Right about this time you're probably either totally in the Christmas spirit or overwhelmed by all the holiday whimsy. Maybe all you need is a little Christmas pick-me-up. If so, head to the Chicago Botanic Garden in Glencoe.
After reading about this magical place in Chicago Parent Magazine, we decided to take my parents last Christmas. We really didn't know what to expect...other than some model trains and beautifully festive plants.
We were in for an awesome surprise.
The massive poinsettias and winter arrangements were gorgeous, but the train garden was truly amazing. Laid out exactly like the city of Chicago, the train garden includes all the landmarks and impressive details of the city. Before touring the train garden, we were given pamphlets and we were encouraged to search for the city's landmarks. (This was obviously a hit with the kids...especially Julie as she obsessively tried to check off each landmark.)
And, if you need any more convincing....It snows inside! I'm serious. As we were wandering around the train garden, snow became falling from the ceiling. I have no idea what the mixture was, but it was definitely magical!