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Best Places To See Flowers This Spring In Chicago

March 9, 2013 7:00 AM

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(Credit: starvedrockstatepark.org)

(Credit: starvedrockstatepark.org)

By Meredith Lyons

Spring is one of the most eagerly anticipated seasons in Chicago. Heralding the end of winter, the return of the sun and the shedding of coats, spring makes people want to spend more time outside. What better activity to celebrate winter’s end than with an outdoor excursion to observe the blooming of spring flowers?

The Morton Arboretum
4100 Illinois Route 53
Lisle, IL 60532
(630) 968-0074
www.mortonarb.org

The drive to Morton Arboretum will take approximately 35 to 40 minutes and the signs along the interstate to the Arboretum are easy to follow. Head up I-290 W to I-88, about 25 miles west of Chicago. There are nine miles of paved roads at your disposal and rental bikes are an option if you’d prefer not to hike through the trails and rather ride along the pavement. If you want to preplan a bit,  the Arboretum offers a detailed weekly account of what plants are in bloom each season so you can grab helpful information about what foliage you might be privy to when you visit.

Chicago Flower & Garden Show
Navy Pier
600 E. Grand Ave.
Chicago, IL 60611
(312) 595-5400
www.chicagoflower.com

Every spring, Navy Pier hosts the Chicago Flower & Garden Show, and this year it runs from March 9 through March 17, 2013. The show will not only present an array of featured gardens, but will also offer seminars from horticulturists and garden centers covering a range of topics. Enjoy the gardens while while learning and becoming inspired to create your own spring garden. If you find something you can’t live without, vendors will be available with the latest green gardening wares.

(Credit: starvedrockstatepark.org)

(Credit: starvedrockstatepark.org)

Starved Rock State Park
Route 178 and Route 71
Utica, IL 61373
(815) 667-4726
www.starvedrockstatepark.org

The Starved Rock State Park has a plethora of trails for hiking. Maps are available online for every one of them in the event that you would like to plot out your visit. If you’re able to go on April 27 or 28, 2013, you will be able to experience the park’s Spring Wildflower Weekend where guided hikes leave the visitor’s center at 9 a.m. and 1 p.m. in search of the spring blooms. Take in the breathtaking waterfalls and rock formations along the 13 miles of hiking trails. If you’re interested in viewing the foliage from Fox River, the park offers jet ski rentals, paddleboats, canoes, water cruises and kayak rentals for a more nautical experience. Drive about one hour and 45 minutes up I-55 S and I-80 W from Chicago and you will reach the park.

Crabtree Nature Center
3 Stover Road
Barrington Hills, IL 60010
(847) 381-6592
www.fpdcc.com

The Crabtree Nature Center has several miles of self-guided trails available for exploration and is a little less than an hour up I-90 W from Chicago. Drive to Palatine Road off of Route 62 and you’ll come to the center’s entrance. The trails are open from 8 a.m. until 4:30 p.m. every day. In addition to checking out the spring flowers, the Crabtree Nature Center is a haven for bird watchers since over 260 species have been spotted as well as the seasonal ducks and geese that make the center their home during the springtime.

Lincoln Park Conservatory
2391 N. Stockton Drive
Chicago, IL 60614
(312) 742-7736
www.chicagoparkdistrict.com

You won’t even have to leave to city to see the blooms if you check out the Spring Flower Show at the Lincoln Park Conservatory. The show is free and offers visitors a chance to see the spring blooms beginning in January and all the way through to Mother’s Day. The selection of flowers is changed throughout the duration of the show so that visiting more than once would not be repetitive.

Meredith Lyons is an actor, competitive fighter and fitness instructor in Chicago who also owns an amazing cat named Jake. Meredith has been writing on Examiner as the Chicago Martial Arts Examiner since 2008. Her work can be found at Examiner.com.

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