Spring has come to the Windy City, and it's time to make the most of the sunshine! NEMA Chicago is surrounded by gardens and parks where you can admire the blooms, fill your nostrils with seasonal scents — and top up on vitamin D while you're at it.

Grant Park

When you’re a NEMA Chicago resident, the 319 acres of Grant Park are essentially your backyard. In this sprawling green space, you can do something different every day of the week. Take photos of the perennials, bulbs, and grasses of Lurie Garden — followed by a stroll over the BP Pedestrian Bridge to Maggie Daley Park, where you can enjoy the eponymous lavender-purple flowers. Elsewhere, let your dog off the leash at Grant Bark Park, feel the invigorating Lake Michigan breeze on a waterfront wander, or pause to marvel at another Grant Park water feature: the majestic Buckingham Fountain.

Chicago Botanic Garden

Dig deeper into the world of horticulture with a visit to Chicago Botanic Garden. Now is the ideal time to explore the 27 display gardens here, with dazzling jade vines, glowing great marsh marigolds, and exotic crimson passion flowers currently in season. Here's your chance to travel while staying put in Chicago: In the span of an afternoon, see an English walled garden, be enraptured by Japanese ginkgo trees, and trek through the upland prairie of the Skokie River Corridor. You can even sign up for an art class and capture the spring landscapes in watercolor.

Harold Washington Library Winter Garden

For days when you crave the outdoors, but the weather just won't play ball, call in at the Harold Washington Library Winter Garden. Less than a 20-minute walk from your NEMA rental, this hidden gem features a light-flooded atrium with a 52-foot glass ceiling that'll keep you warm and dry. Find a table among the potted trees and sculpted hedges and lose yourself in a novel — perhaps the children's classic “The Secret Garden,” or Eleanor Perenyi's “Green Thoughts: A Writer in the Garden.”

Bring Spring Into Your Own Home

If you’re looking to relish the beauty of spring blooms in your South Loop apartment, the folks at Flowers for Dreams come highly recommended. Make your living spaces sing with the joys of the season, thanks to freshly plucked bouquets of apricot tulips, pastel ranunculus, and buttercream daffodils. Even better, NEMA Chicago is partnered with Flowers for Dreams on the NEMA Life app. Simply download for special subscriptions, and get stunning flowers delivered by hand.