Guest Post By Stephanie Lynn of Skagit Kid Insider
Should I bring my kids to the Tulip Festival? Would they be bored? What could we do as a family? Those are great questions, and I think I can help! With a little planning, your stay will be enjoyable for all members of your family. The tulip fields are an amazing place for kids to explore, and there are many Tulip Festival 2016 activities for kids.
To avoid the crowds, visit the tulips on a week day. Pack the car with snacks and water, and don’t forget to bring cash. You may want to stop at a farm stand and several businesses only take cash. Unless you have a very sturdy stroller you will want to carry non-walkers through the fields, so don’t forget your carriers and backpacks. And definitely check the BLOOM MAP for directions to the fields that are currently in bloom.
My number one rule is to dress for the weather AND for the tulip fields. Tulip fields are full of dirt and dirt loves children! BE OK with that fact before you leave. Dress in layers of bright colors (think cute pictures). Don’t forget to pack boots and umbrellas (which are also great props for pictures) AND a change of clothes.
Tulip Festival 2016 Activities for Kids – Tulips…Camera…Action!
Kids are inspired by color. Let them bring a camera – or borrow yours! Go on a “photo safari” and see who can take the most interesting pictures of tulips! Lie on the ground and take pictures of the tulips above you with a blue sky background. Take pictures of the inside of a tulip, a petal, the stem, dew drops, a bug. How many different tulip varieties and colors can you photograph? Hold a family photo contest. Be creative and DON’T FORGET to pose for your 2016 holiday cards! This is where the brightly colored clothing and cute rain gear comes into play.
Tulip Festival 2016 Activities for Kids – Let Them Run and Explore!
I would recommend stopping by Tulip Town. Ride the trolley through the tulip fields for a “sky high” view. Tulip Town plants some really amazing patterns in their fields. See a replica of a Dutch windmill and bring along your kite to fly in their field, or buy a new kite while you’re there. They also have a children’s art table available from 10 am-3:30 pm Monday-Friday. The admission cost is $6 (cash only) with children 6 and under free.
Roozengaard also has beautiful fields to visit. They have four acres of show gardens and an authentic Dutch windmill. The $5 admission includes free parking at all of their fields. $4 for those with military ID and children 5 & under are free.
Please remind your children to walk around the fields and not through them. Another good reminder is that the tulips are only for admiring, and not for picking. There will be plenty of places available to purchase tulip to take home with you.
Does your family love to explore museums? Then you’re in luck! The Skagit County Historical Museum is just a short walk up the hill from downtown La Conner. In their exhibits kids can experience the early history of Skagit County. Learn about the Native Americans who lived here, early transportation and industries, and also the day-to-day life of our early families and settlers. Museum admission is $10 for families.
You can also pick up a La Conner sculpture walking tour map and point out the art along the way. If your family loves history, be sure to print out the La Conner Walking Tour of Historical Sites guide before you visit.
Need to get the wiggles out? Younger kids can play to their hearts content at the John Hammer Playground on Moore Street. Do you have a skateboard lover in the family? Head to the La Conner Skateboard Park. Or, if you’re headed out of town and need an indoor play space, swing by the Children’s Museum of Skagit County and play in their semi-truck or the fishing boat, use the overhead crane and then dress-up for an impromptu play on the stage. Kids always come up with amazing ways to use their imagination when you let them!
Tulip Festival 2016 Activities for Kids – Feed Me!
Hungry? The charming waterfront town of La Conner is ready for you and your family. There are many restaurants to choose from, even for picky eaters. Looking for a sweet treat? Kids will love the ice cream at the La Conner Ice Cream Tower. The Calico Cupboard has great kid food and AMAZING cookies! Print out these La Conner coloring pages for a fun activity while you are waiting for your lunch. Wipe their sticky hands, and head over to Bears N’ Friends for the stuffed animal lover in your family. Nasty Jacks Antiques has cool stuff to look at and an old time photography studio. Finally, walk down to the docks and onto the new boardwalk and look at the boats and wildlife on the channel. Kids LOVE the boats and can spot seals, eagles, small fish and herons if they are lucky!
If an outdoor picnic is more your speed, head towards the Rainbow Bridge where you will find Pioneer Park. It’s a great place to picnic and has covered shelters with tables. You and the kids can also explore the marked trails that wind through the park. The view over the water is AMAZING and is another holiday card photo op location!
On your way back to the freeway your last stop needs to be one of my favorite local farm stands – Snow Goose Produce. They have the largest ice cream cones my kids have ever eaten! The ice cream is from Lopez Island Creamery, which is just SO GOOD. To avoid a sticky mess, have the kids eat them BEFORE you get back in the car as most kids cannot finish the entire cone.
Tulip Festival 2016 Activities for Kids – Plan Ahead
If you are planning ahead (good for you!), here are some not-to-miss events you can incorporate into your itinerary:
April 2nd-24th – Kiwanis BBQ – Raises money for children’s organizations in Skagit County
April 9th Annual Tulip Run – Kids 10 and under FREE
April 8th-9th – Garage Sale, Antiques & More at the Skagit County Fairgrounds
April 9th – Not-So-Impromptu Tulip Parade
April 9th – PACCAR Technical Center Open House
April 12th – Community FREE Day @ the Children’s Museum of Skagit County
April 15th-17th – Mount Vernon Street Fair
April 16th – Tulip Pedal
April 16th – Heritage Flight Museum “Fly Day”
April 22nd – State Parks Free Day – Earth Day = No Discover Pass Required
Finally, you can always check the Skagit Kid Insider events calendar for local family-friendly events and activities and check out the 101+ Things to Do in La Conner. Thinking of visiting during a different season? Take a look at our Visit La Conner on a Return Trip page to learn more about what’s fun and engaging during each of our four seasons.
YES – you can bring your kids to the Skagit Valley Tulip Festival! Marvel at the tulips. Play in the dirt. Take amazing pictures. Eat great food. Explore the parks. Most of all… MAKE MEMORIES!