It’s springtime in Chicago and the city is in bloom! From yellow daffodils to bright red tulips to pastel cherry blossoms, flowers are popping up everywhere around our “city in a garden” — Chicago’s official motto. From a hidden garden to a soaring conservatory bursting with blooms, there are so many opportunities to stop and smell the roses in Chicago. Experience the beauty of the season at Chicago’s best gardens, parks, and conservatories this spring.
In Jackson Park, you’ll find more than 100 cherry blossoms trees that typically bloom each spring. Located along the lakefront in the Hyde Park neighborhood, Jackson Park was the epicenter of the 1893 World’s Fair. The fair left behind scenic lagoons and gardens, and an authentic Japanese garden filled with cherry trees. In the spirit of the Japanese “hanami”, which is the tradition of enjoying the transient nature of flowers, take a stroll through the park while the cherry blossoms are in peak bloom.
Garfield Park Conservatory
Spring arrives early at the Garfield Park Conservatory, thanks to the Spring Flower Show. This annual showcase of springtime flora includes tulips, hydrangeas, daffodils, and hyacinths. The conservatory itself is a botanical treasure and one of the largest greenhouse conservatories in the United States. Located in the midst of historic Garfield Park, the building is a soaring all-glass structure that makes a stunning backdrop for spring blooms.
Every spring, Michigan Avenue bursts into blooms thanks to thousands of tulip bulbs imported from the Netherlands. The stunning display stretches from Roosevelt Road at the south end of Grant Park to the north end of The Magnificent Mile at Oak Street. You can also enjoy a tulip-filled stroll of State Street‘s shopping district to see the spectacular color spectrum of spring’s favorite flower.
Lincoln Park Conservatory
A visit to Lincoln Park Conservatory offers a glimpse back in time: the Victorian-era glass house was built in the late nineteenth century, with four rooms displaying exotic plants from around the world. Take a moment to stroll the garden situated in front of the conservatory: it’s one of the oldest public gardens in Chicago, designed and planted in the late 1870s. The conservatory’s Spring Flower Show showcases colorful tulips, dragon lilies, peonies, roses, and more.
Ping Tom Memorial Park
In Chicago’s Chinatown neighborhood, an old railyard was transformed into the beautiful rolling green space that locals know and love as Ping Tom Memorial Park. If you can’t get enough cherry blossoms, it’s the perfect spot to admire the springtime blooms while soaking in the stunning skyline and river views.
A true masterpiece of landscape architecture, Columbus Park was designed by the legendary Jens Jensen. Located in the Austin neighborhood, the park is home to quiet lagoons, natural-looking waterfalls, historic buildings, and tons of green space. In the spring, park-goers can spot water lilies, blooming trees, and wildflowers throughout the park.
Alfred Caldwell Lily Pool
Tucked in a corner of Lincoln Park, the wild yet intimate Alfred Caldwell Lily Poolis easy to miss. This hidden oasis promises a moment of peace in the middle of a city on the move. The pool’s landscape is dotted with wildflowers and the water is often covered with water lilies in the spring. This is one of the best spots in the city to relax and reflect.
The namesake park of the Washington Park neighborhood is home to the DuSable Black History Museum, the nation’s longest-standing independent center dedicated to African American culture. The historic park comes alive in the spring with colorful gardens designed by famed landscape architect Frederick Law Olmsted.
Chicago Botanic Garden
Spring is perhaps the best season to explore the 385 acres of cultivated gardens and natural areas of the Chicago Botanic Garden, one of the world’s great living museums and conservation science centers and home to 27 unique gardens. Before you go, download the free walking map and free app that will help you locate plants when you visit.