Clevelanders who love flowers (especially tulips) are in for a real treat if they venture to Holland, Michigan for the 87th annual Tulip Time Festival being held from May 7 – May 14.
Among the sights that await at the Tulip Time Festival are more than 4.5 million blooming tulips on display in parks, public areas, along city streets and at various Holland attractions. The Festival will also feature lots of activities that all ages can enjoy including lunch and dinner shows like “Broadway’s Best” (at the Commons at Evergreen) and “With a Song in My Heart — A Night with Richard Rodgers” (at Hope College Haworth Inn).
Among other activities at the Festival are three parades (People’s Parade, Children’s Parade and a Music Parade) in addition to a special Dutch Dogs on Parade, a quilt show, a Tulip Time Run, an arts & crafts show, a carnival and vintage baseball games. You don’t want to miss the multiple Dutch dance performances all over the city featuring nearly 1000 locals of all ages demonstrating traditional Dutch dance.
Also, check out the Dutch Marktplaats that combines the sights, sounds, crafts and tastes of 19th century Holland all in one place with Dutch food, dancing, crafts and shopping. The Marktplaatz will feature stage events (Tulip Master Gardener, Dutch style show and entertainment performances).
Visitors will be able to take a choice of trolley tours of the city that depart every 15 minutes from Windows on the Waterfront. The Trolley Tour Plus tours cost $30 for adults and $10 for children (12 and under). The Trolley Tour Classic is $20 for adults and $8 for children.
In addition to experiencing the Tulip Time Festival, there are several must-see Holland attractions including several which are all in the same location. Veldheer’s Tulip Farm is the Midwest’s only working tulip farm. It has over 30 acres filled with 5 million tulips of 125 varieties surrounded by windmills, bridges and canals. Admission to Veldheer’s is $10 for adults and $5 for children (3-13). The tulip farm is open from 8 a.m. – 7 p.m. during Tulip Time. Call 616-399-1900 for more details.
The DeKlomp Wooden Shoe Factory and Delftware Factory are adjacent to Veldheer’s. DeKlomp’s offers a free factory tour where you can watch wooden shoes being handmade by craftsmen. The Delftware Factory is the only Delftware factory in the United States. There is a wide variety of Delftware ceramics available for purchase and you can watch workers hand paint the items.
Also on the property is an American buffalo herd. Visitors can get a free viewing of the herd grazing.
Veldheer’s and the other attractions listed above are all located at 12755 Quincy Street in Holland. For more information, get online at www.veldheer.com.
Windmill Island Located on the edge of downtown Holland, Windmill Island is the home of DeZwan, a 250 year old working Dutch windmill imported from the Netherlands. The windmill stands tall over 36 acres of landscaped gardens, dikes, canals, bridges and picnic areas. Tours of DeZwan are offered. Visitors can also enjoy Dutch dancing demonstrations.
Windmill Island has over 100,000 tulips in bloom in the Spring. In the Summer, the grounds are decorated with annual flowers and plants. The grounds also offer a shopping area, free rides on the antique carousel and performances by an antique Amsterdam street organ. Windmill Island also features historic architecture including the Posthouse Museum, an exact replica of a 14th century wayside inn.
Windmill Island is open from 9 a.m. – 6 p.m. during Tulip Time. Admission is $9 for adults and $5 for youth (5-15). Windmill Island is located at 7th Street and Lincoln Avenue. For more information, call 616-355-1030 or get online at www.cityofholland.com/windmillislandgardens.
Nelis Dutch Village and Family Theme Park This theme park is a replica of a village in the Netherlands from over 100 years ago that includes authentic Dutch architecture, canals, flowering gardens and windmills. Workers dressed in native costumes demonstrate crafts and life of that era. Visitors can sample Dutch cheeses and Dutch food, try on wooden shoes, learn steps of a traditional Dutch folk dance, watch a wooden shoe carver, see a performance of Dutch dancers, feed farm animals and even take a goat for a walk.
Admission to Nelis Dutch Village is $12 for adults, $11 for seniors (65+) and $10 for children (3-15). Children 2 and under are free. Hours are 9 a.m. – 6 p.m. Nelis Dutch Village is located 12350 James St. Get more information by getting online at www.dutchvillage.com.
For those visitors wishing to staying in the area, check out the Holiday Inn Express at 12381 Felch St. (616-738-2800) or the Hampton Inn at 12427 Felch St. (616-399-8500). Call for exact pricing, availability or to make reservations.
Holland, Michigan is 310 miles from Cleveland and it is approximately a 5 hour drive.