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What to Do in Chicago in the Spring

A guide of what to in Chicago in the Spring including the best seasonal activities and special events.

A guide of what to in Chicago in the Spring including the best seasonal activities and special events.

Spring in Chicago can be very gray, cold, and wet. It can snow in April. In 2022, Chicago had one sunny day during a span of 42 days. Usually, things start to warm up in May. You might want to think twice about visiting the city before then.

If you are looking for indoor activities – our list of things to do in the winter is filled with ideas.

Last updated: May 2022

What to Do in Chicago in the Spring:

Seasonal Events and Activities

See the Cherry Blossoms in Jackson Park

The Japanese Garden within Jackson Park was gifted to the city after the World’s Exhibition. Around mid-April, the cherry blossoms are in full bloom.

See the Tulips

In late April and early May, tens of thousands of tulips bloom along the Michigan Avenue median between Oaks Street and Roosevelt Road.

Art on the Mart

This art experience involving art being projected onto the massive Merchandise Mart building returns in April and runs through the summer. The art is projected onto the side of the building facing the Chicago River, and the Riverwalk has one of the best views.

Garfield Park Conservatory Spring Flower Show

This flower show runs for about six weeks from the end of February through the start of May.

Lincoln Park Conservatory Spring Flower Show

This flower show follows the same dates as the Garfield Park Conservatory Spring Flower Show and runs from the end of February until early May. Each year the show presents a new theme.

Chicago Botanic Garden Orchid Show

An annual event that takes place from the end of winter through the start of spring. The 2022 show featured over 10,000 orchid blooms.

Special Events

Dyeing the Chicago River Green

The Chicago River gets dyed a vibrant shade of green for St. Patrick’s Day. The event takes place at 8 am the Saturday before St. Patrick’s Day (or on St. Patrick’s Day if it falls on a Saturday). The river is dyed between Columbus and Wacker Drive, and the color lasts a few days.

Shamrock’n the Block

Old St. Pat’s announced that they will no longer host the World’s Largest Block Party and they are hosting a St. Patrick’s themed event instead. The block party with a pop-up pub will coincide with the Chicago St. Patrick’s Day Parade and will feature live music.

Chicago St. Patrick’s Day Parade

The parade coincides with the Chicago River dyeing. The parade features dancing and music and follows a route through Grant Park along Columbus Drive from Balbo Drive to Monroe Street.

EXPO Chicago

A large contemporary art fair that takes place at Navy Pier. The three-day event features 135 exhibitors. It will be taking place from April 7-10 in 2022.

One Of a Kind Show and Sale

This event brings together more than 300 artists, makers, and designers. In addition to shopping, the event has workshops, live music, food, and drinks.

Chicago Cubs Opening Day

The Cub’s home opener is always a welcome sign of spring. The game usually takes place in early April… and it tends to be a bit chilly.

Chicago White Sox Opening Day

The White Sox also celebrate their home opener in early April.

Chicago Fire Opening Day

Chicago’s men’s soccer team plays at Soldier Field and their season kicks off in March.


A Lincoln Park street fest that kicks off Chicago’s summer festival season. The event will take place May 20-22, 2022.

Renegade Craft Fair

A massive market bringing together artisans, craftspeople, and other local makers. The spring event takes place on Clark Street in Andersonville on May 21-22, 2022.


Maifest is a German American festival that celebrates the arrival of spring. The 2022 event will be held from June 2-5 and will feature food, dancing, and live music.

Mole de Mayo

Taking place May 27-29, 2022 at 18th Street and Ashland Avenue in Pilsen, Mole de Mayo combines live music, dancing, art, lucha libre wrestling, and an outdoor mole cook-off. During the event, local restaurants and chefs compete to win the titles of “Best Mole” and “People’s Choice.”

Cinco de Mayo Pilsen Cantina Crawl

A 21+ event on Saturday, May 7, 2022, where attendees get to taste mezcal cocktails and enjoy live music at bars and restaurants on 18th Street.

Ravenswood Wine Stroll

The Lincoln Square Ravenswood Chamber of Commerce hosts a wine stroll each spring. During this event, attendees get to taste wine at neighborhood shops. It is a popular event that tends to sell out – so purchase tickets in advance.

Old Town Art Fair and the Wells Street Art Festival

It is easy to get these two festivals confused or to think that they are the same event since they take place at the same time on nearby streets in Old Town. The Art Fair is focused on art and the Art Festival is a street festival with bands and more food and drink options. In 2022, the events will take place June 11-12.