Visiting the tulip fields in Washington

Once tulip season begins, I just know it’s only a matter of time before we get to summer in the PNW! It’s seemed like a never-ending winter here (if you haven’t heard, it’s been a year with record setting grey days and rain!) but tulip season reminds me that better (weather) days are just around the corner!

Skagit Valley Tulip Festival
This year the tulips bloomed later than last year, so we didn’t head out to the Skagit Valley until the end of April. I looked at the forecast, saw that one Friday in April was supposed to be sunny and lovely, and strongly requested Tim call off of work so we could all drive out to see the tulips together.

Skagit Valley Tulip Festival

Last year I went to the tulip fields when I was 38 weeks pregnant, and this year I was holding Isabelle (at almost one year old!) in my arms in front of the gorgeous scenery! Life is crazy and moves too fast.

Although tulip season is now over in Washington, it’s never too early to start planning for next year so I’m going to leave you with some…

Tips for seeing the tulips (with toddlers):

  • If you’re near to Seattle, go to Roozengaarde in Mount Vernon. In my experience, it’s the best tulip farm in the area. Yes, it will be crowded, but it’s also great for kids because there’s an awesome display of tulips only a few yards inside the entrance, so if your toddler wants to slowly walk around there, you can still get a few good pictures with minimal effort.
  • Bring snacks. I mean, this is basically an all-the-time tip for doing anything with toddlers. If there’s one thing I’ve learned from having a 1-year-old and 2-year-old is that everything takes way longer than I anticipate. In my mind, seeing flowers will take about 15 minutes – when in actuality the whole event took us all day.
  • Also pack a change of clothes (for the kids). Like the naive and hopelessly optimistic parent I am, I dressed the girls in cute outfits, hoping to get one good picture of them in the tulips. Well, of course, Clara lasted about 10 minutes in her adorable dress before she wiped out in a mud puddle. Did we have a change of clothes for her? Nope! So when we went out to lunch (at Calico Cupboard in La Conner) afterwards, Clara was dressed in Isabelle’s (see-through) tights and a sweatshirt. Obviously, she got quite a few sympathetic looks from strangers at the very-crowded restaurant, because they probably assumed that her parents have no idea what they’re doing when it comes to children and daughters and appropriate attire. Whoops, our bad, sorry kid.
  • Don’t bring a stroller. The same mud that Clara slipped in makes it impossible to use a stroller in the fields. Bring carriers to wear if your kiddos are small enough, otherwise they’ll have to walk as far as you can get them to go before the meltdowns happen.

Skagit Valley Tulip Festival Skagit Valley Tulip Festival Skagit Valley Tulip Festival Skagit Valley Tulip Festival

If seeing the tulip fields isn’t on your bucket list (whether or not you live in the Netherlands or the PNW), add it! Seeing the fields is truly an amazing sight and I can’t wait for it to be an annual tradition for our family.

But seriously, make sure everyone has a spare change of clothes.

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