Seattle's Child

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Tulip Festival

Adorable photo ops are everywhere at the Skagit Valley Tulip Festival! (Stacey Donion photo)

Family guide to the Skagit Valley Tulip Festival, 2023

Pack up the kids and the camera for a fun, colorful spring excursion all during April.

Note about tulips blooming: Tulip festival organizers do their best to keep visitors informed about when the tulips bloom. For 2023 they have already started to bloom and may fully bloom closer to mid-April.

Here’s a great idea for a springtime family excursion: Go see the flowers at the Skagit Valley Tulip Festival!

This very popular springtime tradition runs the entire month of April, although there is no guarantee of when the flowers will be blooming.

Two of the main gardens have begun advance ticket sales, if you want to commit to a date and time. (Know that advance tickets are nonrefundable.) However, the gardens also say they will offer day-of, on-site ticket sales this year, as space is available.

There are three main destinations: Tulip Town, RoozenGaarde and Garden Rosalyn.

Festival organizers suggest planning to visit one garden in the morning and the other in the afternoon. The roads may be congested on days that draw big crowds. The Tulip Festival reports that Saturdays are generally the busiest, followed by Sunday, Friday and Monday (in that order). And the wild card: any day that it’s sunny! (Rainy days = smaller crowds.)

There are other things to do while in the area, too, and the Tulip Festival website suggests restaurants and other activities.

Allow around 90 minutes to get to the Skagit Valley from the Seattle area. If you have a full day (or more than a day!), you could even make a side trip to Deception Pass State Park and come home via Whidbey Island and the ferry to Mukilteo.

Tulip Festival organizers emphasize that they cannot guarantee when the tulips will bloom (and of course, they don’t control the weather!) When planning ahead, aiming for mid-April is probably safest.

Photo courtesy of Tulip Town

At Tulip Town, tickets will be available for April 1-30; general admission includes parking, entry and a trolley ride (weather permitting). Prices are $15 for ages 12 and up; $7 for kids 6-11; free for kids 5 and under. There’s a boutique and nursery for shopping. Tulip Town also has other admission options at higher prices. Tulip Town is warning people that heavy rain and fall/winter flooding mean the tulip bloom this year will not be the spectacular show they had hoped for. However, they still promise “an idyllic day on the farm for the whole family” with trolley rides, a cafe, indoor displays and a retail boutique.

RoozenGaarde charges $15 for everyone over 2 to see its 5-acre garden, 25-acre tulip field and 20-acre daffodil field. It also has a gift shop and tulip market.

This story was originally published on March 17, 2021. Updated for 2023.

More on the Tulip Festival:

Pro tips for your family trip to the Tulip Festival

Smile! Tips for taking great photos at the Tulip Festival

Road trip! Parent review of a family Tulip Fest excursion


About the Author

Julie Hanson

Julie Hanson is a longtime journalist, South King County resident and mom to a 15-year-old girl.