After a brutal winter in Chicago that was complete with ice, snow and cold, it’s time to look forward and celebrate the arrival of spring and new life with Easter celebrations. From church services to visiting public gardens, there are plenty of ways to enjoy the holiday while also getting a much-needed breath of fresh air. Keep this list on hand when planning your Easter Sunday activities on April 5.

(Credit: chicagoparkdistrict.com)

(Credit: chicagoparkdistrict.com)

Chicago Park District
541 N. Fairbanks
Chicago IL, 60611
(312) 742-7529
www.chicagoparkdistrict.com
Dates: April 1 through 11, 2015

Celebrate Easter close to home with themed activities held at various locations in the Chicago Park District. Family-friendly activities are on the schedule, including egg hunts at more than 10 parks. The Spring Festival at Altgeld Park on April 2 includes a photo opp with the Easter Bunny, as well as face painting, crafts and games, while the annual Eggstravaganza at Sherwood Park is held after Easter on April 11. You can register in advance for the Easter activities; fees may apply to some events. Take a look at the Chicago Park District’s website for park locations.

Easter Brunch
The Morton Arboretum
4100 Illinois Route 53
Lisle, IL 60532
(630) 968-0074
www.mortonarb.org
Date: April 5, 2015

If you’ve given up sweets, carbs and eating second helpings for Lent, then consider indulging on Easter Sunday with brunch at The Morton Arboretum. Cold stations, omelets, carving stations and pastries are among the breakfast and lunch items on the menu at this buffet. Coffee, tea, and a buffet just for kids are also included. Make your Easter Sunday plans a bit smoother and register in advance for the brunch. You and your family can explore the Arboretum after brunch, too. Click here for prices.

(Photo Credit: lpzoo.org)

(Photo Credit: lpzoo.org)

Easter Egg-Stravaganza
Lincoln Park Zoo
2001 N. Clark St.
Chicago, IL 60614
(312) 742-2000
www.lpzoo.org
Date: April 4, 2015 at 8:30 a.m.

Eating Easter brunch at a crowded restaurant is one thing, but eating breakfast at Lincoln Park Zoo is another. At the zoo’s Easter Egg-Stravaganza on April 4 at 8:30 a.m., families can feast on a pancake breakfast complete with fruit compote and bacon, pose for pictures with the Easter Bunny and learn more about the animals at the zoo with the education learning stations. The event also includes an egg hunt divided into three age categories, crafts and rides on the carousel and train. Tickets must be purchased in advance to the event, and prices start at $15. After breakfast, consider exploring the animal exhibits at the world-renowned zoo. Click here for prices.

Garfield Park Conservatory
300 N. Central Park Ave.
Chicago, IL 60624
(312) 746-5100
www.garfieldconservatory.org
Date: April 5, 2015

This Easter Sunday, take time to contemplate nature in a beautiful and serene setting by including a visit to Garfield Park Conservatory in your plans. The conservatory includes eight rooms under glass, and houses thousands of plants that include ferns, trees and flowers. Children can learn more about plants, too, through the conservatory’s Elizabeth Morse Genius Children’s Garden. Admission to the Garfield Park Conservatory is free. Located in Chicago’s East Garfield Park neighborhood, Garfield Park Conservatory is near plenty of public transportation options and is open 365 days a year.

Holy Name Cathedral
730 N. Wabash Ave.
Chicago, IL 60611
(312) 787-8040
holynamecathedral.org
Date: April 5, 2015

For many Catholics in Chicago, attending Mass at Holy Name Cathedral in the city’s Near North Side neighborhood is the focal point of Easter weekend. The historic cathedral, which also serves as the seat of the Archdiocese of Chicago, offers six masses on Easter Sunday, starting with a service at 6:30 a.m., and concluding with a Divine Mercy Novena scheduled for 2 p.m. For a schedule of services on Holy Thursday, Good Friday and Holy Saturday, refer to the cathedral’s website. When making your Easter Sunday plans, allow additional travel time and arrive early for services.

Megan Horst-Hatch is a runner, reader, baker, gardener, knitter, and other words that end in “-er.” She is also the president of Megan Writes, LLC. Her work can be found at Examiner.com.