Dog-Friendly Chicago Arboretums and Gardens

Chicago winters are ruff. Digging out parking spots, record snowfalls, and all your fave fire hydrants suddenly hidden by snow? Ugh, no thanks. But when the snow melts, we’re reminded why this is the most beautiful city ever. Soak in all the warmer months have to offer by checking out these dog-friendly Chicago arboretums and gardens.

Morton Arboretum

Morton Arboretum is a living museum and somepuppy is pulling on his leash to go. Good thing you can plan a visit for one of their Dog Admission Days so pup can learn a lesson on the birds and the trees. They’re also hosting “Tails on the Trails” on July 31, 2022, where you and your woofer can enjoy the sights (and smells) while getting in some re-tail therapy at the on-site Pet Expo.

Jensen Formal Garden in Humboldt Park

The Jensen Formal Garden’s designer, Jens Jensen, called his creation a community garden for people who had no other gardens except their windowsills. Your dog saw your sad snake plant and dying fiddle leaf fig and thinks you just might qualify. We’re pretty sure she’ll forgive you for your city apartment if you offer her a stroll in the gardens and a sniff around the Humboldt Park lagoon.

Ladd Arboretum

Take a trip to the northern suburb of Evanston, and you’ll find the Ladd Arboretum. If a nearly mile-long walk of natural beauty isn’t enough for your dendrophile doggo (someone who loves forests and trees), the Arboretum also connects with the North Branch Channel Trail. Go down far enough, and you can admire 70+ sculptures at Skokie Northshore Sculpture Park. Your cultured canine is IN.

Grandmother’s Garden in Lincoln Park

Not taking enough time to stop and smell the roses? Head to Grandmother’s Garden, which was built as a complement to the garden across the street near the not-dog-friendly Lincoln Park Conservatory. This garden is filled with perennials and tall grass to create a private oasis in the hustle and bustle of the city. Sounds like it’s time for some one-on-one time with your fave floof.

Klehm Arboretum & Botanic Garden

Technically not at all in Chicago, but if you want a dog-friendly arboretum AND garden at the same time, it’s worth the 1.5-hour drive to Rockford. With over 150 acres of landscaped grounds, pup-friendly paved paths, and wooded trails, you’ll be hearing how much your pupper ruvs you for dog-years to come after a trip to Klehm Arboretum & Botanic Garden.

University of Illinois Arboretum

This “living library” is a haven for knowledge on the plant sciences and arts, and your lil’ study buddy is ready to learn. Dogs are allowed in outdoor areas as long as they’re on leash. Note: The University of Illinois Arboretum is a work in progress, but aren’t we all?

Oz Park

Wanna have your own magic Dorothy and Toto moment a la “The Wizard of Oz”?  Time to take a trip to Oz Park and its Emerald Garden. You’ll be tempted to post a gram or two with the statues around the park (Scarecrow overlooks the 17 perennial beds scattered throughout). Dogs are welcome as long as they remain leashed and off the playgrounds. Toto, I have a feeling we’re not in Kansas anymore!


Where are your fave Chicago arboretums, gardens, or other seasonal places to get gorg photos of your pup? Woof at us in the comments and tag @SidewalkDog to show us all your floral, fluffy outings!

Featured photo: Nadine Doerlé

Sidewalk Dog’s mission is to help dog parents spend more time with their puppers by discovering and sharing activities they can do and places they can go—together! Sniff out our award-winning newsletter and Instagram, and join our Dog-Friendly Chicago Facebook Group.

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