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Oak Park Conservatory, Oak Park

(35+ reviews on the web)
Garden Nature / Park
Oak Park Conservatory is a conservatory and botanical garden located at 615 Garfield Street in the Chicago suburb of Oak Park, Illinois, United States. It is open daily with restricted hours; admission is free, but a donation is suggested.History and DevelopmentThe conservatory started in 1914, as a community effort to house exotic plants collected during residents' travels. Today's Edwardian-style glass structure was built in 1929, but fell into neglect until 1970, when a group of concerned citizens preserved it. Debate in the community had some suggesting the site would make "a perfect parking lot", but the volunteer actions of the Citizens Committee for the Conservatory saved it from that fate. In addition to its role supplying plants throughout the parks of Oak Park, the Conservatory's role was expanded to be a place to educate school children and gardeners. The structure was expanded in 2000. The conservatory now provides 8000sqft of growing areas, making it the third largest conservatory in the Chicago area, and contains more than 3,000 plants, some of which date back to 1914. The Oak Park Conservatory was added to the U.S. National Register of Historic Places on March 8, 2005.Major collectionsThe desert collection includes three cactus groups, plus succulents including Agave, Crassula, succulent euphorbias, Gasteria, Haworthia, and Kalanchoe. Woody plants in this room include olive, etrog, fig, date palm, bay, and pomegranate.
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Reviews
TripAdvisor
  • This was a nice quick stop to start our day. It is smaller but nicely arranged, helpful staff and an area outside for the kids to play. Excellent mix of plants and a wandering turtle that the kids got...  more »
  • I've been to almost all of the Chicagoland conservatories, and this one has a few things the others don't. The parrots in the main room are super entertaining and a fun surprise. This is a quick trip,...  more »
  • This isn't a place to make a special trip to see unless you're visiting Oak Park specifically. It's pretty small and basically entertainment for small children. They have events here and there for loc...  more »
Google
  • Very neat little spot. Haven't been here in 16 years and it's still the same. Very comforting to know not EVERYTHING has to change!! :)
  • A small but beautiful conservatory. The kids activities are great and the plant collection is gorgeous. A great, free way to spend an hour or more. Stop at the nearby oak park bakery to grab some donuts while you're there and it's a winning combination for young children
  • Oak Park Conservatory is a wonderful place to take a break from the rest of the world and just be in nature. With three beautiful and well kept rooms (temperate, tropical, and arid), you're able to be in a variety of environments and feel at peace and refreshed, despite being only 50 feet from 290. While this place is much smaller than Garfield or the Lincoln Park Conservatories, it perfectly achieves what it's going for in that it's a well curated getaway in the heart of Oak Park. There's no cost to get in, and they're open most days. Highly recommend
  • Cool plants. Fun kids activities. They have 3 parrots.
  • A little small, but a nice visit nonetheless. Be sure to go when it's a bit cooler outside, because it becomes a sauna with warmer weather and sun!