Here’s a great idea for a springtime family excursion: Go see the flowers at the Skagit Valley Tulip Festival!
Like many things this year, this popular event is a little different, primarily in that you need to reserve timed tickets in advance.
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. Visitors will be asked to stay in their cars until their ticket time, and to limit their visit to two hours at each spot.
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-Apri is probably safest. Weekdays are generally less crowded although, with limited and timed tickets, crowds should not be as much of an issue this year.
At Tulip Town, tickets will be available for April 1-30; general admission includes parking, entry and a trolley ride (weather permitting). Prices are $10 for 12 and up; $5 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.
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.