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Friday, May 13, 2016

"Tulip Time" Tulip Festival in Holland Michigan

Since spring has been arrived, I was waiting to see Tulips and we finally made it. This Sunday was nice and sunny so we decided to go Holland, Michigan for the Tulip Time festival. Apart from Tulips it's a great place to explore Dutch culture, Dutch Dance and Historic buildings.

How to get there

By flight

There are three feasible airports West Michigan Regional airport, Park township airport or Muskegon county airport. 

If you are not able to get flight to these airports than take flight for Chicago O'hare or Detroit Metropolitan airport. It takes no more than three hours of drive.

By Train

Amtrak service is available from Chicago to Holland. Holland is a stop on the Chicago to Grand Rapids route. You can book your rental if you are planning to visit different towns. You will get a local bus, trolley and other shuttle facilities to roam in the City of Holland.

By Car

Holland Town is around 160 miles from Chicago and 190 miles from Detroit. Holland town is connected with US-31 and I-196 but due to construction it might take little more time. Also, you will find rush on a highway due to the Tulip Festival.

Tip to Explore

  • If you are visiting with kids than bring stroller you can use the stroller to roam around the park.
  • If you are with younger kids than keep water and snacks with you because if you are using the park & ride facility then it will be convenient. 
  • Check weather predictions before you plan so that you can get your spring gears accordingly.
  • Tulips are scattered all around Town so be prepared for a long walk and choose your shoes wisely.
We reach there around 12 noon,there was plenty of traffic in the town as every one coming to enjoy Tulip Time festival. We decided to visit the Tulip Time festival office first, collect information and then head start our trip. They provide a brochure which has all required details, including Map of the city, so easy to find directions. They have a beautiful Tulip display outside the office, so take out your camera and start capturing the beauty of Tulips. 

After getting all the information we decided to visit the Windmill island first, followed by Dutch dance and art & craft fair. From Tulip Time office windmill island is around mile and a half. You can also drive there, but not sure about parking because it gets full early. We decided to walk so that we can see historical buildings of downtown Holland. It was a beautiful walk, they have small patches of Tulips on sidewalks as well. You can also take a trolley tour, if you don't want to walk or drive.

The Windmill island has historic buildings, beautiful tulip display, Native Indian town and of-course Dutch Windmill. We started with Tulips, small windmill and historic buildings. Suddenly I hear gunshots so I was wondering where is the sound coming from. There was a show performed on natives and British fight. So we run into the ground and saw the fight. It was an amazing show. 

In the same ground there is huge windmill and Tulip display. You can climb to the Windmill base and get a spectacular view of the island and tulips. There was a display of native town and I got a chance to meet native Indian, such a nice talk with him and learn a little about history. This place gets crowded, so better to reach as early as you can. 

They also have a display of "The Four Columns" built in 1928 by the famous organ maker "Carl Frel" . The Four Columns was a famous organ and often played on the street in Breda, Rotterdam and Amsterdam. It was a gift to City of Holland from the City of Amsterdam in 1947.

After enjoying Dutch Music we headed back to Centennial Park to watch Dutch Dance. They have different timings for Dutch Dance so check before you plan your itinerary. As it was more than one mile walk from Windmill Island to Centennial Park you need at least 20 mins to reach there. Police will close the traffic for a small section as dance performed on the street and everyone can watch from sidewalks. There is also dance performances by the kids. Both dance performance have different timings and place.

There is art & craft fair at Centennial park, which you should not miss. We explore the fair and seen so much stuff made by local vendor. I got Blueberry jalapeno Jam, never heard jalapeno in Jam so bought it, it tastes good. I found many unique stuffs as well. Worth exploring the market.

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