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Natural Awakenings Chicago

“See You at the Show!”: Top Five Reasons to Check out the Chicago Flower & Garden Show

Feb 25, 2019 09:02PM ● By Matthew Serafin

The 2019 Chicago Flower & Garden Show, the Midwest’s premier outdoor living and landscape consumer lifestyle show, will take place at Chicago’s Navy Pier from March 20 through 24. The event kicks off on March 19 with the charity benefit preview, Evening in Bloom, inside the Chicago Flower & Garden Show. Evening in Bloom will feature Hort Couture, a high-energy floral fashion show, with garments made from live plant material.

        Since its earliest days in 1847, the Chicago Flower & Garden Show has reinvented itself each year to help tens of thousands of visitors from all over the Midwest find relaxation, inspiration and motivation for enhancing their own outdoor spaces—all while cultivating the next generation of gardeners. For some families, it’s a time-honored tradition to attend the show with loved ones. It signifies the end to a frozen season and the start of growing anew.

        Whether a seasoned horticulturalist or a gardening novice, there is something for everyone at the Chicago Flower & Garden Show this year. This year’s theme is a sequel to the last: “FLOWERTALES: The Story Grows On,” and will leave attendees educated and inspired by the unique role flowers, plants and gardens play in people’s lives. Here are the top five reasons to see the show this year:

150,000-plus square feet of displaysWith 20 gardens, visitors can walk through a botanical wonderland of tulips, azaleas, water features and even dog-friendly exhibits. The Home & Garden Marketplace offers garden and landscape items plus lifestyle shopping, so attendees can peruse and find the perfect piece to recreate a moment from the show. A staggering array of interactive experiences, the show is much more than solely the display gardens and the marketplace—only a few pieces of a multifaceted show.

All ages welcomeThe Kids Activity Garden is expanding this year, with the show’s younger attendees learning how to plant flowers and grow their own herbs and vegetables, among so much more. The Racine Zoo will bring in animals for petting fun. Each day will also feature classical refreshment with Tea Time Social, a children’s pop-up café. With opportunities for nature play and engaging with live animals, families cannot miss this programming that’s free for all attending the show.

Outdoor Lifestyle Lounge and Spring Fling fun – While the kids play, parents can learn all about new ways to style their outdoor areas, whether it be a patio, porch or even just a windowsill. At the Outdoor Lifestyle Lounge, attendees can peruse vignettes picturing fun and exciting ways to arrange their spaces. Friday, March 22, will bring the Spring Fling: a night of craft beer tasting. And starting each day at 4 p.m., admission to the show drops to $10 for nightly live music; dancing is encouraged.

Garden Gourmet culinary demonstrationsLocal chefs from across Chicagoland will share their prowess with show attendees, including Franciscan nun Sister Alicia Torres, from Our Lady of Angels—known for her 2015 season of Chopped. Also featured will be MasterChef Junior alumnae Beni Cwiakala, the winner of season six, and Avani Shah, a finalist on season five of the show. Other featured guests include Nude Dude Food, known for using anti-inflammatory diets like FODMAP and AIP, and guests from notable restaurants Piccolo Sogno and the Albert.

Get Growing Education SeriesMore than 100 presentations and workshops will take place throughout the show. Attendees
can choose from a variety of offerings tailored to myriad interests: from house plant or small space design to native and pollinator courses, experts and horticulturalists alike will be on hand to help even the most neophyte gardener acquire their green thumb—or, how to turn a “black thumb” green.

On March 24, The Mike Nowak Show with Peggy Malecki will be broadcasting live from 9 to 11 a.m. on 1590 WCGO radio, streaming live from and live on Facebook at The Mike Nowak Show.

Location: Navy Pier, 600 E. Grand Ave., Chicago. Tickets are available online and at the event box office. For more information and advance ticket sales, visit

Enter to win free tickets to the Chicago Flower and Garden Show at Contents ends March 10, 2019

Matthew Serafin is the co-founder and director of outreach for Strategia Consulting, a communications firm based in Chicago, DuPage County and Washington, D.C. For more information, visit