Friendship Botanic Gardens: Your Summer Destination is only Minutes Away

Friendship Botanic Gardens: Your Summer Destination is only Minutes Away

Carly Kwiecien

Tis the season of endless days and nights for making memories with friends and family! Summer is now in full swing, which means it’s time to bring out the sunglasses, bug spray, and sun tan lotion and head outdoors!  

Friendship Gardens is the place to be this summer. No matter your hobbies, we have activities for both children and adults alike. Here, one can hike, take all-levels yoga classes, attend education events and learn about bugs, butterflies, and more, as well as attend some of our bigger events such as the Gatsby in the Gardens, Lyric in the Gardens and Bacchus & Beer Fest.

If interested in taking the children out for a day of educational and entertaining activities, head out to the Gardens on Sunday, June 24, from 2:00-4:00 p.m. for a Bug Safari! This will be the perfect afternoon to explore several diverse creepy crawlies and their lives in the natural habitats of the 105 acres of the Gardens. Families can discover a hidden world of marvelous creatures living among us. Feel free to bring nets and magnifying glasses to get a better view of the tiny insects that play crucial roles in our day-to-day lives. There will be hands-on crafts and other science-related activities available.

Each Sunday morning from 10:00-11:00 a.m. and Thursday mornings from 9:00-10:00 a.m., all levels-yoga courses will be taught in the Gardens by certified yoga instructors, April Fallon and Page Rumer. Yoga combines breathing techniques with physical flexibility and includes other elements such as meditation and postures. Find your peace and balance by unplugging for an hour each week for only $10 per class (cash only). The entrance fee to the Gardens is included in that price. An 8-class pass is available for April’s classes at the small price of $72. These classes will be available from June 3 – July 29.

Interested in learning more about Indigenous Peoples’ traditions and lifestyles? Come celebrate the cultures of the Native Peoples of the region on National American Heritage Day on Sunday, July 8, from 12:00-4:00 p.m. Visitors will have the opportunity to learn about their gardening, trapping, cooking and crafting techniques. There will be demonstrations, exhibits, crafts and open-fire cooking. Learn about the rich legacy of Native American Heritage and come see the river banks and valleys where the Potawatomi hunted and fished hundreds of years ago. This event is free admission.

For a different change of pace, Friendship Gardens offer an evening of musical entertainment featuring local artist JohnnyV at the Taste and Tribute Concert on Friday, July 13, from 6:00-9:00 p.m. He is a singer/songwriter that offers music from genres such as blues, folk and Americana that is sure to keep the audience’s attention! He has been singing all across the Chicagoland and Northwest Indiana region for over four decades. JohnnyV tributes Neil Young and the Classics, covering their greatest range of hits. Join us for an evening of music, beer, food and wine. Food will be offered from Taste of Michigan City’s Up N Smoke Food Truck. Tickets will be on sale at the door during the day of the event. Gates open at 6:00 and music starts at 7:00!

One of our biggest events of the summer is our annual Gatsby in the Gardens, which takes place on Saturday, July 28, from 6:00-9:00 p.m. Here, visitors have the option to dress in 1920’s apparel and enjoy cocktails, dance or play lawn games while listening to live jazz music. Sample drinks such as BA to Barcelona, which includes sloe gin, tonic water, lemon and Miro extra ecco or Lashed to Mast, which includes rum, falernum and a hint of lime. Tickets are on sale via Eventbrite, our Facebook event page and may be available for purchase the day of the event. Individuals 21+ welcome.

At our Butterfly Bonanza event on Sunday, July 29 from 2:00-4:00 p.m., visitors can take advantage of free admission to the Gardens and learn more about these wonderful creatures in all stages of life. Monarch butterflies will be released, and participants will be able to construct their own butterfly feeders!

In August two of the Gardens’ biggest events of the summer take place and bring the season to a close as it winds down. On Sunday, August 5, from 3:00-6:00 p.m., join us for an afternoon of a captivating performance by the Lyric Opera of Chicago as they preview their season at our annual Lyric in the Gardens event! Saunter around the gardens with friends and enjoy beverages from 3:00-4:00 right before the concert begins. Tickets are on sale on our website but are also available at the door day of the event.

Spend a few hours of your Saturday, August 18, at the Gardens for our annual Bacchus & Beer Fest! From 5:00-9:00 p.m. Enjoy sampling beverages from 15 local breweries and wineries. Up ‘N Smoke will be serving their famous barbecue, too. Live entertainment throughout the evening will feature Matt Gabriel and John Vermilye. Join us for an evening of beer, wine, food and music among the natural beauty of the Gardens. Tickets are on sale via Eventbrite, our Facebook page or at the door on the day of the event. This is a 21+ event.

We have events (that are not listed here) but are still available all the way through December. To keep up to date on our year-round events, check out our “Upcoming Events” page on our website. Stop by the Gardens Wednesday – Sunday from 10:00-6:00 p.m. for three miles of hiking trails, benches for relaxation, fishing along Trail Creek and more.