Holland Tulip Festival 2023: Insider’s Best Tulip Time Tips

2023 Holland Tulip Festival Details

Tulip Time, the Holland Tulip Festival in Michigan, runs May 6 -14, 2023

Tulip Time, the annual tulip festival in Holland, MI, is the unofficial start to the Michigan festival season for many mitten-state residents.

It’s a wonderful way to celebrate spring and the Dutch heritage that has shaped Holland, MI over the years.

taking photos at the holland tulip festival

Named the best tulip festival in America, Holland’s Tulip Time boasts 5 million tulips blooming each year.


Best Things to Do at the Holland Tulip Festival in Michigan

In addition to the incredible flower riots of color bathing the region, Holland puts on lots of fun activities for visitors, including a carnival, parades, arts, food, and concerts.

Here are the things you must do at the Holland Tulip Festival:

map of Tulip Time attractions

1 – See Fields of Tulips

Why it’s one of the best things to do at the Michigan Holland Tulip Time:

Don’t just set your GPS for downtown Holland during Tulip Time – that’s not where the tulip displays are located!

(Downtown does feature 37,000 beautiful tulips, primarily in planters and planting beds near the restaurants and shops.)

These are the places with endless tulips fields full of astonishing color:

Window on the Waterfront Park

It’s free to wander among the 94,000 tulips at Window on the Waterfront Park (110 Columbia Avenue, Holland, MI 49423.)

This lovely 30-acre park borders the Macatawa River and features walking paths through fields of tulips, scenic overlooks, and photo stands. tulip-photo-window-on-the-waterfront

It’s also just a short walk from the Downtown streets and has a fabulous nature playground for kids. Don’t skip this one!

Centennial Park – Free

Centennial Park is another destination that doesn’t charge admission. (239 River Avenue, Holland, MI 49423)

The Dutch water fountain, park pathways, and gazebo in Centennial Park are flanked by 43,000 tulips each spring. It’s sight to see.

centennial park holland mi tulip time

Drive the Tulip Lanes

Driving the Tulip Lanes is free, too. Start at 239 River Avenue, Holland, MI 49423.

Tulip Lanes Holland Tulip Festival in Michigan 2022

Mile after mile of streets planted with over 250,000 tulips come to life on the flower drive-through during the Holland tulip festival.

tulip lanes
Map of Tulip Lanes in Holland Michigan

Be sure to visit Washington Ave. and 12th St. Boulevards for the most spectacular displays. Tulip Lanes Map

Tulip Lanes Holland Tulip Festival in Michigan 2022 (1)

Nelis’ Dutch Village

Nelis’ Dutch Village is home to 30,000+ tulips and requires an admission fee for access. (12350 James St, Holland, MI 49423)

Once inside, you’ll notice tulips blazing brightly throughout this 1800s Dutch village recreation. Part amusement park, Nelis’ Dutch Village is a great place for family fun and a stateside trip to the Netherlands. Nelis Dutch VIllage

2023 Tickets – $17. Save $2 when buying online. Free admission for children 2 and under.

Veldheers Tulip Farm & DeKlomp Wooden Shoe Factory

Veldheers Tulip Farm & DeKlomp Wooden Shoe Factory is bursting with tulips. Located at 12775 Quincy St, Holland, MI 49423 the business plants 6,000,000+ tulips of 850 varieties and is one of the largest Tulip Garden in North America!

Veldheers Tulip Garden Holland MI

With by far the most tulips in the Holland, MI area, this is the place to go if you want to see fields upon fields of colorful tulips in bloom.

You can also visit the wooden shoe factory while you’re here.

2023 Tickets – Adults: $15; Kids 3-13: $8

Windmill Island Gardens

Another paid attraction, Windmill Island Gardens is a magnet for anyone looking to see tulip fields. (1 Lincoln Ave, Holland, MI 49423)

Holland Tulip Festival in Michigan at Windmill Island Gardens
Windmill Island Gardens during Tulip Time

With over 125,000 tulips planted, people flock to Windmill Island Gardens to see fields of tulips set against the backdrop of an authentic Dutch windmill.

Multiple gardens, a canal, and other features make you feel like you’re in the Netherlands.
2023 Tickets – Adults: $12; Kids 3-15: $6.

2 – Join a Tulip Walking Tour or Photo Walk

Why it’s one of the best things to do at the Michigan Holland Tulip Time:

Your guide mingles the amazing tulip vistas with a little history of Holland and its Dutch heritage – that’s what you can expect on the Tulip Time Walking Tours.
Fee: $40. 1.5 hours. Two miles of walking.

Upgrade to a VIP Guided Walking Tour, and you’ll be escorted on your journey by a costumed guide. Along the way, hear about Holland’s history, see points of interest, and enjoy a private reception including gourmet hors d’ oeuvres, wine, and authentic Dutch desserts. Ages 21+. Both Window on the Waterfront and Centennial Park feature masses of tulip plantings.
Fee: $85. 2 hours. Two miles of walking.

