In bloom: When & where to see tulips in Iowa

Photo courtesy of Orange City Tulip Festival via Facebook.

By Katie Giorgio

April 10, 2024

One of the highlights of spring in Iowa is seeing nature bloom. And while the daffodils spring up early in the season, beloved tulips are never far behind.

Now that spring’s blustery start seems to have moved on, Iowa will be blooming with the beauty of tulips in no time; they typically spring up mid- to late April through early May. As they say, April showers bring May flowers!

Several cities across the state have made a name for themselves celebrating tulips in all their glory. Check out these spots where you can be part of the celebration of tulips and the beauty they bring to Iowa.

Tulips festivals in Iowa

Tulip Time in Pella – May 2-4

Pella is perhaps the best-known destination for tulip appreciation in the Hawkeye State.

This centrally located town goes all out for its annual Tulip Time. Officially slated for May 2-4 this year, it’s the 89th celebration carried out in Pella.

The festivities include tulips of course, but there’s also Dutch attire, food, and fun. Tour the historic village and the Vermeer windmill, cheer along during the parade, and shop at the Dutch Craft Market for a unique souvenir.

Entrance to the festival itself is free, but some activities do require a ticket purchase. You can snag tickets in advance (at various price points for tours, parking, and grandstand seating), and be sure to check out the daily schedule to make sure you don’t miss out on your favorite events and activities.

It’s a truly fantastic celebration of Dutch culture and tradition, as well as the tulips that adorn the town. A visit to Tulip Time in Pella will surely make you feel like you have been transported to Holland without having to hop on a plane.

In bloom: When & where to see tulips in Iowa

Photo courtesy of Pella Historical Museums and Tulip Time via Facebook.

Orange City Tulip Festival – May 16-18

There’s tulip-celebrating to be done in western Iowa as well.

Orange City, founded by Dutch immigrants in the 1870s, hosts its annual Tulip Festival each spring. This year the event is slated for May 16-18 and is the 83rd annual event.

Orange City rolls out the old-world charm to showcase the richness of Dutch culture during the three-day celebration. There are two parades daily, Dutch costumes and dancing, and nightly musical theater (this year will feature “Footloose the Musical.”) You’ll also see dozens of replica windmills set up around the downtown area and ogle at thousands of delicate, lovely tulips.

You might even pop into Tulip Town Bulb Company to snag a few bulbs to grow your own tulips at home. No matter what, you are sure to find the Orange City Tulip Festival is one bursting with color and fun!

In bloom: When & where to see tulips in Iowa

Photo courtesy of Orange City Tulip Festival via Facebook.

Tulip farms in Iowa

If you aren’t able to join in one of the festival weekends, check out these farms sprinkled around the state that offer u-pick or flower subscription opportunities for tulips this spring:

This article first appeared on Good Info News Wire and is republished here under a Creative Commons license.In bloom: When & where to see tulips in IowaIn bloom: When & where to see tulips in Iowa

  • Katie Giorgio

    Katie Mills Giorgio is a freelance writer, editor, and nonprofit professional living and working in her hometown of Cedar Rapids, Iowa. She’s written for a wide variety of publications, including WashingtonPost.com, BHG.com, and U.S. News & World Report. 100 Things to Do in Cedar Rapids Before You Die, her first book came out in October 2022. Learn more at katiemillsgiorgio.com or follow her on Instagram at @ktmgiorgio.

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