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Chicago Botanic Gaarde: A Very Important Message
Know Before You Go

Friday, June 19, 2020
Special to suffredin.org

Your favorite Garden spots are waiting for you

 

 

Know Before You Go

We’re opening the Garden up to more areas and services, beginning June 24. All visitors—including Garden members—must preregister for a timed entry. This is necessary for the health and safety of all. We will limit the number of cars, and thus people, to avoid overcrowding and jeopardizing the ability of people to safely social distance.

Preregister FAQs Limited Services

How to preregister

You only need to register for your car, not the number of people who will be visiting. You will need to display your “timed ticket” on your phone or in your car window, even if you have a member decal in your car. Hours are 8 a.m. to 8 p.m., and time slots available on the hour until 7 p.m. Preregistration is open through July 31. There is no entry without a reservation, and entries will not be available at the door. Parking fees apply.

Please note: The North Branch Trail extension is open during Garden hours; no preregistration required for bicyclists or walkers.

Member preregistration

  • Members will need to either Log In or have their Membership ID number to register for a timed entry. Your membership ID is on your member card.
  • You may want to create an account; that way, your information will auto-fill each time you want to make a transaction. Forgot your password? Follow the prompts to get a new one.
  • You can sign up for multiple days and time slots.
  • When you have completed your reservation for one date, a purple box will appear at the top of the shopping cart page and prompt you to preregister for additional days.
  • You only need to sign up per car. The website will say “Parking timed entry” but parking is always free for members; this is just to reserve your timed entry.
  • President’s Circle members do not need to preregister. Please display the placard you received in the mail for entry any time the Garden is open.

For questions on renewals, please email "> MembershipCustomerService@chicagobotanic.org .

Preregister now

Some Services will be limited

Restrooms and other facilities: Restrooms in the Visitor Center and Regenstein Center’s Greenhouse Galleries will be the only restrooms open. Portable toilets, including those that are ADA accessible, and hand-sanitizer stations will be available at several locations. Please bring your own water as drinking fountains will not be available. You will be able to refill your water bottle in the Visitor Center.

Dining: The Garden Grille is open, as is the barista station in the Garden View Cafe and a grab-and-go cafe on the Esplanade. There will be seating, in socially distanced tables, on the decks. See the dining page for menus and more information.

Canceled events: The Evenings program of summer music, the Art Festival, summer family drop-ins, and other programs are canceled. Click here for more information.
Summer attractions: We hope to open Butterflies & Blooms and the Grand Tram in mid-July and Model Railroad: Landmarks of America in early August. The Bright Encounters Tram Tour will not operate this season.

Gardens: Some areas with tight, restricted entrances or spaces may be closed due to social distancing guidelines. The Nature Play Garden and its rolling hills are closed until mid-July.

Buildings: Regenstein Center and the Greenhouses, Regenstein Learning Center, and the Plant Science Center are closed until further notice.

The Garden Shop: We hope to reopen the shop in mid-July.

For more information, see our FAQs below.

Help protect yourself and others

In accordance with state guidelines, a face covering is required when you’re within 6 feet of people outside your own party. Please be considerate and wear your face covering indoors and when speaking with Garden staff members. If you are sick, or have been in contact with someone who is sick, please stay home.

The health and safety of our staff and our visitors is our priority. If visitors do not follow social distancing and other guidelines, we may be forced to close the Garden. We reserve the right to request that visitors who do not follow the guidelines leave the premises. An inherent risk of exposure to the coronavirus (COVID-19) exists in any public space where people are present. Persons visiting the Chicago Botanic Garden do so at their own risk. We will continue to monitor guidance from state officials and gauge Garden operations, and, if necessary, we will make adjustments. With your help, we can keep the Garden safe for all.

Preregister now

FAQs

What safety measures are in place?

We are monitoring guidelines from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and other public health officials on safety measures to help slow the spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19). We ask that everyone take the same preventive measures you take in any other public space. Please remember these important guidelines:
Please practice social distancing and stay 6 feet away from people outside your own party, including Garden staff, and whenever inside buildings.
In accordance with state guidelines, a face covering is required when you’re within 6 feet of people outside your own party.
If you are sick, or have been in contact with someone who is sick, please stay home.

How will preregistration work?

Members and visitors must register in advance on our website. Preregistration for timed entry is required for all visitors—including Garden members. We are only accepting reservations through July 31 at this time. Click here for hours and to register.

Timed-entry passes are not required for members of the President’s Circle.

For member preregistration, you will need to either log in or have your membership number to gain entry to the website to register for a timed entry. You can find your membership number on your member card.

When you register for a certain date and time, you will receive a “timed ticket.” Registration is per car, not the number of people who will be visiting. Please note that there is limited availability. After a session is filled, we will not release additional time slots. If you have questions about ticketing, please email customersupport@chicagobotanic.org and someone will contact you.

What do I need to show at the gatehouse to prove I made a reservation in advance?

When you arrive, please display your ticket printout on your dashboard or show your ticket on your mobile phone, even if you have a member decal in your car. Your ticket will be a PDF attachment on your reservation confirmation email. There is no entry without proof of preregistration.

Will my visit be limited to the time frame on my ticket?

