As you may have noticed while scrolling through you Instagram feed over the past week, the cherry blossom trees in Jackson Park bloomed early this year, thanks to some unseasonably warm early-spring weather. Located just to the south of the Museum of Science and Industry along the banks of the Columbia Basin, more than 160 cherry blossom trees are in bloom—but you'll need to act fast if you want to see the amazing natural display.
According to the Chicago Park District, the cherry blossom trees in Jackson Park are currently in full bloom, meaning that "nearly all of the buds have opened and the trees are now in their most beautiful state." But the flowers are ephemeral, only lasting for about 3 to 8 days before blanketing the ground with petals, depending on the weather. With snow in the forecast on Tuesday, April 20 (snow in April? Welcome to Chicago), there's a decent chance that the drastic change in temperature could cause the cherry blossom trees to shed their flowers early next week.
So, if you're hoping to take in the Yoshino, Gooseberry, Snow Goose, Snow Fountains and Accolade blooms in various shades of white and pink, your best bet is to show up to Jackson Park this weekend. Onlookers will be taking part in a Japanese custom called "hanami," which celebrates the arrival of spring and the optimal time for viewing cherry blossoms (known as "sakura" in Japan).
The cherry blossom trees in Jackson Park were planted in 2013 in recognition of the 120th anniversary of the World's Columbian Exposition of 1893, which took place throughout the park. Additional trees were planted over the next three years by the Japanese Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Chicago, celebrating the organization's 50th anniversary.
Get to Jackson Park this weekend to see the beautiful flowers and snap some photos, otherwise you may have to wait until April or May of next year to see the annual blooms again.