chicago street with colorful tulips

SpotHero Spring Picks: 12 Things to Do in Chicago This Spring

If there’s one thing Chicagoans are ready for its sunny skies, lakefront walks, and rooftop patios. Spring has sprung, and sunny days and warmer temps are just ahead. 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 13 of our favorite things to do in Chicago this spring, hand-picked by the team at SpotHero!

See spring blooms at a flower show

Spring Flower Show at Lincoln Park Conservatory

Recommended by Andrea

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

Location: Lincoln Park Conservatory

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, hydrangeas, and many more. You can find more details here.

The Botanic Garden Orchid Show

Recommended by Emily

Dates: February 12—March 22, 10am-4pm

Location Chicago Botanic Garden, 1000 Lake Cook Road, Glencoe, IL 

Parking: On-site parking is available for an $8 fee for nonmembers, or it is a 20-minute walk from the Braeside Metra stop. 

Cost: $7 members | $9 nonmembers, Children age 3-12 $5 members | $6 nonmembers, children under 2 free. General admission depends on the day of the week.

Details: This year’s orchid show celebrates wild orchids. Enjoy exploring an old secret garden where wild orchids have taken over the main greenhouse. You can learn more about the show and visit the Botanic Garden here.

Explore new food & drink options

Craft Brews at Lincoln Park Zoo

Recommended by Emily

Date: Saturday, April 30, 6-10pm

Location: Lincoln Park Zoo

Cost: $65 for early access | $55 for general admission — buy tickets here.

Details: Enjoy a selection of $100+ beers and ciders throughout the beautiful zoo gardens at this adult-only event. You can find more details here.

Maifest Chicago

Recommended by Eric P. 

Dates: Thursday-Friday, June 2-3, opening at 5pm, Saturday-Sunday, June 4-5, opening at 12pm

Location: Lincoln Square – 4700 N. Lincoln Avenue

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. Learn more here.

Get outside and get moving

Shamrock Shuffle

Recommended by Mary Lee

Date: Sunday, March 26, 2022

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

Parking: Reserve parking near the starting line here

Cost: $35

Details: The Shamrock Shuffle kicks off Chicago’s spring running season with an 8K course that weaves through Downtown Chicago. Not up for running? The 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.

Walk, Bike, or Run the 606

Recommended by John

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

Location: Bloomingdale Trail. 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.

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 Chicago Park District’s 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 Thursday, April 7 at 1:20 CST. You can view the entire regular season schedule here.

Location: Wrigley Field

Cost: Ticket price varies based on opponent

Details: The Chicago Cubs home opener kicks off against the Milwaukee Brewers on April 7, 2022.

Your Chicago White Sox at Guaranteed Rate Field

Recommended by John

Date: The White Sox home opener is Tuesday, April 12th at 3:10 CST. 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 rain or shine May—October, every Wednesday and Saturday, from 7am-1pm

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

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 the best selection!

Logan Square Farmers Market

Recommended by Andrea

Date: Every Sunday, rain or shine, from 10am-3pm

Location: Logan Blvd between Milwaukee Ave/ and Whipple St/ (May-October),  2537 N Pulaski (November-April)

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!