No, once you enter you may stay as long as you’d like. However, your visit must start within the time frame on your ticket (e.g., 8 to 9 a.m.). If you register for the final time slot, you must leave by closing time.

I have a membership parking decal on my windshield. Why do I need a timed reservation?

For the health and safety of our members, visitors, and staff, we are only allowing a certain number of cars, and thus people, on-site at any given time. Therefore, we need everyone, including members, to preregister for a timed entry. We need to monitor the number of people on-site to avoid overcrowding and jeopardizing the ability of people to safely social distance.

Can I make a reservation on-site?

No. All members and visitors must preregister for timed-entry tickets.

If I visit the Garden by bike or walking, will I still need to preregister in advance?

No. The preregistration applies to anyone visiting by car. Access via the North Branch Trail is open to anyone during the hours the Garden is open.

If I am a member at another garden that participates in the American Horticultural Society reciprocal membership program, can I use that membership to access the member preregistration dates?

No. The priority access to preregistration is only for Chicago Botanic Garden members. Time slots are open to the public on June 19.

What services are limited?

Restrooms and other facilities: Restrooms in the Visitor Center and Regenstein Center’s Greenhouse Galleries will be the only restrooms open. Portable toilets, including those that are ADA accessible, and hand-sanitizer stations will be available at several locations, including in front of the Visitor Center and just south of the Plant Science Center. Please bring your own water, as drinking fountains will not be available. It is not possible to ensure that benches and other common surface areas are sanitized at all times; please act accordingly.

Dining: The Garden Grille is open, as is the barista station in the Garden View Café, and a grab-and-go cafe on the Esplanade. Credit card payments only. There will be seating, at socially distanced tables, on the decks. We hope to reopen the Rose Terrace Beer Garden later this summer. TrueJuice at the Regenstein Fruit & Vegetable Garden is closed for the season.
See the dining page for menus and more information.

Canceled events: The Evenings program of summer music, Chicago Botanic Garden Art Festival, summer family drop-ins, and other programs are canceled. Click here for more information.
Summer attractions: We hope to open Butterflies & Blooms and the Grand Tram in mid-July and Model Railroad: Landmarks of America in early August. We will limit space and access to ensure social distancing guidelines can be followed. The Bright Encounters Tram is closed for the season.

Gardens: Some areas with tight, restricted entrances or spaces may be closed due to social distancing guidelines. These include Spider Island, some paths on Evening Island, areas of the Circle Garden, and paths within the Dwarf Conifer Garden and the Waterfall Garden. The Nature Play Garden and its rolling hills are also closed, but we plan to reopen this area in mid-July.

Buildings: The Regenstein Center and Greenhouses, Regenstein Learning Center, and the Plant Science Center are closed until further notice. Restrooms in the Greenhouse Galleries are open.

The Garden Shop: We hope to reopen the shop in mid-July.

Wheelchairs and scooters: Wheelchairs will be available for loan. Electric scooters will not be available.

Picnic areas: The picnic area in Parking Lot 2 is open. It is not possible to ensure that picnic tables and other common surface areas are sanitized at all times; please act accordingly.

Will memberships be extended because the Garden was closed?

Yes. We are automatically extending active memberships by two months. No action is necessary on your part. The bar code on your membership card and your parking decal information will be updated automatically to reflect your new expiration date. When you renew, your new membership card(s) will have the new expiration date printed on them. If you have questions, please email MembershipCustomerService@chicagobotanic.org.

I haven’t received my membership materials. How long will it take to get them?

The membership team is operating remotely, so your materials will be delayed. We appreciate your patience. If you renewed, joined, or requested a new or replacement card, you will get your card as soon as possible.

Why did I receive a membership renewal notice when I already sent in my renewal?

Due to limited staffing because of COVID-19, renewal processing is taking longer than usual. This may cause your renewal and renewal notice to cross in the mail. If you have already renewed, please ignore the notice. We appreciate your patience as you wait for your materials.

Can I buy or renew a membership at the Garden? And can I pick up my membership gift?

The membership desk in the Visitor Center will be open with limited staff. They can help you purchase or renew memberships and pick up membership gifts.

What programs at the Garden are canceled, modified, or postponed?

Because of the COVID-19 health crisis, we have had to cancel some programs, classes, and exhibitions. This includes all nights of the summer Evenings program as well as the Art Festival. Other programs will be modified or have been postponed. We apologize for any inconvenience and thank you for your understanding. Please visit our list; it will be continually updated, so check back often.

I registered for a class or event that has been canceled. What should I do?

Our customer service team will work with you directly to make appropriate accommodations, including options for credit toward any future Garden purchases (including membership), donating your expenditure for a tax deduction, or a refund. The Garden customer service team will be handling a significant number of inquiries, and calls to our customer service line may experience significant delays. Please email customersupport@chicagobotanic.org and someone will contact you.

How do I reach the Garden?

Please contact us at customersupport@chicagobotanic.org. We will get back to you as soon as possible. We apologize in advance for any delays.

We are so grateful to longtime partner NorthShore University HealthSystem, whose generous support has helped make our reopening possible. We share the belief that our health and well-being are nourished by the respite that nature provides. Throughout the summer, we will celebrate and acknowledge NorthShore’s important role in enabling us to welcome you back to the beauty of the Chicago Botanic Garden.

 

 

 

 

 



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