Spring heralds our annual visit to the Tesselaar Tulip Festival and each year the event just gets better and better, providing more entertainment and value for money than ever!
This year, the colourful flower festival is set to take place from Saturday 10 September to Sunday 9 October 2022.
Like previous years the tulips have been roped off for their protection. Which means that you can no longer ‘tiptoe through the tulips' so to speak but you can still appreciate the beautiful blooms.
Were invited to visit during Children's Week (Monday 23 September to Thursday 26 September and Monday 30 September to Thursday 3 October 2019) with special activities running for the school holidays. We spend almost 4 hours there and probably would have stayed longer but we had under-dressed for the weather so were quite cold by the end of our visit!
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During the first Children's Week there are twice-daily performances by Mime vs Myth Show, Splash Test Dummies, Black Snake Productions Animal Show and KaZaam The Magician and his Stage Show. These sort of shows are likely to cost $10-$20 per person in another location so the entry fee (for adults) makes the shows great value for money already.
We particularly enjoy Black Snake Productions' Animal Show, which provides lots of opportunities to get up close to reptiles and native animals while passing on environmental and conservation knowledge to kids and adults.
Also on every day is a treasure hunt, petting zoo, croquet, giant garden games, trampolines, face painting, craft workshops and more (some fees apply).
As well as these special events every year we have a couple of must-dos.
Rides on the Tulip Train cost $5 per person or $15 for a family of 4 and you can hop on and hop off as many times as you wish.
This year the bottom of the hill is a second stop for the Tulip Train. Here you'll find more food stalls, twice daily drumming workshops and scenic swings for that perfect Instagram shot!
You're welcome to BYO picnic but I recommend sampling at some least of the Dutch food on offer. The kids love sharing a plate of hot Dutch mini pancakes ‘poffertjes'….
….and of course the Double Dutch ice cream special ($5).
We also try some other Dutch dishes – kibbeling (Dutch fish bites) with chips and oliebollen Dutch doughnuts.
To make your trip more enjoyable come prepared. Make sure you wear your gumboots to protect your precious footwear and take warm clothes for the strong breeze that can roll into the valley.
If it's raining or super-sunny, or if you just want some great photos, head to the Fresh Flower Market at the entrance and hire some large rainbow umbrellas for free. And then on your way out when you return the umbrellas buy some tulip blooms to brighten up your home!
Tesselaar Tulip Festival is a great day out for the whole family where you can enjoy the sight of a million tulip bulbs, lots of fun entertainment and Dutch food. It's worthwhile going even if the weather's not perfect as there are fewer people and you can hire an umbrella for beautiful photos.
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- arrive at 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;
- during school holidays there are Children’s Weeks with kids activities, petting zoos and music at no additional cost; and
- you can hire large rainbow umbrellas for free from the Fresh Flower Market at the entrance.
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