Escape Chicago's Blizzard of 2011 at Chicago's Indoor Spring Gardens and Flower Shows.

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A Preview of Spring.
Friday, February 4, 2011. Cheaper, less hassle, and quicker than a trip to a warm climate, Chicago offers the best of both worlds delivering the re-birth of spring to a venue near you.  Take time to tip toe through the tulips and “daydream of you amid the flowers, for a couple of hours, on a beautiful day”  at any or all of Show Me Chicago’s Winter Escapes. See more spring flowers in the slide show below the show listings.

1.  Lincoln Park Conservatory’s Spring Flower Show.
Escape Chicago’s frozen, tundra-like landscape at the Spring Flower Show at the Lincoln Park Conservatory. Experience the beauty of spring with the direct descendants of the great Azaleas that once bloomed at the World’s Columbian Exposition of 1893. In addition, the 2011 Spring Show features a changing selection of spring blooming plants including Azaleas, spring flowering annuals and spring flowering perennials. Free admission,  2391 N. Stockton Dr. Now through Sunday, May 8, 2011.

2. Garfield Park Conservatory’s Spring Show.

When visiting the Garfield Park Conservatory, make sure to see Dale Chihuly’s permanent installation.

Spring blooms in the Garfield Park Conservatory with azaleas in stunning spring colors  featured during the first half of the show, and gorgeous hydrangeas the star starting in early April. Easter lilies will bloom just in time for Mother’s Day.  300 N. Central Park Ave. 312 746 5100, free admission, free parking. Now through May 8, 2011.

3. The Chicago Botanic Garden.

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On a mild winter day, you’ll want to check out the early buds and bulbs trying to break through the snow before heading indoors to the Greenhouses.

Outdoors see the evergreens, berries and colorful twigs on red-twig dogwood, the green-stemmed Japanese kerria and golden weeping willows.
Indoors, visit the Chicago Botanic Gardens three greenhouses.  Enjoy the fragrance of sweet almond verbena, Japanese pittosporum and fragrant olive. Don’t miss the cocoa tree, bananas, animal topiaries, succulents, prickly cactus and beautiful orchids.  Admission is free but parking is $20 per car for non-members and free for members.  Lake-Cook Rd. exit East from the Edens, go 3/4 of a mile to garden. Glencoe, IL.

4. Chicago Flower and Garden Show.
This year’s show features landscape design and the latest in sustainable and green products. Themed “The Sport of Gardening,” among the show’s many highlights are 30-plus gardens that will spotlight top Midwest landscapers, growers and garden designers. March 5 through March 13, 2011, Navy Pier.  Tickets:  Adults, weekdays $15, weekends $5, Children ages 4 to 12. $5.

5. Macy’s on State Street.

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The Walnut Room at Macy’s State Street store in Chicago.

Macy’s Flower Show offers a flower-filled respite from Chicago’s winter right in the heart of the Loop. The entire store will be transformed into a breathtaking flower extravaganza.

In addition, the store offers related  musical and cultural special events, floral seminars, complimentary guided tours, specialty and children’s gardens and activities.  Stroll through the lush greens and millions of flowers and trees that will be in full bloom. Free admission. Opens March 27 through April 10, 2011.

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