Wonderland Express Now Open at Chicago Botanic Garden


Wonderland Express

One of our most favorite holiday traditions is to visit Wonderland Express at the Chicago Botanic Garden. It’ is such a magical place for my children that any time we set out to go anywhere over their holidays they ask if we’re going to “Wonderland?”.  Despite going every year you can always find something new in the displays. These year keep an eye out for Nick Wallenda walking on a tight rope between the Marina City Towers.  Children will love trying to find their favorite tank engine too as Thomas has a special route through the garden.


I encourage you to pick up a scavenger hunt before you go in. Volunteers pass them out at the entrance. It’s especially helpful if you have a mixed age group of kids. My own children range in age from 2 to 10 and while my 2-year-old can stand at the same display for hours my 8 and 10-year-old love to race each other through the scavenger hunt.

Besides the trains there is an enchanting display of topiary trees and whimsical combinations of bromeliad air plants, ferns, echeveria, aloe and more as well as one of kind wreaths (which are also for sale!).  Each weekend there are also drop-in family activities available. Last year my kids made birdfeeders and played in snow.


Wonderland Express does require an additional fee of $12 for adults and $10 for children ages 3 to 12, children 2 and under are free. The Garden is offering a Winter Family Fun Pack which provides a discount of up to 40% off and includes parking and admission for 5.

There are also several special events happening in or around Wonderland Express:

December 7
Holiday Market with vendors selling seasonal produce, herbs, wreaths, honey, handmade pottery and more.

December 13 and 27
Ice Sculpting in the courtyards of the Regenstein Center at 11:00 a.m. and 2:00 p.m.

December 14
Complimentary photos from 11:00 a.m. to 4:oo p.m. printed on the spot.

Take the Wonderland Quiz before you go and you can earn  free hot chocolate!


Don’t stay indoors the whole time, be sure to walk around the gardens and drive the neighborhoods for some of the best light displays in Lake County.

The Chicago Botanic Gardens {1000 Lake Cook Rd, Glencoe} is open daily. Admission is free but parking is $25 per vehicle

Connect with the Chicago Botanic Garden:
App: chicagobotanic.org/app
Blog: my.chicagobotanic.org
E-news: chicagobotanic.org/enews
Facebook: facebook.com/chicagobotanicgarden
Flickr: flickr.com/groups/chicagobotanicgarden
Pinterest: http://pinterest.com/chicagobotanic/
Twitter: twitter.com/chicagobotanic
YouTube: youtube.com/chicagobotanicgarden


Disclosure: I am an ambassador for the garden and my family has received a membership in exchange for me sharing updates, and events, and activities at the garden. All thoughts and opinions are my own

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About Melissa Haak 842 Articles
Melissa is mom to 4. She used to dream of traveling the world, now she dreams of a clean kitchen. She can be found on most social media sites as @PBinmyHair because with this much hair and four kids, you're bound to find something in it.

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