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Friday, April 29, 2016

Friday, April 29, 2016

Best places to enjoy Tulip Festival in USA

Spring season indicates new beginning. It converts white snowy bed to colorful flower bed. After dry, cold winter, spring brings fresh bloom flowers, bird onomatopoeia, smell fresh herbs in your garden, which feels life to the earth again. Spring season is very famous for blooming flowers which includes Cherry Blossom and Tulips.

The Tulip is a plant from the lily family. Tulips are spring-blooming perennials that grow from bulbs. There are more than 100 varieties of Tulips. In USA Tulip and Dutch cultural heritage has celebrated since longtime. I have visited a few places and it blows my mind with stunning colors.  

Skagit Valley, Mount Vernon, Washington

Skagit Valley is one of the best place to see Tulips in all over USA. Its 33rd anniversary of Skagit Valley Tulip Festival. In Mount Vernon number of farms grow Tulips and you can buy tickets of any farm and head to the farm. They grow Tulips in countless colors. They also have Trolley ride, Kite flying, Kids zone and Souvenir shops as well.
  1. Address:- 1) Roozen Gaarde:-  15867 Beaver Marsh Rd, Mount Vernon, WA 98273                                                 2) Tulip Town :- 15002 Bradshaw Road, Mount Vernon,
  2. Event Dates:- April 1-30, 2016
  3. Admission Fee:- It varies $5 - $10
  4. Event Website:- Tulip Festival
  5. Main Event:-
    • Anacortes Arts Festival
    • Anacortes Quilt Walk
    • Anacortes Spring Wine Festival
    • Burlington Scrap booking Swap Meet
    • Schmooze Fair 2016
    • Tulip Frolic
    • Tulip Pedal – 35th Annual
    • Downtown Burlington Art Walk

Tulip Time, Holland, Michigan

Tulip Time festival has begun in 1929 to celebrate Dutch Heritage and blooming Tulips in Spring. Holland is celebrating its 87th year of celebration in 2016. You can explore Tulip flowers in numerous colors, but the other extraordinary thing is Dutch Culture. In Tulip Time nearly one thousand dancers dressed up in authentic Dutch costume and wooden shoes and perform traditional dances. You can also experience traditional Dutch food, art and Musical performances.
  1. Address:- 74 West 8th St. Holland, Michigan 49423
  2. Event Dates:- May 7 - May 14, 2016
  3. Admission Fee:- Tulip Garden and Dutch Dance are free event. For other specific events, buy your tickets on Tulip Time Tickets
  4. Event Website:-
  5. Main Event:-
    • Dutch Dance
    • Tulip Time Run Health & Fitness Expo
    • Carnival
    • Tulip Gardens & Lanes
    • New Odyssey Dinner Show
    • Art & Craft Fair 
    • Quilt Show
Image source:- Event management, collage by Urvi Shah

Biltmore Gardens, Asheville,NC

Biltmore Estate has a spectacular display of colorful blooms. Starting on the first day of spring the legacy of Frederick Law Olmsted. This estate has five gardens which include:-  Italian, Shrub, Walled, Rose and Azalea, Conservatory , Bass Pond and Sunflowers. Walled garden features a seasonal rotation of blooms, which includes 75000 of Tulips in spring.
  1. Address:- 1 Lodge street,  Asheville, North Carolina 28803
  2. Event Dates:- March 19-May 26, 2016
  3. Admission Fee:- Ticket will cost you between $25-$60. You can buy from here Biltmore bloom tickets
  4. Event website:- Biltmore Blooms
  5. Main Event:-
    • Drum Circle
    • Special Exhibition - Constance Williams
    • The Box: A Contemporary Jewelry Challenge
    • Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf
    • Waterfalls 'n Wine

Albany Tulip Festival

The Tulip Festival is one of the signature spring event in Albany.  The Tulip Festival is a sparkling showcase of local culture and business. These events feature annual Dutch heritage, traditions rooted in the city. In this festival nearly hundred artisans are selling their handmade crafts, a fine art show, delicious food, the KidZone family fun destination. Also, there are two stages of world-class live entertainment and thousands of tulips in more than 100 different varieties. 
  1. Address:- Washington Park (Crown Jewel), Orange City, Iowa 51041
  2. Event dates:- May 6th  - 8th, 2016
  3. Admission Fee:- free (fee for luncheon and ball)
  4. Event website:-  Albany Tulip Festival
  5. Main Event:- 
    • Tulip Tours
    • Carillon Concert
    • Street Scrubbing
    • Tulip Festival Luncheon
    • Drawing Up Central
    • Royal Tulip Ball
Image source:- Event management, collage by Urvi Shah

