No longer can T and I jump on a cheap flight for a weekend in Amsterdam. So the Tesselaar Tulip Festival is our next best thing!
Tesselaar Tulip Farm is located at Silvan in the Dandenongs, under an hour’s drive from Melbourne. From mid-September to mid-October every year the Tesselaar Tulip Festival blooms to celebrate the working farm’s tulips in bloom against a very Australian backdrop of gumtrees. This year the event runs fro Thursday 14 September to Tuesday 10 October 2017.
It’s a pleasant half-day out in a location that’s well set up for families – a quick drive from the city, ample parking at the other end, lots of space to run around, music and displays and entertainment and of course a very photogenic display of tulips. Let the kids loose with the camera, it’s pretty hard to take a bad shot!
We decide to visit during their Dutch weekend celebrations, which means we get to sample Dutch treats such as poffertjes (miniature pancakes) drenched in icing sugar. It’s also very busy so I’m glad we arrive when the gates open at 10am and leave before lunch time.
The kids are fascinated by the large hurdy gurdy and the tractor ride but are actually not too fussed about the flowers.
I guess in their minds ‘you’ve seen one, you’ve seen them all’.
The Tesselaar Tulip Festival is an out-of-the-ordinary way to spend a morning – though if you eat, shop and watch all the entertainment you can make a whole day of it. We combine our visit with a stop off at The Piggery Cafe at Burnham Beeches Sherbrooke, making it a delightful half day out.
- arrive at 9-10am so that you can snap pictures without crowds of people in the way. Also available parking is much closer;
- buy your tickets online in advance to avoid ticket counter queues;
- midday is peak hour;
- wear gumboots and easily-washed clothes. The red clay gets muddy very quickly with the number of people walking around and the dirt marks everything;
- if you can try to avoid taking a pram. Given the crowds and soggy ground conditions it’s really best enjoyed by children who are able to walk steadily;
- if your kids are old enough, give them a phone camera to experiment with. It’s hard to take a bad shot; and
- during school holidays there are Children’s days with kids activities, petting zoos and music at no additional cost.