To me, tulips are the trumpeters of spring. While they are surely not the first flowers to rise from the ground, sometimes while it is still snow-covered, their bright colors and strong petals really seem to signify that winter is behind us. As the cold, bitter days are fewer and fewer and the sun starts to shine on our faces again, we can frolic through the tulips now that spring is here.
Last year, The Fun Farm in Kearney held its first tulip festival. I was ecstatic and bought pre-order tickets (something I’m usually too wishy-washy to do) and could not wait to take my kids. I spent a few years overseas in Europe and was lucky enough to visit the Netherlands in the spring during their tulip festival, which features hundreds of acres of tulips. It was so fun to traipse through the muddy grounds in Kearney and see all the beautiful, meticulously-planted, multicolored tulips surrounding the farm’s windmill. It lacked Dutch cheese, but it was fun nonetheless.
The Fun Farm will hold its tulip festival again this year as their farm branches out from being simply a pumpkin patch to a place you can enjoy in other seasons. While their dates have yet to be announced, the tulips should bloom sometime in April or early May, and you can subscribe for notifications on their website at funfarmpumpkinpatch.com.
If you’re wanting to get a little more in the Dutch spirit as you celebrate the harbinger of spring, you can take a trip to Pella, Iowa, about a 3.5-hour drive north from Kansas City. The city has held its Tulip Time festival every year since 1935, and it features parades, dancing, live music, food vendors, a celebration of Dutch heritage and, of course, tulips. The festival is free to attend, though they do have certain sections that require tickets. The Tulip Time festival is always the first Thursday, Friday and Saturday of May, so this year it is May 4-6. If you’re unable to attend, you can at least check out their “tulip cam” for a live stream of the blooms. You can find more information at pellahistorical.org.