If you're looking to get a gardening fix this winter, or looking for places to take out of town visitors around Chicago during Christmas may I recommend the winter flower shows and train gardens? Due to the storm damage this year at the Garfield Park Conservatory there will be no winter flower show there. But the Lincoln Park Conservatory, which escaped damage from the same storm, is stepping up and providing us with their annual winter flower show and train garden exhibit. Here's a video of the model train garden I made a couple of years ago to give you an idea of the model train garden and blooms.
The Chicago Botanic Garden's Wonderland Express is another opportunity in our area to partake of winter blooms, miniature gardens and model trains. The Botanic Garden's Wonderland Express is a popular attraction this time of year and I suggest you buy tickets ahead of time at the link.