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Children pose in a field of tulips at the festival

Kids pose for pictures at the Skagit Valley Tulip Festival. (All photos by Jasmin Thankachen)

Road trip! A day at the Skagit Valley Tulip Festival

Get ready for colorful blooms, beautiful flower displays and tasty treats!

It’s not too late to attend the Tulip Festival in Skagit Valley. Put some spring into your step and get ready for a spectacular color explosion! Pack your hat, sunscreen and mask and head on over for some outdoor fun, pictures and special treats. My kids and I went and we highly recommend this special day trip for a chance to see a gorgeous display of spring flowers.

Workers snip flower heads, helping the tulips bloom a little longer

Rows and rows of tulips are in bloom at the Skagit Valley Tulip Festival. But you still have time, many more rows have yet to show color.

Tickets to the tulips

There are three ways to celebrate the 2022 spring season. (Book timed tickets online for each.)

A tour of Tulip Town includes visiting 5 acres of tulips, a windmill and indoor gardens. Enjoy shopping, food, a beer garden and a trolley ride as well. Visitors pay extra for a workshop on how to pick and arrange a bouquet of tulips right from the garden.

Garden Rosalyn is a manicured tulip garden with a variety blooming every April. The garden is also host to geese and ducks who have made their home on the little man-made lake.

We chose to see the gardens at RoozenGaarde, which has more than 20 acres of daffodils and tulips set against the Cascades. RoozenGaarde also has food, a tulip market and plenty of opportunities to take beautiful pictures.

Artwork of tulips of bridges

Keep an eye out for these etchings as you get closer to the tulips.

Tulips painted on a silo

You’ll see this piece of art right before you cross over a bridge.

Getting there and parking

From the Eastside, getting to the Tulip Festival took a little over an hour. Traffic was moderate along Interstate 5 until we reached Mount Vernon. Getting into town was slower than we expected on a Wednesday afternoon. Leave yourself plenty of time for stop-and-go traffic.

If you have squirmy kids like mine, bring entertainment for the car ride, like books or music. Skagit Valley is a beautiful place with lush green farmland set against a backdrop of snow-capped mountains.

“Look, Mom! The mountains look like they have ice cream on top,” observes my younger son.

My kids put down their books to count cows, spot barns and stare out their windows yelling, “I see a tractor!” every so often. As we get closer to our destination, we also start noticing more flower-theme artwork, like tulip paintings and etchings on bridges.

Parking was very easy for us. We were directed by staff members — holding flags and wearing bright-colored vests — into a spot in a gravel-covered lot. We were surprised to see the area packed with cars.

The rules

All over the gardens and fields, signs are posted asking visitors to stay on the grass, on paths and out of the gardens. It’s hard to wrangle younger children who are curious to touch and smell the blooms. Pro tip: bring a carrier or stroller for a younger child. It will help to give a small child a break, a space to have a snack and a moment out of the sun.

Little girl pointing at tulips

The kids have fun pointing out all the different kinds of tulips and daffodils at the Tulip Festival.

The gardens

We explore the smaller gardens first, winding through the gravel path, taking photos and observing the insane variety of tulips. “Stay together” and “stay on the path” were the most popular phrases of the day as we were dodging past groups of people, crowded even for a weekday. We spotted fields and fields of white and yellow daffodils, some were just about done with their bloom, while others were bright with life.

 

Daffodils still stand tall at Roozengaarde gardens

Catch the last of the daffodils in the fields near the tulips.

The fields

There’s a lot of green space between the gardens and the fields. The kids run and walk around before we head to the dirt path that leads us to the tulip fields. The fields were muddy and wet this time around and boots were a necessity. Wear appropriate shoes and outerwear. Sunscreen is recommended and a hat or umbrella to shield the sun could be helpful, too.

The fields are large this year and it took some maneuvering to figure out where to start and end. Row after row we tip-toed past mud puddles, soft dirt, tractor marks, and large ditches.

As we walk row to row to see the rainbow of tulips, I sense boredom, so I make up a game. “Can you find the flower that doesn’t belong in the yellow row of flowers?” I ask. “Yes, yes! The red one!” the kids pipe in. Every so often, we spot another flower color that doesn’t belong and cheer.

Playing games: Spot the tulip that doesn't belong

What doesn’t belong here? We make it a game to keep the walk interesting.

Lunch

A large kiosk, located at the front of the gardens, serves hamburgers, hot dogs, chips, ice cream, drinks, coffee, baked goods and fudge. You can purchase your food and have a seat under the trees, on benches, or in the open spaces nearby.

 

No running through the tulip beds

This little one makes her way into the rows. RoozenGaarde staff watch over the fields and immediately alert us that she needs to be walked out.

Flowers and gift shop

Heading back to the entrance, we stop to purchase fresh-cut tulips in the flower market, a large covered tent near the food kiosk. You can buy four bunches at $6 each and get one bunch free. The shop also sells artwork from the festival and potted plants for home gardens. The gift shop, located by the entrance, sells tulip bulbs, local artist gifts and farm foods.

More things to do

Skagit Valley is a wonderful place to explore. You can download the Tulip Festival Map and find places to check out more tulips, other farms that host tours and farm experiences, and the local children’s museum. The Skagit Valley Food Co-op, which sells local food, artist items and flowers, has a wonderful salad bar and bakery.

We are in search of a place to have ice cream. Iconic, Snow Goose Produce is where we end up — where the scoops are large and the waffle cones are freshly-made.

My kids have large scoops of cotton candy and birthday cake flavors. We stand in the seating ares, located to the left of the shop and chow down on the yummy treats.

Beware, lines are long but worth the wait for this sticky sweet treat!

Posing with ice cream from Snow Goose Farm and Produce after the Tulip Festival

All smiles with tons of ice cream.

This year’s Tulip Festival was a treat for all our senses. We took many beautiful pictures, filled our bellies and got our wiggles out before making our way back home.

Before you go …

  • RoozenGaarde is located at 15867 Beaver Marsh Road, Mount Vernon
  • Tulip Town is located at 15002 Bradshaw Road, Mount Vernon
  • Garden Rosalyn is located at 16448 Jungquist Road, Mount Vernon
  • Purchase tickets in advance, especially for the weekend
  • Dress for the weather and bring sunscreen, an umbrella and a hat and wear boots
  • Portable toilets are available in the parking lot and at the gardens. Bring hand sanitizer
  • Download or print a map of tulip fields and other attractions around Skagit Valley

This post was written in 2021 and updated for 2022.

More on the tulips

Family guide to the Skagit Valley Tulip Festival, 2022

Tips for taking great family photos at the Skagit Valley Tulip Festival

About the Author

Jasmin Thankachen

Jasmin is the Associate Publisher at Seattle's Child and an Eastside mom of two boys. She enjoys parenting with lots of love and laughter. Co-Founder of PopUp StoryWalk, she also loves children's picture books, essay writing, and community stories.