The area surrounding the Columbian Basin in Jackson Park is home to about 190 pink and white cherry blossom trees that typically bloom each spring.  The trees are located just south of the Museum of Science and Industry (MSI) 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 peak bloom period typically happens in late April, early May, and lasts anywhere from 6 to 14 days, depending on the weather.  The Japanese word “Hanami” translated directly, means “flower viewing” and in reference to the cherry trees, this means cherry blossom viewing. In fact, the entire season of the bloom time is referred to as Hanami, and families come out to celebrate and enjoy company among the blossoms. The information below will help in planning a visit to Jackson Park.  We hope you enjoy your time there. 

CURRENT STATUS (updated April 18, 2024):

Due to the erratic spring fluctuation in weather and temperature, many of the Cherry Blossom Tree buds will not appear to bloom this year. Some sporadically opened fully during the 70+ degree days in late March/early April, but sadly those have been subject to the strong winds, snow and rainy weather that followed, and the petals have since fallen off. Most of the trees went from the bud phase 2, and nearly opening to leafing-out in one step, without blossoming. Be sure to plan your return to see the cherry blossoms again next year, with 20 more trees to be planted by then, and 20 more to come in both 2025 and 2026 (learn more about this in the history section below). Every year is a different show, and every year is beautiful.

There's still much to see in Jackson Park. Spring is here now in full swing, and the park is bursting to life with green leaves sweeping through the nearby tree canopies., the Japanese Garden is always a sight to see, and the Moon Bridge restoration is about to be completed. In November 2023, the Park District entered into a professional service agreement with a specialty contractor trained in Japanese woodworking and bridge building. The bridge is currently being installed and will be ready for public use by Monday, April 22. Come see the natural beauty of Jackson Park.

Bud Development Legend

Stage 1:  
Buds swelling but still closed.


Stage 2: 
Buds starting to open.


Stage 3:
Buds opening, petals are visible.


Stage 4: 
Buds opening, flowers are visible.
Stage 5: 
Many flowers are opening.


Stage 6:   
Flowers are fully open. 

Chicago’s cold and wet spring weather keeps the buds tight and closed to protect the trees’ petals until there is a stretch of warm weather. Once the trees’ blooms are fully opened, the sequence of the blooms is staggered, between beautiful pink and white petals, for over a two-week period.


Planning Your Visit


The cherry trees are located along the Columbia Basin in Jackson Park, near 6401 S. Stony Island Ave., east side of Cornell Ave., located just south of the Museum of Science and Industry.

Due to the Darrow Bridge construction, patrons can access the cherry trees located west of the Columbian Basin and on the Wooded Island by walking along the ‘Lagoon Path’ around the Columbia Basin to the west side of the basin and onto the Wooded Island. View the map below.


Park Hours 

Jackson Park is open from 6 am to 9 pm.  The Wooded Island, which includes The Japanese Garden, is open from dawn until dusk. 

For the best viewing options, plan to visit 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 located southeast of the Columbian Basin off of Science Drive. Paid parking is also available in the underground parking lot at the Museum of Science and Industry, accessed off of Cornell at 57th St.  Note:  Due to ongoing CDOT construction, access to the parking lots at Hayes Drive and Cornell Ave. is limited. Free street parking is available along many streets around the park, including Stony Island Drive and near Midway Plaisance Park, located at 1130 Midway Plaisance. 

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 Trees

From the Music Court parking lot:
Please note: The Darrow Bridge is closed for construction, so direct bridge access is not available. Please walk the ‘Lagoon Path’ around the Columbia Basin from the Music Court across the north basin plaza to the West side of the basin and further, onto the Wooded Island.  


Additional Sites to See in Jackson Park

There 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: Within a short bike or car ride from the cherry trees:
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 blooming flowers and plants 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. Please enjoy the beauty of the carefully-maintained Japanese Garden and only walk on the ‘stroll path’ through the garden. 

In partnership with cultural partners, including the Japanese Arts Foundation, the Japanese Culture Center, the Consulate General of Japan in Chicago and the Jackson Park Advisory Council, the Park District will host a variety of events inspired in the Japanese culture.

  • Friday, May 5, 2024, from 10 am – 2 pm
    Children's Day (Kodomo no hi) - learn more
  • Tuesday, August 6, 2024, from 7 pm - 11 pm
    Toro Nagashi Lantern Ceremony - more info to come
  • Tuesday, September 17, 2024, from 8 pm - 11 pm
    Tsukimi Chicago: Moon Viewing Festival - more info to come
History of the Cherry Blossom Tree Grove

In 2013, the first batch of trees were completely installed in time to commemorate the 120th Anniversary of the 1893 World's Columbian Exposition, and another 50 trees were added in the three years to follow by the Japanese Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Chicago in honor of their 50th Anniversary and the relationship between Chicago and Japan.

In the fall of 2022, the Park District planted an additional 34 cherry blossom trees bordering the Museum of Science and Industry steps to bring the total to 190. It may take a season or two for these trees to get acclimated to the space and to start blooming.

In celebration of the 60th anniversary of the Japanese Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Chicago (JCCC) in 2026, the organization will help fund the planting of 20 trees in 2024, 2025, and 2026, for a total of 60 additional Cherry Blossom trees at the grove.

Learn More about the Cherry Trees & Hanami



Hanami - The Japanese custom of celebrating spring blossom viewing, which almost always refers to cherry or plum trees.  People intentionally visit to relax and enjoy the delicate fragrance unique to the cherry tree and celebrate the wonder of this annual and relatively short bloom season.

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.


Audio Recordings

Learn more about the Cherry Blossoms, and their history in Jackson Park through the following recordings.



Additional Information

Click on the following links to learn more about these topics:

Cherry Blossom Video & Photos

2020 VIDEO 

2020 PHOTOS 

5/13/20 Jackson Park Cherry Blossoms 1


5/13/20 Jackson Park Cherry Blossoms 2


5/13/20 Jackson Park Cherry Blossoms 3

5/13/20 Jackson Park Cherry Blossoms 4



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.


Cherry Blossoms Product Collection on