Wilder Park Conservatory, Elmhurst

3.3
#8 of 8 in Things to do in Elmhurst
Garden · Hidden Gem · Nature / Park
The Wilder Park Conservatory is a conservatory and botanical garden located in Wilder Park at 225 Prospect Avenue in Elmhurst, Illinois. Situated on a 6-acre (24,000 m2) lot, the conservatory shares the land with three greenhouses (not open to the public), the open air Elizabeth Gardens, and the Wilder mansion, which was the former location of the Elmhurst Public Library. An addition was added to the mansion in the 1960s to increase library space, but the addition was removed during a restoration which was completed in 2008.

The one-room Conservatory is open daily from 8am to 4pm; admittance is free, although donations are noted to be welcome. A mature Pachypodium and a tree Opuntia are the highlights. The conservatory also features a small pond with goldfish. Located nearby are the Lizzadro Museum, the new Elmhurst Public Library, the Elmhurst Art Museum, and Elmhurst College's Schaible Science Center.

The conservatory's origins date back to 1868, when Seth Wadhams purchased a treeless farm, planting trees and building a greenhouse for his wife, which is still in use today. Subsequent owners (among them Aurelia King and her daughter-in-law, Louisa Boyd Yeomans King) continued to develop the site's gardens. The property was transferred to city ownership around 1920, and in 1923 the Elmhurst Park District Board added a conservatory to the original greenhouse. In 1926 a second greenhouse was added.
To visit Wilder Park Conservatory and other attractions in Elmhurst, use our Elmhurst trip planner.
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Wilder Park Conservatory reviews

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  • It is a nice venue for a wedding ceremony but as I am 70 years old and have difficulty walking, be aware there is a lot of walking from the parking lot to the actual tent where the wedding is performed. There are benches along the way if you need to take a rest though. Beautiful flowers that I have never seen before are seen throughout the area, most notably, some type of tall orange cone-like flower. I couldn't get a photo of. It was very windy on the day of our rehearsal and cool with on and off rain on the day of the ceremony. Sides on the tent could have been lowered but were not. Maybe that's extra. But on a warm and sunny day, you can't go wrong here. Seating for about 40 under the tent.
  • We drove 20 min to get there and the place can be seen in 5 min lol super tiny place but it is still nice I enjoyed the kaleidoscope but would rather spend few more minutes and drive to the botanical garden or Garfield park

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