Dog-Friendly Chicago Arboretums and Gardens

Chicago winters can be ruff. Digging out parking spots, record snowfalls, and all your fave fire hydrants suddenly hidden by snow? Ugh, no thanks. But Chicago springs always remind you why the Midwest is best. Enjoy the season with your pup and check out these dog-friendly Chicago arboretums and gardens. 

Morton Arboretum

Your dog was top of the class at Basic Obedience, so we know he loves to learn. He’s been asking, “Where do the big sticks I like to pee on come from?” Maybe a visit to the Morton Arboretum on their Dog Admission Days will be easier than a lesson on the birds and the trees. We know it’s gonna be hard, but remind your pup that these are special trees, not for marking.

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 y’all 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 or two around the Humboldt Park lagoon.

Much walks, much sniffs. | Jamie Street

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 trees and natural beauty isn’t enough for your nature pup, the Arboretum connects with the North Branch Channel Trail. Go down far enough, and you can admire 70+ sculptures at Skokie Northshore Sculpture Park.

Grandmother’s Garden in Lincoln Park

Grandmother’s Garden was built as a complement to the stuffy French-style 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 bustle of the city, so you can enjoy some one-on-one time with your doggo.

Klehm Arboretum & Botanic Garden

Technically not at all in Chicago, but if you want a dog-friendly arboretum AND garden at the same time, sometimes ya gotta compromise. With over 150 acres of landscaped grounds, dog-friendly paved paths, and wood trails, you’ll be hearing how much your pup 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 pupper 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?

Where are your favorite Chicago arboretums, gardens, or other seasonal places to take spring photos of your pup? Woof at us in the comments and use #SidewalkDog to show us how you’re getting ready for the new season!

Featured photo: Nadine Doerle

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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