Orange city Tulip Festival, Iowa

To pay homage to their European homeland, Orange City residents began to imagine a celebration to honor the traditions and customs of their Dutch ancestors. The Hollander’s innate tendency toward cleanliness and beauty combined with a historical background of flower culture was the inspiration for the Tulip Festival.
  1. Address:- 509 8th street SE, Orange city, Iowa 51041
  2. Event dates:- May 19th  - 21st, 2016
  3. Admission Fee:- fees for different events varies, it will be between $1-$5, Night show costs $20 each. You can buy your tickets here Tickets for Tulip Festival Events
  4. Event website:- Orange city Tulip Festival
  5. Main Event:-
    • Quilt Show
    • Wooden Shoe Carving
    • Street Scrubbing
    • Windmill Park
    • The Volksparade
    • Dutch Dozen
    • Fietsen Zangers
Image Source:- Event Management, Collage by Urvi Shah

Have you been to any Tulip Festival? 

Saturday, April 23, 2016

Saturday, April 23, 2016

Evening out with friends at TopGolf

As spring has started, I love to explore new places. Chicago is a Windy City so you cannot expect all day will be warm spring day, but maybe some of. Last Saturday we all friends decided to play golf, although none of us is professional golf player. But still we wanted to play for fun. So we were searching for the miniature golf place around Milwaukee, than my husband suggested TOPGOLF. He had been there once. As I never heard about it, I had started surfing on the Internet to look details for TOPGOLF.

The best thing of TOPGOLF is you don't need to be a professional golfer. Anyone can try their skills and learn how to play? isn't it amazing? I always wanted to play Golf but didn't  get a chance to learn, but this evening my wish came true. 

We went to Wood dale, Chicago, but there are many locations all over the US. You can find the nearest one over here Topgolf locations

Finest thing is TOPGOLF opens till 2am on Friday and Saturday. All locations have different timings so make sure to cross check. They have two types of game pricing one is per game price or Bulk buy specials. As we were eight friends so we decide to go for bulk buy. And also it has four types of the card system.

Guest playing Card:-  $5 (no game credits and free club rental)
Adult playing Card:- $35 ($48 game credits and free club rental)
Senior & student playing Card:- $20 ($25 game credits and free club rental)
Junior playing Card:- $15 ($20 game credits and free club rental)

They have Score screen at each golf station where you can see your each ball counting, score and how far it went if it gets in the hole. Each ball have chip and from this chip monitor identifies and gives the score.

Initially we all were focusing on hitting the ball ultimately and I missed it many times though. But once we started scoring every one got intense to increase the score. I must say, It was an amazing and addictive game. We got a chance to play on second level, it got a great view of the field. You can also order drinks and food while playing, so that was more fun.

I would love to play miniature Golf now. I hope I can try other locations as well. Have you tried miniature Golf? Which one is your favorite ? Can't wait to try new places for miniature golf ?

Friday, April 15, 2016

Friday, April 15, 2016

Cherry blossom festival in USA

Cherry Blossom is Japanese festival. In Japanese term, cherry blossom known as "Sakura". The flower of genus Prunus trees bloom in the spring season, which consider as Cherry Blossom. These are White and Pink flowers. The Cherry Blossom is assumed to be a native of the Himalayas. It looks marvelous when the Cherry trees bloom at its peak. You must visit it once.

National cherry blossom festival Washington DC

In 1912 Mayor Yukio Ozaki of Tokyo had gifted 3000 Cherry trees to City of Washington DC. In 1927 School children had initiated planting the Cherry trees and also added some fun activities, Which called the first “festival” in 1927. There are many up-gradation in celebration over the year. Hence National Cherry Blossom festival has started as an annual celebration to honor the friendship between the United states and Japan.
  1. Address:- Japan Town 
  2. Event date & time:- March 20 - April 17, 2016
  3. Admission fees:- The event is free and open to the public
  4. Main attractions:-
    • Macy's celebration of the Cherry Blossoms
    • NCSS grand ball & crowning of 2016 US Cherry Blossom Queen
    • National Japan Bowl
    • National Cherry Blossom Festival Parade
    • Sakura Matsuri 
    • Cherry Blast

Image Source:- Event Facebook page, Collage by Urvi Shah

Northern California cherry blossom festival SanFrancisco CA

These year, its 49th year of Cherry Blossom celebration for the Northern California. Every year, Japanese Cultural and Community organize these festival. In these festival you can explore Japanese culture and traditions. It includes different types of events like parades, marshal art, Japanese Music and Sakura programs. 
  1. Address:- Japan Town 
  2. Event date & time:- April 9-10 and 16-17, 2016
  3. Admission fees:- The event is free and open to the public
  4. Main attractions:-
    • Sakura 360 area
    • Queen Program
    • Golf tournament
    • Kayo Parade
    • Sanrio Hello Kitty Kid's Corner
    • 2016 Grand Marshal 
    • Grand Parade 
    • Japanese Music Program
    • Mikoshi Purification Ceremony 
    • JCCCNC Stage
    • Senior Appreciation Brunch

