SpotHero Spring Picks: 15 Things to Do in Chicago This Spring

This past winter in Chicago admittedly has been pretty tolerable compared to winters past. Still, if you’re like us, you’re ready for sunny days and warmer temps. If you’ve already worked your way through our winter picks and are looking for some fresh ideas for spring, we’ve got you covered. Here are 15 of our favorite things to do in Chicago this spring, hand-picked by Team SpotHero!

See spring blooms at a flower show

Chicago Flower and Garden Show

Recommended by Mary Claire

Dates: March 18-26

Location: Navy Pier

Parking: Reserve parking here

Cost: $15-$19

Details: The nine-day event features 20+ life-sized gardens that you can walk through, plus daily seminars, DIY workshops, and a marketplace. The Chicago Flower & Garden Show is great for families, gardening veterans, and newbies alike. You can find more details here

Provided courtesy of the Chicago Flower & Garden Show


Spring Flower Show at Lincoln Park Conservatory

Recommended by Andrea

Dates: February 11-May 14, from 9am-5pm

Location: Lincoln Park Conservatory

Parking: Reserve parking here

Cost: Free

Details: This year’s Spring Show evokes the uplifting nature of a spring day in Chicago by featuring kites and sculptures by Chicago artist Michael F. Thompson. Plants in the show include azaleas, daffodils, tulips, hyacinths, hydrangea and many more. You can find more details here


Explore new food & drink options

Lincoln Park Zoo Food Truck Social

Recommended by Jalei

Date: Saturday, May 13, 6:30pm-9:30pm

Location: Lincoln Park Zoo

Parking: Reserve parking here

Cost: $10 | $8 for Lincoln Park Zoo members | $40 VIP tickets – buy tickets here

Details: Where can you enjoy grilled cheese, doughnuts, pirogies, tacos and more—all in one place? At Lincoln Park Zoo’s Food Truck Social! You can find more details here


Gene’s Sausage Shop Rooftop Opening

Recommended by Eric P. 

Dates: 2017 Rooftop season begins Memorial Day weekend, Thursday – Saturday 11am-8pm, Sunday 11am-4pm

Location: 4750 N. Lincoln Ave. in Lincoln Square

Parking: Reserve parking here

Cost: Food is à la carte

Details: When you arrive at Gene’s European-style rooftop garden, you can’t help but relax. The seasonal menu features Gene’s preservative-free smoked sausages and bratwurst cooked on an open wood sausage grill, plus daily specials, rotating beers on tap, and wines by the glass from around the world. Find more details here.



Recommended by Eric P. 

Dates: June 1-4

Location: Lincoln Square – 4700 N. Lincoln Avenue (map below)

Parking: Reserve parking here

Cost: Food is à la carte

Details: Maifest is the traditional German celebration of the arrival of spring. This 18th annual German festival features German foods, live music, maypole dance and other traditional German presentations. You can find more details here.

Map courtesy of

Get outside and get moving

Shamrock Shuffle

Recommended by Mary Lee

Date: Sunday, April 2

Location: Starting line near E. Monroe St. & Columbus Dr. in Grant Park

Parking: Reserve parking near the starting line here

Cost: $55 (until March 28)

Details: The Shamrock Shuffle kicks off Chicago’s spring running season with an 8K course that weaves through Downtown Chicago. New for 2017, this year’s Shamrock Shuffle will also host a 2-mile untimed walk. Walkers will enjoy two scenic miles along Chicago’s lakefront, starting and finishing in the same location as the 8K run. You can find more details here and see the full 8K course map here.


Bike the Drive

Recommended by Ellen

Date: Sunday, May 28

Location: Registered participants can start their ride at one of the following entry points:

>> Columbus Drive and Jackson Drive Starting Line
>> Bryn Mawr Rest Stop
>> Museum of Science & Industry Rest Stop
>> Fullerton Check Point
>> Oakwood Check Point

Parking: Reserve parking near the Columbus and Jackson starting line here – you can also search other addresses and locations, too

Cost: $17 youth accompanied by an adult | $46 adult early bird (before April 3) | $49 adult procrastinator – register here

Details: Bike the Drive is one of the best rides you’ll take the spring. Lake Shore Drive is closed to cars for nearly five hours, and you can cycle up and down the whole thing. Just make sure you get there early! The event begins at 5:30am, and the earlier you start, the longer you ride. Event organizers recommend starting at 7:00 a.m. at the latest. For more information on the route and timing, check out the official page here


Walk, Bike or Run the 606

Recommended by John

Date: Every day, 6am – 11pm – weekends are usually packed

Location: The are several access points. You can view them on the interactive map here.

