My kids had been told about visiting the Chicago Botanic Garden a week prior and I had briefly told them what we would be doing, such as making art using different vegetables, watering the garden, and other activities. All week, they kept waking up early and bouncing into my room, fully dressed, shouting "Can we go to the kid's garden today?"
At the event...
Walking into the garden, we passed a living wall.
We made a herb mix and the kids got to smell several different herbs, including tarragon which I have not really cooked with that much. The herb mix can be used to make herb butter, which I use often to top broiled fish or baked potatoes.
We saw how plants draw water through their system with an easy science experiment that we can do at home (cut a length of celery and insert into a cup of water which has been colored with food dye, wait a few hours and you will see how the color has traveled through the plant).
They used raw corn on the cob, potatoes, broccoli and other vegetables as stamps to make artwork. When asked if my 2 1/2 year old wanted to use the broccoli, she said "Tak!" and immediately wanted to eat it (yes, my kids love broccoli. And spinach, zucchini, and some other vegetables).
We had fresh fruit for snacks and then... A storm was about to come. The staff was very helpful, keeping an ear for weather updates and making sure all of us were safely and quickly moved into the Visitor's Center to wait out the storm. While waiting, we sat in the Cafe and enjoyed a Mediterranean Grilled Cheese sandwich and a Roasted Beet salad similar to one I make at home. I believe theirs contained heirloom beets, which I want to grow in my own garden. We watched the Wierzbi blowing with the streaming rain through the windows and talked with fellow mommy bloggers.
After the storm, we all went together to see the new Butterflies and Blooms exhibit. My kids had been looking forward to this for a week now. We carefully treaded on the pathway, looking for butterflies, which were all grounded due to the rain. If you look closely, you can actually see tiny droplets of rain on them.
After the Butterflies and Blooms exhibit, we all went our separate ways. My kids and I went back to the car to put on some dry shirts, grab the stroller, and walked back to the Grunsfeld Children's Garden.
You are able to enter the garden anytime as a patron of the Chicago Botanic Garden as long as they are not holding any special events there. Check out events at the Grunsfeld Children's Growing Garden.
My kids were very excited to see many of the same plants as we are growing in our own little Polish American garden, and some other plants which we now feel inspired to grow.
Later, we meandered over to Evening Island and the Plant Science Center. My six year old was enthralled with their hands-on exhibit that helped her see more of what the garden does and environmental science. She now wants to be a scientist and work at the Chicago Botanic Garden to help save our planet.
All in all, it was another great day at the Garden and we will be coming back again and again.
Disclaimer: This article and tweeting using hashtag #kids2garden during the event was compensated with some passes to the garden and the Model Railroad Garden. I chose to accept because the children love the Chicago Botanic Garden so much. This article was written entirely based on our experience and personal opinions.
Related Posts:Cabbage and Violets
Chicago Botanic Garden, European Plants
Our Polish American Garden