City Cast

Urban Almanac: Cherry Blossoms

Sidney Madden
Sidney Madden
Posted on April 13   |   Updated on June 27
Cherry blossoms

Cherry blossoms in bloom in Jackson Park on April 23, 2022. (Emily Barney/Flickr)

Cherry blossoms represent a time of renewal and optimism. As the national flower of Japan, enjoying the blossoming is called hanami, which roughly translates to “flower viewing."

Chicagoans are fortunate to have these gorgeous blossoms around town when 160 trees were planted a decade ago in Jackson Park to commemorate the 120th anniversary of the 1893 Chicago World’s Fair when Japan gifted cherry blossoms to the U.S. These delicate beauties only bloom for a week or two, so here are some places you can marvel at their loveliness this spring.

🌸 Jackson Park

The area surrounding the Columbia Basin in Jackson Park is home to about 190 cherry blossom trees. You can find them south of the Museum of Science and Industry, and in The Garden of the Phoenix. The garden was established in 1893 as a symbol of the U.S. and Japan’s friendship. Check out thePark District’s “Cherry Blossoms Watch 2023” tracker to see when buds have completed all six stages of development.

🌸 Morton Arboretum

At this botanical garden in Lisle, you can witness a mix of pink and white blooms for a stunning visual experience. You can take guided walking tours to see the cherry blossoms and well over 1,000 trees.

🌸 Chicago Botanic Garden

If you’re looking for a short trip out of the city, these gardens in Glencoe are a great place to see cherry blossoms. Find our flower friends in the Elizabeth Hubert Malott Japanese Garden.

🌸 Cherry Blossom Viewing Festival: Saturday, April 22

Experience hanami at The Garden of the Phoenix in Jackson Park. From noon to 3 p.m., enjoy dance performances, from the traditional shubukai dance style to the tsukasa taiko drum style, to origami folding, and cherry blossom sketching sessions.

Have you seen cherry blossoms somewhere else in Chicago?

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