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Step Right Up to The Orchid Show of Wonders

A trumpet blowing into some yellow orchids.

Photo courtesy of Chicago Botanic Garden

The Chicago Botanic Garden celebrates the delightful nostalgia of carnivals and the enchantment of the circus during The Orchid Show of Wonders. Starting February 10 and running through March 24, the Garden’s indoor galleries will be filled with a whimsical world of more than 10,000 fresh, vibrant blooms under the big top.  

“We are excited to showcase an orchid spectacle unlike any other this year,” said Jodi Zombolo, associate vice president of visitor events and programs. “This Show provides a new twist on the circus that is sure to entertain visitors of all ages.”

In its 10th year, the Show will feature blooming displays inspired by carnival and circus attractions such as walking under Ferris wheel seats, marveling at unicycles on tightropes and other gravity-defying surprises, all while listening to classic circus tunes.

On select Thursday and Friday evenings, Orchids After Hours is a captivating way to experience a nighttime viewing of the Show. Cocktails and light bites, including cotton candy and funnel cakes, will be available for purchase. A special Orchids After Hours will be held on February 14 (Valentine’s Day), and will feature a menu including prosecco splits and decadent chocolate desserts as well as Fotio—a vintage open-air photo booth—to capture photos. During Orchids After Hours, the Show is open from 5 to 8 p.m.; regular hours are from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., daily.

The following events will take place during the Show:

Library Exhibition – Captivating Cattleyas – February 10 through March 24 (Wednesday-Sunday from noon to 4 p.m.). This rare book exhibition in the Lenhardt Library features colorful illustrations of Cattleya orchids published in the nineteenth century. Free library talks will be held on February 25 and March 23 at 2 p.m.

Photographers’ Hours – Tuesdays, February 13 through March 19 (8:15 to 9:45 a.m. and 4:15 to 5:45 p.m.). Offered for photographers who would like to capture orchids using tripods and monopods. Ticket fees apply, but only a limited number of tickets will be available each day.

Illinois Orchid Society Spring Show & Sale – March 9 and 10 (10 a.m. to 4 p.m.). Displays of orchids from the rarest of species to cultivated hybrids will be artistically arranged. Families can take part in orchid-based activities for children. Vendors will also be on-site to sell orchid plants and related products and Illinois Orchid Society members will offer repotting services. 

Post-Orchid Show Sale – March 28 (9 a.m. to 4 p.m.). This sale is an opportunity to take home favorite orchids from the Show. Early access from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. is based on member level. All members and the public are welcome from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m., while supplies last. Please check our website and social media for updates; this event sells out quickly.

Location: 1000 Lake Cook Rd., Glencoe. For more information and to purchase tickets, visit