See the Holland Windmill at Windmill Island Gardens
View the Authentic, Historic Holland Windmill – And a Ton of Tulips!
The destination features an authentic, 250-year-old working Dutch windmill (that you can climb inside) that is the centerpiece of the attraction’s 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.
11 Things to Do at Windmill Island Gardens in Holland
Windmill Island Gardens and attractions make this the perfect place to experience natural beauty and to learn more about the Dutch culture shared by many of the people in West Michigan.
Here’s a handy guide to help you explore Windmill Island Gardens.
1 – Start at the Post House
The Post House, an exact replica of a 14th-century wayside Inn, is where a movie describing Windmill Island Gardens plays.
This is the perfect introduction to your fun-filled day at the Island and gives a great preview to your self-guided Holland Windmill tour.
The movie repeats every 15 minutes.
2 – Listen to the Amsterdam Street Organ
The antique Amsterdam Street Organ plays at quarter to and quarter past the hour.
Dance along to the lively songs that once entertained paradegoers in the Netherlands.
3 – Wander the Pathways
After you finish at the organ, wander through the gardens and over the draw bridge toward the Holland Windmill.
There are a multitude of great photo opportunities along this path. The drawbridge over the canal is a favorite.
4 – Tour the Authentic Holland Windmill
Learn a little history! Go on a self-guided tour of the inside of the De Zwaan Windmill.
You can go inside of the windmill, climb up the to different levels, and learn about the history of the mill.
Costumed staff may be on hand to demonstrate how it currently operates.
This is the last windmill to leave the Netherlands and the only authentic Dutch working windmill in the United States.
Touring the Holland windmill is an experience that you won’t get anywhere else in the U.S.
5 – Enjoy the Flower Gardens
Thousands of tulips bloom across the grounds in the spring, followed by a marvelous display of annuals and perennials in June, July, and August.
During Tulip Time, visitors flock to the fields of tulips next to the Holland windmill for photo ops.
6 – Walk through the Little Netherlands Display
Walk through a miniature display of a Dutch village where all of the pieces were hand-carved and hand-painted by early settlers.
The extensive exhibit is inside one of the Dutch Village buildings.
7 – Explore the Shops & Send Dutch Mail
Dutch-themed souvenirs and snacks are ready for purchase in the Gift Shop, as are postcards.
Write a note and slip it into the authentic mailbox from the Netherlands.
8 – Take a Spin on the Carousel
Did you know the carousel at Windmill Island Gardens is from the Netherlands?
Kids can choose from over 30 hand-carved and painted wooden animals to ride on.
Parents can ride on the bench or watch and take photos from outside.
9- Visit the Play Area & Children’s Garden
The play area, located behind the carousel, is a fun respite for kids.
Enjoy the playground, mini-hedge maze, giant checkers, children’s garden and more.
(The Children’s Garden is the perfect place to end the day if you’re visiting with little ones. Filled with unique looking and different textured plants, kids love it!)
Bonus: Picnic tables make this a family-friendly stop.
10 – Watch the Dutch Dance and Style Show
On Hiatus for 2022, tbd for 2023:
Typically, in the summer, between 11 am and 4 pm, there is a dutch dance on the hour next to the windmill.
Watch the dance and learn about the costumes worn by the dancers.
11 – Buy Windmill Flour
Before the pandemic, the operating Windmill was used to grind flour. We’re watching to see if this program returns.
The flour is ground from a soft white winter wheat grown by West Michigan farmers.
During open hours, windmill-ground flour is typically available for sale in the Molenwinkel Shop in the windmill. It is a whole wheat or Graham flour and comes in 1-pound cloth bags at $5 each or 3-pound cloth bags at $8 each.
Windmill Island Location
Windmill Island Gardens – 1 Lincoln Ave, Holland, MI 49423
Windmill Island is just over a mile north of downtown Holland, MI. Access the gardens via a short drive. A bike path is also available.
Windmill Island Gardens Special Events
Tulip Time is Saturday, May 6 through Sunday, May 14 in 2023.
Over 150,000 tulips bloom at Windmill Island Gardens during this time. Thousands of people visit to see them bloom and the park can be crowded.
Hours during the festival are extended.
Peak Bloom Week
July 23-29, 2023.
Come see the amazing display of 5,000 annuals and 300 perennials throughout the grounds.
Windmill Island Hours & Tickets
2023 Windmill Island Hours
The park opens daily at 9:30 am.
The last admission for the day is at 5 pm.
The park closes at 6 pm.
Tulip Time Hours (May 6-14, 2023):
The park opens daily at 9:00 am.
The last admission for the day is at 6 pm.
The park closes at 7 pm.
2023 Windmill Island Ticket Rates
$12 for adults
$6 for ages 3 to 15
2 and under are free
*Windmill Island Gardens welcomes Meijer Gardens members (and other members of the American Horticultural Society), for free.
*Holland residents enjoy free admission with ID (but not during Tulip Time or special events)
Good to Know
- There is a decent amount of walking at the Island, so bring your stroller or wagon along for younger kids. Most of the grounds are wheelchair accessible.
- There is a picnic shelter in the park, so feel free to bring a lunch for your family (limited concessions also available in the gift shop).
- During special events a food truck may be on site.
- The park is dog-friendly. Dogs are allowed everywhere except inside of the Holland windmill and the Gift Shop.
- The only restrooms on the Island are located in the Post House.
- Plan to spend 2-3 hours on your visit.
- Have questions during your visit? Ask anyone in costume or visit the Visitor Services area in the Post House.
Will You Visit Windmill Island Gardens?
While this outlines the big attractions at Windmill Island Gardens, the destination offers many more things to do as well.
Let us know if you’ve visited the gardens and what your favorite parts were in the comments.