Sometimes, especially in the dead of winter, you need some nature in your life. This guide covers indoor and outdoor spots where you can be surrounded by plants, trees and (sometimes) animals.
Once there's snow on the ground, what could be more romantic than strolling through the Japanese Garden? The Chicago Botanic Garden is one of our region's true treasures. It's enormous, beautiful, and has something for everyone from conservation geeks to train nerds. It's free - but parking costs, so bring money or take the metra.
Possibly my #1 favorite spot in all of Chicago. It's warm, green, filled with living things and is totally free.
Most people think "animals" when they think of the Lincoln Park Zoo, but they've just spent millions of dollars turning the South Pond of Lincoln Park into a beautiful green space, walking trail and nature sanctuary.
This is Chicago's more "out of the way" conservatory, but it's worth the trip. After a nasty hailstorm earlier this year damaged their roof, the conservatory has dug itself out and is better than ever. A wonderful place to chase the winter blues away.
The butterfly greenhouse is one of my favorite places during the cold cold winter. It's warm, filled with plants and a great place to let a butterfly land on your shoulder.
The giant greenhouse space on the top of the library is one of the best places to refresh yourself in a cold winter - unless there's a wedding going on.
One of the most beautiful, tranquil places in all of Chicago, on the Wooded Island left over from the 1893 Chicago World's Fair.
If trees are your passion, you can't possibly go wrong with the Arboretum. Winter or summer, snow or sunshine (or both), hiking around here is sure to restore your soul.