As Illinois enters Phase 3 of its reopening plan, outdoor attractions that have been closed since March are cautiously reopening with new restrictions aimed at preventing overcrowding and keeping visitors safe. After closing on March 17, the Chicago Botanic Garden in suburban Glencoe has announced a limited reopening, beginning on June 9, welcoming visitors back to a portion of the 385-acre outdoor space.
For the time being, guests will only be able to traverse a 2.3-mile trail that loops around the perimeter of the Chicago Botanic Garden, offering views of the North Lake, Malott Japanese Garden, Dixon Prairie and McDonald Woods. All other areas in the garden will be closed to guests, including the visitor center, which houses several exhibitions and a collection of bonsai trees. Visitors will need to maintain six feet of distance from other parties and wear a face covering when they come within 6 feet of others.
If you're arriving at the Chicago Botanic Garden by car, you'll need to preregister for a timed ticket that will allow you to enter the parking lot at a specific date and time (if you're walking over from the nearby Braeside Metra station or arriving on bike via the North Branch Trail, no preregistration is required). Preregistration is currently open to Chicago Botanic Garden members online and will become available to the general public on June 3.
The Chicago Botanic Garden hopes to reopen more of its grounds on June 24, though that date will be subject to the guidelines imposed by the state and advice from health authorities. In the meantime, enjoying some of the sights at the sprawling green space while keeping your distance from others sounds better than sitting on your couch all weekend long.
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