Or, if you’re into photography, sign up for a morning or evening Tulip Time Photo Walk session. Your guides are two local photographers that will not only escort you to the best places for tulip pics, they’ll also share photography tips as you go.
Fee: $40. 2 hours. Bring Your Own Equipment.

3 – Get Tickets to the Tulip Immersion Garden

Why it’s one of the best things to do at the Michigan Holland Tulip Time:

Beechwood Church – 895 Ottawa Beach Rd, Holland, MI 49424

65,000 tulips of all varieties and colors come together under a famous Dutch horticulturist, Ibo Gülsen, to create the vibrant walk-through display known as the Tulip Immersion Garden.

Tulip Immersion Garden Holland Tulip Festival in Michigan 2022 (2)

As you meander, you’ll notice that the tulips are in raised beds to that you are at eye level with the flowers. It’s a whole new way to experience tulips.

There are three distinct parts to the exhibit, each representing a different part of the tulip’s journey through time.
Tulip Immersion Garden Holland Tulip Festival in Michigan 2022 (2)

Your ticket gets you a 2-hour time slot, long enough to capture the perfect photos. The Tulip Immersion Garden is stationed at the Beechwood Church campus to allow space for the large installation as well as provide ample parking.

Tickets: $15 per person; $5 for children 3-12 yrs; children 2 and under are FREE. FREE parking.

Tulip Immersion Garden Holland Tulip Festival in Michigan 2022 (2)

4 – Watch a Tulip Time Parade

Why it’s one of the best things to do at the Michigan Holland Tulip Time:

Downton Holland, MI 49423

The Tulip Time tulip festival features two different parades. The parades vary in length and time of day. Here’s how they compare:

Volksparade (People’s Parade)
Saturday, May 13, 2023 · 2 – 4 pm

Marching bands from West Michigan middle and high schools showcase their talents amid the community floats through downtown Holland.  The whole parade including Princess Lida and her friends lasts about 1-2 hours.


Kinderparade (Children’s Parade)
Thursday, May 11, 2023 · 1:30 – 4 pm (Rain Date: May 12)

Make way for the littlest parade walkers by bringing your own brooms and buckets to participate in Street Scrubbing at 1:30 p.m. at the corner of 8th Street and Columbia Avenue. Organizers ask that participants show up at 1:15 p.m. to line up in the pocket park on the northeast corner.

This parade features local elementary school children, teachers, and administrators dressed in Dutch costumes. Each grade has its own theme relating to Holland’s Dutch heritage.

5 – Admire Dutch Dancing

Why it’s one of the best things to do at the Michigan Holland Tulip Time:

Downtown Holland, MI 49423

Imagine wearing shoes made of nothing but wood. Imagine dancing for hours on end in these shoes.

That’s what Dutch dancers do, and they do it with a smile while wearing only authentic Dutch heritage costumes.

Fun facts: The traditional dance costumes are handcrafted by local seamstresses. Dancers wear multiple pairs of socks in their wooden shoes. Local school children practice Dutch Dance at school and sometimes get out of school to participate in Tulip Time events like Dutch Dancing.

You can see Dutch dancing performances throughout the Holland tulip festival.
Dances are 5-15 minutes long and are either performed by adult or child (kinder) groups.

Most Tulip Time Dutch Dance Performances are held at Centennial Park.
· Tulip Time Dutch Dancing times & locations
· Tulip Time Kinder/Middel Dutch Dance time & locations

You might also find Klompen dancers performing at Windmill Island or Nelis’ Dutch Village.

6 – Don’t Miss the Carnival

Why it’s one of the best things to do at the Michigan Holland Tulip Time:

Downtown Holland, MI 49423

A Tulip Time mainstay, the Carnival is one of the tulip festival draws that brings visitors downtown again and again and it is just what you probably expect: rides, food and carnival attractions.

Held in the Civic Center Lot, the carnival opens Friday, May 5 at 5 pm.

The last day of the carnival is Sunday, May 14.
The carnival is open till at least 10 pm on most days it’s in town.

Wristbands are available for advance purchase online ($30 per ride session wristband) or at the Midway entrance. 

Tulip Time festival Skerbeck Entertainment Group, Inc

7 – Windmill Island Gardens

1 Lincoln Ave, Holland, MI 49423

Why It’s One of the Best Things to Do at the Michigan Holland Tulip Festival:

See an Authentic Netherlands Windmill – And a Ton of Tulips!
An authentic, 250-year-old working Dutch windmill (that you can climb inside) is the centerpiece of Windmill Island Gardens‘ 36 acres of gardens.

