From April 1–30, thousands of people flock to the Skagit Valley Tulip Festival to see millions of blooming tulips in Skagit Valley. Taking your child's picture against a backdrop of Technicolor tulips is a local tradition. Farms and businesses host music, activities and kids' events all month long.
We asked the experts — our readers — for tips on how people can make the most out of their visit to the tulip fields.
1. Have a bathroom strategy: “Go to the bathroom before you leave and, if you can, right before you get there. Nothing but Honey Buckets as far as the eye can see.”
2. Go late in the day: “Going an hour or so before it closes is great for families who want to avoid the crowds.” And consider going on a weekday instead of the weekend (although many of the events happen on the weekend).
3. Dress for weather: “Wear rain boots and bring a change of shoes and clothes!” “Get ready to get muddy, but have fun!”
4. Go to the Snow Goose: “Skip the over-priced daffodils at the fields and head straight for Snow Goose on Fir Island. You'll generally find cheaper flowers there, along with gigantic ice cream cones.”
5. Make sure there are blooms. “Check and make sure the flowers are in bloom. Sounds weird, but we drove three hours to get there one year, only to discover the flowers were late blooming due to the colder weather.”
6. Bring meals, buy coffee. “Pack lunch, wear boots and get coffee along the way. Roozengarde has decent latte's and chai tea but the main food fare is burgers and dogs. If you want more, bring it since the restaurants aren't always open when you are ready to eat. Layer clothing and arm with your best camera and extra batteries.”
8. Kiwanis Salmon bake is a one-stop-shop “We have lunch at the Kiwanis salmon bake. While hardly a gourmet lunch, it's cheap, it's for a good cause and most importantly, it's held in a beautiful local park with a cute playground — great for getting the kids tired before the ride home.”
9. Wear the baby. “No strollers!”
10. Three cheers for Tulip Town: “Tulip Town is more kid friendly compared to Rozengarde. Stroller don’t work great in the mud so use a carrier or baby backpack that works for you. Don't forget the camera.
Thanks to those who contributed, and don’t forget to leave a comment if you have more tips to add to our list.
Photo credit: Michele Hardy, 2013 Skagit Valley Tulip Festival Photo Contest.