Some people like pet shops, and I do too,
but mostly when I have the urge to take a long look at something I frequent one of the many plant shops near Ray's.
Family owned Adams and Son Gardens (1057 N. California Ave) is a wonderful place to check out in nearby Humboldt Park. They are open all week, and even in winter offer a large assortmant of succulents, cacti, houseplants and more. The staff are super friendly and helpful.
Sprout Home (745 N. Damen Ave.) in nearby Ukrainian Village is open all week as well, and specializes in contemporary indoor and outdoor garden design. The shop is visually rewarding with beautiful displays and a large variety of plants.
They offer terrarium workshops that you can find by clicking --> here.
Finally, the Garfield Park Conservatory is a warm and serene sanctuary. A huge plant house showcasing all walks of plant life in beautifuly arranged rooms, the Conservatory is truly a Chicago gem. It can be enjoyed alone, with family, friends or a date. No one leaves unhappy, unless it is because they are leaving.