The Chicago Botanic Garden’s new fee structure is now in effect. Gone is the formerly free admission, which came with a hefty parking price tag, and in its place is a reduced charge for parking, but no more free entry.
Parking now costs $8, versus the $20 to $30 previously charged. Ticket prices will vary from a low of $9.95 per adult (or $11.95 for residents outside Cook County) up to $25.95. All fees referenced are for non-members.
Expect the more expensive price to be charged during periods when demand is higher, a spokesperson for the garden said. On quieter attendance days, prices will be lower. Think of the way the Chicago Cubs charges more for a ticket to a summer game versus Milwaukee than, say, a March game against the Miami Marlins.
Tickets are available for purchase two months in advance. The adult ticket price for February and March is set at $9.95.
The garden has scheduled 52 free admission days — people still have to pay to park — and also continues to offer free admission and parking to members of the military on active duty and Illinois educators, among others. Entry via the North Branch Trail remains free, as well.
The fee change was approved in 2020 to cope with increased costs associated with higher attendance, including additional maintenance and programming. According to the garden, the number of visitors is up 43% in the past 10 years.