You’ll also find replicas of historical buildings found in the Netherlands filled with costumed guides, making this another favorite destination for Tulip Time visitors.

Kids will want to visit the children’s garden and playground and take a ride on the Dutch carousel.

Admission to Windmill Island is $6 for kids 3-15 years old and $12 for adults.
Windmill Island Gardens welcomes Meijer Gardens members (and other members of the American Horticultural Society), for free. 

Windmill Island Gardens in Holland Michigan
Windmill Island Gardens in Holland Michigan

8 – Visit Nelis Dutch Village

Downtown Holland, MI 49423

Why It’s One of the Best Things to Do at the Michigan Holland Tulip Festival:

Don’t miss a visit to Nelis’ Dutch Village, where you can immerse yourself in Dutch village life, enjoy a Ferris wheel and other rides, a petting zoo and buy some wooden shoes! Dutch Village boy on swing

With over 25,000 tulips, they are a great place to take pictures. Admission starts at $17.

9 – Visit Veldheers Tulip Farm & DeKlomp Wooden Shoe Factory

Veldheers Tulip Farm & DeKlomp Wooden Shoe Factory

12755 Quincy St, Holland, MI 49424

Why It’s One of the Best Things to Do at the Michigan Holland Tulip Festival:

In addition to the millions of tulips growing on this 40-acre farm, visitors are also invited to see the buffalo on the farm.
Tickets – Adults: $15; Kids 3-13: $8

You can also stop into the onsite De Klomp Wooden Shoe & Delftware Factory – there’s no admission fee to visit this part of the attraction. Buy wooden shoes, admire the delft pottery and see if painted, purchase daffodil and tulip bulbs and more.

10 – Tour the Tall Ship

Boatwerks East Dock – 216 Van Raalte Avenue, Holland, MI 49423

Why It’s One of the Best Things to Do at the Michigan Holland Tulip Festival:

Maritime life is an integral part of Dutch history.
Visitors can book dockside tours of a historic ship, and even private charters.

11 – Play at the New Naturescape Playground

Naturescape Playground

Window on the Waterfront Park, 85 E 6th Street, Holland, MI 49423

New in the fall of 2021, the Sally Smoly Nature Playscape is a gift to any kid passing through Holland, MI. It’s just a short walk from downtown and is located in Window on the Waterfront Park (noted as one of the great free places to see tulips!)

This playscape is nature play for all and is family-friendly.
Play features include climbing walls, tunnels, logs, boulders, slides, nets, and sandboxes. nature-playground-window-on-the-waterfront-park-2

There are two sections; one is fenced in. This park is free and is open during daylight hours.


12 – Shop the Artisan Market & Tulip Time Quilt Show

Ottawa County Fairgrounds 1286 Ottawa Beach Rd, Holland, MI 49424
May 6 & 7, 2023

Why It’s One of the Best Things to Do at the Michigan Holland Tulip Festival:

Featuring over 200 juried artisans, the Artisan Market is the place to shop incredible handcrafted items. It happens on the Ottawa County Fairgrounds, with lots of space to park and shop.

Add in food trucks and pop-up Dutch dance performances, and it’s one of the most popular places the first weekend of the tulip festival.

The Tulip Time Quilt Show is happening inside Beechwood Church and is an example of exquisite creativity by local quilt artists. Be inspired, and vote for your favorite. Cost – $8.

13 – Eat at a Great Holland Restaurant

Downtown Holland, MI 49423

Why It’s One of the Best Things to Do at the Michigan Holland Tulip Festival:

Every great event is punctuated by great food, right? Find a lot of amazing restaurants in Holland, most notably breweries and top notch Mexican food.

Tapas at Poquito in Holland

14 – Discover the rest of Holland Michigan

Downtown Holland, MI 49423

Why It’s One of the Best Things to Do at the Michigan Holland Tulip Festival:

Given this world-renowned festival, it would be easy to think of Holland simply as tulip town. But there are so many more things to do in Holland!
Downtown Holland, MI: Photo courtesy of Ruth Dailey

It’s one of the biggest towns near majestic Lake Michigan and full of sandy beaches, parks (including a Wizard of Oz park!) and even a mini Dutch village.

Tips for Visiting Tulip Time in Holland

Call it a personal field trip and pull the kids out of school for the day!

Many Holland Tulip Festival events happen during the week, such as the Children’s Parade. As a result, some parents take their kids out of school and visit Tulip Time on a weekday because crowd size is smaller during the week.

1 – Save Your Seats for the Parades

Put out a blanket or chairs to save your spots, but be sure to follow the city ordinance – items cannot be set up earlier than 6 AM on any parade day. Additionally, items may only be placed between the street and sidewalk and all items must be removed no later than 1 hour after each parade. Tulip Time bleacher seats Holland MI
Tulip Time Grandstand Seating

Or, purchase premium parade seat tickets for Civic Center Marketside parade viewing or seating in the Grandstand. $18 per person

2 – Parking and Getting Around

Don’t stay home just because Holland is busy during Tulip Time.

