According to the calendar, spring has arrived.  But Chicagoans know all too well that winter fades slowly around here.  Hopefully this weekend’s spring activities will help us shed our winter blues!

Welcoming spring after a long, cold Chicago winter, the Chicago Flower & Garden Show returns Saturday and Sunday to Navy Pier (600 E. Grand Ave.) in the Streeterville neighborhood.  This year’s theme, “Flowertales:  The Story Grows On” focuses on the unique role that flora plays in literature.  The show features life-sized gardens, dozens of vendors, how-to workshops, and instructional seminars.  There’s even a kids’ activity garden where kids can play and interact with garden projects, potting parties, crafts, and more!  It’s the premier outdoor living and landscape consumer lifestyle show in the Midwest that inspires, educates, and motivates!!

Focused on the fast-growing Good Food movement, the Good Food Festival is this Saturday (10:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m.) at the UIC Forum (725 W. Roosevelt Rd.) in the University Village neighborhood.  This show features an outstanding collection of expert speakers, celebrity chefs, farmers, entrepreneurs, DIY enthusiasts, workshops, a Purple Asparagus Kids’ Corner, a scavenger hunt, a Good Food Court, and much more!  This event plays a key role in growing the vibrant Good Food community in Chicago and throughout the Midwest!!

The largest pop culture convention in the Midwest for fans of comics, graphic novels, anime, manga, video games, toys, and movies returns Saturday and Sunday to McCormick Place (2301 S. Lake Shore Dr.) in the South Loop with the Chicago Comic and Event Expo (C2E2).  Once again, C2E2 is bringing a superb list of talent including a reunion of the 1995 classic film Clueless, featuring Alicia Silverstone, Donald Faison, Paul Rudd, and Breckin Meyer.  This year, C2E2 teams up with Experimental Gamer to bring fans two different escape room experiences – the Cursed High School or the Starship Astraeus – chock full of puzzles to solve!

Celebrate your tattoos or plan out a few new ones at the 10th annual Chicago Tattoo Arts Convention this Saturday (11:00 a.m.-12:00 a.m.) and Sunday (11:00 a.m.-8:00 p.m.) at the Donald E. Stephens Convention Center (5555 N. River Rd.) in Rosemont.  There will be an array of vendors, a variety of entertainment, a tattoo contest, and much more!  You’ll can even make an appointment with a tattoo artist (including talent featured on Ink Masters)!!

Kick off your spring running season at the Bank of America Shamrock Shuffle this Sunday (8:30 a.m.) at Grant Park (337 E. Randolph St.) in The Loop.  This is one of Chicago’s best running events, with a one-of-a-kind course that weaves its way through Chicago’s Loop.  Shufflers will receive a Nike race shirt, a festive winter hat, and an official finisher’s medal.  A post-race party will be held at Buckingham Fountain immediately following the race featuring “Stache!” playing live from 9:30 a.m.-1:00 p.m.  The celebration will then continue at The Scout Waterhouse & Kitchen (1301 S. Wabash Ave.) for those shufflers who can’t get enough!!

It’s Time to Shed Winter Once and For All!