Cost: Free!

Details: The 606 is an elevated trail connecting several Chicago neighborhoods. It stretches along the Bloomingdale Trail for 2.7 miles between Ashland Ave. and Ridgeway Ave. There are 12 access points, approximately every quarter-mile, and a total of 17 access ramps. Bike, run or walk the trail and then stop by Small Cheval for a burger afterward.


Lululemon Yoga in the Park

Recommended by Loren

Date: Sundays at 10am – start date TBD

Location: Oz Park

Parking: Reserve parking near the park here

Cost: Free!

Details: Lululemon offers a complimentary outdoor yoga class in Oz Park every Sunday! All levels welcome and mats are provided. If it rains, they move the class into the Halsted St store.


Montrose Dog Beach

Recommended by Chris

Date: The Dog Beach is open during all regular Chicago Park District hours, roughly from sun-up till 9pm. Morning hours are the most popular with dog beach users.

Location: The dog beach is located on the northwest corner of Montrose Beach (the point closest to the city). Just follow Wilson Avenue until it curves to the left at the lake. If you see the big corrugated steel walls of the old boat launch, you made it.

Cost: The dog beach is free, but DFA tags ($5) are required for all dogs.

Details: It may be a little too cold to swim in the spring, but it’s not too early for your dog to run some laps along the shore of Lake Michigan. The Montrose Dog Beach is Chicago’s first legal off-leash beach.


Root for the home team

Your Chicago Cubs at Wrigley Field

Recommended by pretty much everyone in SpotHero’s Chicago office 

Date: The Cubs home opener is April 10th – you can view the entire regular season schedule here

Location: Wrigley Field

Parking: Reserve parking near Wrigley Field here

Cost: Ticket price varies based on opponent

Details: The Chicago Cubs are baseball’s reigning World Series Champions! Need we say more? You may spend a little more this season on tickets, but it’ll be worth it!


Your Chicago White Sox at Guaranteed Rate Field

Recommended by John

Date: The White Sox home opener is April 3rd – you can view the entire regular season schedule here

Location: Guaranteed Rate Field

Cost: Ticket price varies based on opponent

Details: Nothing says spring like a day at the ballpark. When the weather is nice, grab your friends and head down to Guaranteed Rate Field to catch the White Sox in action.


Find fresh produce at a farmer’s market

Green City Market – Outdoor Market in Lincoln Park

Recommended by Mary Lee

Date: The outdoor season operates May – October, every Wednesday and Saturday, from 7am to 1pm

Location: The south end of Lincoln Park between Clark and Stockton Drive

Parking: Reserve parking nearby here

Cost: Free

Details: The Green City Market in Lincoln Park is Chicago’s largest and first year-round farmers market. It offers sustainably grown food and connects farmers and local producers with chefs and the greater Chicago community. Crowds form quickly so get there early for best selection!


Logan Square Farmers Market

Recommended by Andrea

Date: Every Sunday from May 14, 2017 through October 29, 2017, rain or shine, from 10am-3pm

Location: Logan Blvd. between Milwaukee and Whipple

Cost: Free

Details:  The Logan Square Farmers Market sprawls for several blocks with dozens of stalls offering seasonal produce, flowers, and freshly baked goods. It gets busy in the afternoon, so make sure to get there early if you’re looking for something specific. You can find more details here.


Set your sights on spring break

If you have your sights set on warmer weather, we wouldn’t hold it against you. If you’re flying out of town for spring break, just remember to reserve your airport parking spot in advance:

Parking near O’Hare Airport

Parking near Midway Airport


Happy spring, Chicago!