Brightening Up Winter

It's only January, but Spring will soon be blossoming in Chicago's Lincoln and Garfield park conservatories.

The free annual Spring Flower Shows bring a splash of warmth and color to the city's long winters.

The shows feature a changing selection of spring flowering annuals and perennials, including azaleas descended from the great azaleas that originally bloomed at the World's Columbian Exposition of 1893.

The shows run from Jan. 22 to May 8 at the Lincoln Park Conservatory, 2391 N. Stockton Drive, and Jan. 29 to May 8 at the Garfield Park Conservatory, 300 N. Central Park Ave.

"The Conservatory Flower Shows are a wonderful way to get into the spirit of Spring," said conservatory director Mary Eysenbach.

"The changing spring floral displays give visitors an opportunity to see something new and each every time they visit."

Both conservatories are open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., with extended hours to 8 p.m. Wednesdays at Garfield. Admission is free.