Rather, come prepared for walking and use a few of these strategies to make getting around a little more palatable:
– Plan to walk and walk a lot. Comfortable shoes are a must.
– Park at the first spot you find. Don’t wait to find a better spot- it probably doesn’t exist. Parking Map.

– Tag Team It. Have one adult drop off the rest of the family close to the action and use cell phones to meet up. This saves little legs and can extend your time at the festival.

3 – Where to Find Restrooms and Baby Changing Stations

You’ll need a restroom at some or multiple times during your Tulip Time trip.
Porta-potties are placed throughout the downtown area but if you’re looking for a place to change your baby or a modern restroom here are two great places:
Visitors Bureau: located at 9th St and Central Ave – 78 E 8th St, Holland, MI 49423
Civic Center: private nursing rooms, changing tables and family restrooms can all be found here. 150 W 8th St, Holland, MI 49423
Kollen Park: 240 Kollen Park Boulevard, Holland, MI 49423
Centennial Park: 250 Central Ave, Holland, MI 49423

4 – What to Bring to Tulip Time with Kids

Since Tulip Time is in the spring when Michigan weather changes on a dime, it’s a good idea to be prepared for anything.

Recommended gear for visiting Tulip Time with kids:
– Towels/blankets to set alongside curb for parade seating.
– Folding chairs can work well if you get there early enough.
– If it’s sunny, bring sunscreen and water bottles.
– A stroller is a good idea because there’s a lot of walking, but, know you’ll be dodging the crowds. Consider a baby carrier if your child is small enough, and you’re up for it.
– Snacks, or buy good eats from the many vendors available. 
– Rain coats. Hopefully, this won’t be a factor this year, fingers crossed!

Where is the Best Place to See Tulips at the Tulip Festival?

There aren’t many tulips in downtown Holland.

You’ll need to head to parks, specific streets, and venues to get an eyeful of the flower.

See below to find the best places to view fields and streets lined with miles upon miles of tulips.

When is the Best Time to See Tulips in Holland Michigan?

This year the tulip festival in Holland is May 6-14, which is often at the tail of the optimal tulip bloom season.

Tulips typically bloom from mid-April to mid-May in Michigan. With all growing seasons, we are at the mercy of mother nature. If winter lasted longer, then blooms come later in the season. The Holland tulip festival is timed so that even if our growing season is late, tulips will still be in bloom.

Many Tulip Time destinations are open before the festival starts, so if you just wanted to see tulips, you can visit places like Windmill Island Gardens or Veldheer Tulip Gardens earlier in the season, before the crowds hit.

How long is the Holland Tulip Festival?

The tulip festival runs just over a week, spanning two weekends every May.

If you can’t make it to Holland Michigan during the festival, try coming a bit earlier in the year. Flowers have been known to bloom in advance of the festival, and sometimes after as well.

What happens to the Tulips after the Tulip Festival?

A few weeks after Tulip Time is over, usually, in late May, a local group (Holland in Bloom) works with the city of Holland, Michigan to hold a community tulip dig.

In 2022, the fee was $10 cash per 5-gallon bucket (bring your own bucket.) Residents and visitors were invited to dig tulip bulbs from designated areas at Centennial Park, Window on the Waterfront Park, and Windmill Island Gardens. Stay tuned for details on the 2023 Community Tulip Dig.

What did we miss?

What’s your favorite part of the Tulip Time Festival in Holland, Michigan?

Things to Do at Tulip Time with Kids

More West Michigan Fun

About The Author

7 thoughts on “Holland Tulip Festival 2023: Insider’s Best Tulip Time Tips”

  1. Constance Rubin

    Tourist maps should include locations of public parking decks! Bus system should have shuttle rides to & from Windmill Island. Shuttles around downtown w/off-on options would be great, even with a reasonable charge. POST dates, times of Parades on store fronts. Immersion Garden was better than we expected after just the first glance, although a place with more shade would be appreciated. We missed nearby attractions, so posting them at Immersion Garden might help.Had we known the quilts & artisans were nearby, we probably would have gone to see them.

  2. don’t forget the new nature playscape for kids to burn off energy located at Window on the Waterfront Park! Just NW of the tulip beds 🌷🌷

  3. Terrific info on Tulip Time!
    Parents should also know the Family Rest and Play Area is open daily and located at the small pocket park on 8th St near PNC Bank. There are baby care stations, nursing area and larger portable restrooms.
    There are also things to do, toys and some activities, daily 10a-6p.
    Special community partner hosts will be on site select days with more fun and even treats. Check out http://www.tuliptime.com for more info.

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