The area surrounding the Columbian Basin in Jackson Park is home to about 160 cherry blossom trees that typically bloom each spring. The trees are located just south of the Museum of Science and Industry and in the Japanese Garden on the Wooded Island, a short walk south of the Columbian Basin. The bloom is a spectacular sight to see. The information below will help in planning a visit to Jackson Park. We hope you enjoy your time there.
Cherry Blossoms Watch 2022
We're tracking the cherry blossoms based on the following Bud Development Legend.
Current Status: Stage 6
Buds swelling but still closed.
Buds starting to open.
Buds opening, petals are visible.
Buds opening, flowers are visible.
Many flowers are opening.
Flowers are fully open.
- Planning Your Visit
Best Times to Visit
For best viewing options, we recommend visiting the Cherry Blossom Grove during times with smaller crowds, which include weekday mornings, and early afternoons.
Car - Paid metered parking is available in the Music Court lot which is southeast of the Columbian Basin. Free parking is available in the lot at Hayes & Cornell Dr. which is southwest of Wooded Island. Street parking is available along many streets around the park.
Bike - Bike racks are located in a few areas around the park. Look for the bike rack icon on the map for locations.
Getting to the Cherry Blossom TreesFrom the Music Court parking lot:
Walk north to access the cherry blossom trees located on the east side of the Columbian Basin.*
*Please note: Due to the Darrow Bridge construction, access is not available to the cherry trees located west of the Columbian Basin or to Wooded Island, from this lot.
From the Hayes & Cornell parking lot:
Walk north through Wooded Island (enjoy the beautiful walk along the way). At the end of the island, continue to walk north to access the cherry trees located on the west side of the Columbian Basin. The walk from this lot to the cherry blossom trees is about 10-15 minutes. The Darrow Bridge construction prevents access to the trees on the east side of the basin from the lot at Hayes & Cornell.
Additional Sites to See in Jackson ParkThere are a number of other delightful things to see in Jackson Park. We encourage you to explore the following sites. Consider bringing an identification book or app to assist you.
Within walking distance of the cherry trees:
- Wooded Island Natural Area
- Japanese Garden (within Wooded Island, northeast area)
- Skylanding sculpture by Yoko Ono (within Wooded Island, west of the Japanese Garden)
- Purple Martin Houses (southeast of the Columbian Basin)
- Chicago Tree Project sculpture, Transformation (NE section at 59th/Stony Island Drive)
- Perennial Garden (at Midway Plaisance and S. Cornell Dr.)
- Bobolink Meadow (east of Wooded Island and the lagoon)
- Museum of Science and Industry
- Rules & Regulations
- Pets are prohibited on Wooded Island
Dogs and all other pets should be left home. They can be very disruptive to the wildlife in the Wooded Island nature sanctuary, especially at this time with a large number of nesting birds.
- Clipping or removing blooms is prohibited.
- Clean up after visiting the park
A limited amount of garbage cans are available, so please plan to bring your garbage home with you to discard there.
- Do not walk on native plantings
Be mindful of the native vegetation plantings located directly around the perimeter of the Columbian Basin. Please do not walk on them.
- Pets are prohibited on Wooded Island
- Learn More about the Cherry Trees & Hanami
TermsHanami - The Japanese custom of celebrating spring which almost always refers to cherry or plum trees. People often stop to relax and enjoy the delicate fragrance unique to the cherry tree.
Sakura - A Japanese term used to identify the flower of a cherry tree.
Prunus – This is a genus of trees & shrubs which include cherry, plum, nectarines, and apricot. Cherry trees to identify are listed below:
- Prunus serrulata ‘Snow Goose’
- Prunus x subhirtella ‘Snow Fountains’ white, weeping
- Prunus x yedoensis ‘Yoshino’ pink fading to white. The bark is dark reddish-brown and will leaf out once flowering has finished.
- Prunus serrulata ’Accolade’(pink)cross between sargentii & subhirtella. Most treasured of the cherry trees. Opens bright pink with semi-double blossoms in drooping clusters along bare branches.
When looking at a cherry tree blossom, notice a tiny notch at the end of each petal. This is unique to cherry trees.
Learn more about the Cherry Blossoms, and their history in Jackson Park through the following recordings.
Click on the following links to learn more about these topics:
- Cherry Blossom Video & Photos
If you come out to see the cherry blossoms, share your photos on social media with this hashtag: #CHICherryBlossoms.
We hope you enjoy your visit to Jackson Park.