Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Garfield Park Conservatory - Chicago - Trip out

Our family love this place, and at less than an hour's drive from home it is a great resource we have for fun, relaxation, and learning as a family. A great plus is that it is free! We took a trip out on easter Sunday, and had a great time. Henry was happy to explore the whole location for over about two hours. Taking charge of the map and his parents off we went!

First exploration was in the "sugar from the sun" hall. A great voyage of discovery as we explained how the air
plants suspended above us did not require soil to live, how all the plants needed sunlight to thrive. Great excitement ensued as we all spotted the bananna trees and real fruit - something Henry could relate to as he LOVES bananas.

In the children's garden the emphasis is on using the senses. Once Henry found out how sensitive some plants can be to touch, he couldn't help himself from making them all look dead as he stroked their leaves lovingly then disolved into hysterics as the leaves closed shut and the branches drooped.

Spraying the plants with water from a bottle was a hit, as was spraying me!

The children's garden is full of great resources for learning, books and hands on stuff. A very filthy Henry emerged after playing in the soil, potting plants and uncovering bugs for quite some time. Totally engrossed.

With so much to explore we visited the desert house full of cacti, the palm house, where we found a double coconut tree and chocolate plant.....you could see Henry trying to figure that one out!

Every year the conservatory puts on an amazing display of colours in its show house. A fantasic place to explore colours, smells and just to feel a little spring in the air. We did a few plant identifications with simple flowers like tulips, daffodils, and blubells, played find a flower the colour..... and took some amazing photos.

All in all a great trip out, and a great learning experience for Henry.

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