Image Source:- Event Facebook Page, Collage by Urvi Shah

Subaru cherry blossom festival Philadelphia 

The Subaru Cherry Blossom Festival actually began in 1998. Japan had gifted 1600 flowering trees to Philadelphia in 1926. Hence, Japan American Society of Greater Philadelphia had initially focused on the tree planting , JASGP pledged to plant 1,000 cherry trees in Fairmount Park. Finally This goal was accomplished in 2007. And JASGP had expanded the mission to plant more cherry trees in community parks throughout the region.
  1. Address:- Horticulture Center in Fairmount Park 
  2. Event date & time:- April 11 to 17, 2016
  3. Admission fees:- Sakura Sunday is major event which costs adults $10 /children under 12 free
  4. Main attractions:-
    • Sakura Sunday
    • Kanadete Sourou
    • Yoshiwara Kitsune Shachu
    • Subaru Sushi Samurai of the Year
    • Prettiest Pet in Pink Parade
    • Harajuku Fashion Show
    • J-MUSIC Ensemble
    • Shofuso Tours
    • Little Akiba - Anime & Cosplay Area
    • Sakura under the stars
    • Silent auction
    • Cherry blossom 10K

Image Source:- Event website, Collage by Urvi Shah

Sakura Matsuri at Brooklyn Botanic Garden 

Brooklyn Botanic Garden celebrating 35th anniversary of "Sakura Matsuri", Which is annual cherry blossom festival. "Sakura Matsuri" offers over 60 events and performances that celebrate traditional and contemporary Japanese culture. As BBG is botanic garden you will find different types of Prunus trees like "Kanzan", "Okame", "Shirotae" etc. You will get the chance to see all different types of flowers blooming at different stages.
  1. Address:- Brooklyn Botanic Garden 
  2. Event date & time:- April 30 and May 1, 2016 10am - 6pm
  3. Admission fees:- Adults - $25, Seniors (65 and over) - $20, Students 12+ with valid ID - $20, Children under 12; BBG Members - Free
  4. Main attractions:-
    • Soh Daiko
    • The Asterplace
    • Samurai Sword Soul
    • Kuropop
    • Cobu
    • Taiko Masala
Image source:- Photo by Mike Ratliff and Liz Ligon Courtesy of Brooklyn Botanic Garden, Collageby Urvi Shah

Seattle Cherry Blossom & Japanese Culture Festival

Japan’s former Prime Minister, Takeo Miki, had gifted 1,000 cherry trees to Seattle on May 8, 1976,  in memory of America’s bicentennial and the friendship between the Japan and the Washington state. Now, the Cherry Blossom Festival is considered as the largest and oldest festival in the Northwest. Hanami is the Japanese tradition of viewing cherry blossom. It is a reminder to celebrate life and the pink petals carried on the breeze at this Festival.
University of Washington is also a great place to view Cherry Blossom. They don't have any cultural celebration, but enough trees, which provide eye catching view
  1. Address:- Seattle center at 305 Harrison St, Seattle, WA 98109
  2. Event date & time:- April 22 - 24, 2016
  3. Admission Fees:- Free Event
  4. Main attractions:-
    • Traditional dance
    • Japanese Music
    • Arts/crafts
    • Japanese games
    • Tea ceremony
    • Martial arts

Friday, April 08, 2016

Friday, April 08, 2016

Spring 2016 bucket list

You must be thinking why I am creating these post so late, But guess what we had snow fall today in Wisconsin. So its difficult to identify spring in Midwest. Are you excited to enjoy spring? So am I? I am still waiting to have warm weather. Its 32 degrees in Fahrenheit today, Do you believe its spring?

Spring Bucket list  

  1. Plant Vegetable Garden (these year I am planting mint, tomatoes and green chilies)
  2. Enjoy Cherry blossom
  3. Go for a nature walk
  4. Play in the rain
  5. Bake a spring treat
  6. Attend color run and play with color
  7. Day trip with friends
  8. Attend Tulip festival
  9. Take spring photos
  10. Have a Bonfire
  11. Shop at farmer's market
  12. Have a game night
  13. watch the sunrise
  14. fly a kite
  15. Blow bubbles
  16. Make sprouts at home
  17. Ride on train
  18. Go fishing
  19. Scavenger hunt
  20. Pick fresh berries

Which one is your favorite ?