The best spots for spring flowers
While the Wooded Island and its Japanese gardens are being renovated, you can still enjoy the cherry blossoms along the Columbia Basin just south of the Museum of Science and Industry. Look for blossoms to appear in early April or even earlier if the warm weather holds.
Head to Chicago’s front yard for views of the skyline and thousands of hand-planted flowers in the southeast corner of Millennium Park. Protected by two 15-foot hedges, the garden is home to more than 60 species of birds and one of the largest green rooftops in the world.
Take the Metra or go for a short drive to one of the largest curated outdoor spaces around the city. With 25 garden displays and four natural habitats, there’s more than enough wilderness, foliage and blooms to get lost in.
For those craving an experience a little more au naturel, consider a visit to this preserve of approximately 1,700 acres of woodland, wildflower-strewn prairie and ponds. Sixteen miles of hiking trails wind through the grounds.
Azaleas, spring bulbs and perennials complement the reds and blues of art collective Luftwerk’s LED light installation, Solarise: A Sea of All Colors.
At the Spring Flower Show, find a rotating selection of spring blooms, including the leafy descendants of the azaleas that bloomed at the 1893 World’s Columbian Exposition.
Volunteer at Chicago gardens
Help weed and water the beds at the Chicago Park District’s only teaching greenhouse, and take care of one of the first public fruit tree orchards planted in a major U.S. city.
Each Saturday, volunteers gather to work at the urban farm at Fourth Presbyterian Church, planting, harvesting and tending the gardens. You may be required to submit to a background check to participate.
Join volunteers in one of Chicago’s biggest and most beautiful green spaces, Humboldt Park, to assist in cleaning and making improvements to the grounds. Work gloves and T-shirts provided on a first-come, first-served basis.