you know there are several opportunities for outdoor fun. Here is a sample of some March events.

Catch the Leprechaun Story Hunt is March 1-3 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. based from the Trailside Museum of Natural History, 738 Thatcher Ave., River Forest. Maple Tree Tapping March 7 at 1:30 p.m., is also at Trailside.

For more Cook County Forest Preserves ideas visit Things to Do.

 

Spring will soon return to the Morton Arboretum in Lisle. (Photo courtesy of the Morton Arboretum)
Spring will soon return to the Morton Arboretum in Lisle. (Photo courtesy of the Morton Arboretum)

The Morton Arboretum

As with the Brookfield Zoo and the Chicago Botanic Garden visitors Morton Arboretum visitors need timed tickets. See Plan Your Visit for tickets and other information. Wednesday is discount day.

Located  4100 Il Hwy 53 in Lisle, there are plenty of trails and paths for biking and hiking  from 7 a.m. to sunset. In addition, the Visitor Center is open with restrooms from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. and the Children’s Garden and Maze Garden are open. The Ginko Restaurant will re-open March 12, 2021.

The Chicago Botanic Garden is a perfect place to reflect on nature. (photos by Jodie Jacobs)
The Chicago Botanic Garden is a perfect place to reflect on nature. (photos by Jodie Jacobs)

Chicago Botanic Garden

Yes, you need a timed ticket to visit the Chicago Botanic Garden but the fee if for parking because admission is free. To know the protocols go to Plan Your Visit | Chicago Botanic Garden

Hours are 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.. The Garden View Café is open for Grab and Go and the Garden Shop open with a limited number of visitors at one time. The paths are open and busy now that the weather is more spring-like so wear the mask.

The Chicago Botanic Garden is at 1000 Lake Cook Rd., Glencoe just east of Edens Expressway.

Jodie Jacobs