Monday, January 17, 2011

Warm Weather Chicago

Grapefruit tree - Lincoln Park Conservatory
For those of you not in the Windy City right now, the weather is crap. It's something like 19 degrees with a wind chill probably in the single digits. On top of that lovely forecast we're enjoying some snow that changes to light hail and then to slush. Fun times right? For those of us who don't have a warm weather vacation in the works, there are a few places in the city you can head to for some summer-like temps. I'm not talking about tanning (boo, let's try to avoid those) but about our two fabulous (and free!) conservatories - the Lincoln Park Conservatory and the Garfield Park Conservatory.

...and a papaya tree too!

Though these locations are not food related, they promise a bit of respite from the frozen city tundra and a worthwhile activity to treat visitors to between dining destinations. My parents came in town this weekend and all I could think about was visiting one of the conservatories. Upon entering we were greeted with humid tropical conditions and the heavenly scent of orange jasmine. I love to take my time walking through and seeing all the lush greens. The Lincoln Park location has four main sections - the palms (humid), ferns (so relaxing there was a women meditating there today), orchids (vibrant colors across the rainbow) and the show space (for seasonal shows). This conservatory is located just around the corner from the Lincoln Park Zoo (also free) so you, your friends and family could spend the whole day enjoying the neighborhood.

The Garfield Park Conservatory (designed by famed landscape architect Jens Jensen) is the second largest conservatory in the country. I do love going here but public transportation to the destination can be a little exciting. If you're looking to visit the conservatory, plan to visit on Saturday, February 5 or Saturday the 12th for a sweet treat. The annual Sweet Saturdays will feature live music, tropical treat stations, hands-on activities and more. I'm sure it will be busy, but definitely think it's worth checking out!


  1. What a perfect respite from the weather and slushy mess! So quick in comparison to a full holiday too ;)

  2. A humid hot room sounds like paradise to me:) And my goodness to thoses cupcakes look good!