October 20, 2016

10 Tulip Gardens & Festivals to Visit with Kids

tulips-verticalI love tulips. I really, really wanted to go to the Netherlands this year to see the tulips, but given my recent career switch into travel PR, it just wasn’t in the cards. Fortunately, I found the next best thing about 25 minutes from my house: Burnside Farms.

While not the Keukenhof, there were rows and rows of tulips of all colors at the Festival of Spring at Burnside Farms. Known as “Holland in Haymarket,” I took my kids on Friday and they absolutely loved trying on wooden shoes and picking tulips to display at home. You can’t do that at the Keukenhof. You can look, but you can’t touch, or at least, you can’t pick and take home.

Peak bloom time is different every year. At Burnside Farms, the tulips are peaking now. There were several rows of tulips that were just getting ready to peak, so you’ll still see plenty of beautiful tulips if you pay a visit in the next couple of weeks.

If you’re eager to get out to a tulip festival or garden, you still have time. In addition to Holland in Haymarket at Burnside Farms in Haymarket, VA, here are nine more beautiful tulip gardens and festivals. 

Tulip Time Festival (Pella, IA)
In less than two weeks, Iowa will kick off the three-day Tulip Time Festival complete with Dutch outfits, parades, craft markets, even a performance by the Dutch Family Singers. For all intents and purposes, the town of Pella becomes Holland to visitors and locals alike. The festival takes place May 7-9.


Albany Tulip Festival (Albany, NY)
Over Mother’s Day weekend (May 9-10), take the kids to the Albany Tulip Festival to see more than 100,000 tulips in bloom as well as musical performances, the coronation of a Tulip Queen and plenty of concerts and activities just for kids. More than 150 varieties of tulips will be on display.

Wooden Shoe Tulip Fest (Woodburn, OR)
There’s still time to see the tulips at the Wooden Shoe Tulip Farm in Oregon. Their annual festival runs from March 20 through May 3 this year, and according to their website, 35% of the tulips are still in bloom. My friends at Voyage Vixens were there last week and the tulips looked fantastic.

picking tulips

Veldheer Tulip Gardens (Holland, MI)
The annual Tulip Time Festival at Veldheer Tulip Gardens in Holland will take place May 2-9, but note that the tulips are expected to peak around May 8-9. Look for parades, dance troupes, children’s events, trolley tours and plenty of Dutch attractions and cultural performances.

Organic Tulip Festival (Riverhead, NY)
The Organic Tulip Festival (also known as TulipMania) takes place in May. Festivities kick off with Baby Animal Weekend (May 2-3) and the 5th Annual Tulip Festival will take place May 16-17. Purchase a day pass or a season pass and pick all the tulips you want for $1 per stem.


Thanksgiving Point Gardens (Lehi, UT)
Just outside Salt Lake City, you’ll find more than 250,000 tulips in bloom across 55 acres at the annual tulip festival at Thanksgiving Point Gardens, which runs through May 9. Look for daily garden tours, as well as plenty of music, food and dance performances.

Orange City Tulip Festival (Orange City, IA)
In mid-May (May 14-16), you’ll find plenty of tulips, dancers, foods and carnival rides at the Orange City Tulip Festival in Iowa. The festival kicks off with a 5K race and concludes with a fireworks show three days later. In between, look for horse-drawn trolley tours, puppet shows, even a parade.

Beyond the festivals above, there are plenty more that have already come and gone, like the Skagit Valley Tulip Festival in Washington and the Lewes Tulip Festival in Delaware (though there are a few more days to enjoy peak blooms in Lewes). Get out there and enjoy the tulips.

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