Trust us. Oregon’s Wooden Shoe Tulip Festival is as family-friendly as it gets
If you are thrilled that spring is here, then you’ll want to celebrate with Portland’s epic Annual Wooden Shoe Tulip festival! This month-and-a-half-long family-friendly event kicks off on March 17, and offers tons of exciting activities like hot air balloon and cow train rides as well as special events and activities for families to attend. Read on for your guide to this beloved spring event.
What is the Wooden Shoe Tulip Festival?
The Wooden Shoe Tulip Farm puts on the Wooden Shoe Tulip Fest in Woodburn, Oregon. This Oregon farm is home to 40 acres filled with various tulips that come in stunning colors. The fields get rearranged into new patterns each year, so the annual celebration never fails to stun attendees—a big reason they return again and again. But the tulips aren’t the only thing your crew has to look forward to at this spring event. There are incredible views of mountains, nearby vineyards, and onsite food, drinks, and fun for the whole family to enjoy. Kids in particular love the play area, and there are hay rides and special weekend events you should start planning for now.
When is the Wooden Shoe Tulip Festival?
The Festival is held annually in Woodburn, Oregon. This year you can get tickets to the festival from March 17 to April 30, 2023. Advance tickets are a must and online ticket sales start March 1, 2023. As you consider dates that work well for your family, remember that Mother Nature is in charge of when the tulips bloom. So if you’re heading out to get pictures to send to the grandparents, it’s best to avoid the first week (or so) of the blooming season.
When is the Best Time to Visit the Wooden Shoe Tulip Festival with Kids?
We’ll let you in on a little secret—crowds are smaller during the work week, so this is an ideal time to come if you have busy little ones or don’t like negotiating space with others. The gardens are open from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. on weekdays, so you’ve got plenty of time to make it down from the city, explore, and still be home in time to make dinner.
What to Expect During a Weekday Visit
The festival is open daily throughout the week. During the weekdays you can wander through the tulip fields, and check out the four-acre garden bursting with over 100 varieties of tulips. Take the kids on a tulip train ride, a leisurely, cushioned ride around the tulips with plenty photo stops—better make room on your phone. The train runs from noon to 5 p.m. during weekdays and is an extra cost. Or just let them run in the children’s play area on a lovely spring day. The play area includes play structures kids of all ages will love, the famous duck races, and even old-fashioned tire swings to catch air on.
Weekend Activities at the Festival
The weekends bring extras to the fest that make it worth navigating the eager crowds. Plus weekend hours are a little longer (8 a.m.-7 p.m.) so you’ve got more Your kids can watch wooden shoe-making or steam tractor demonstrations, or you can wander through the crafter marketplace and peruse the offerings from various vendors. Up the excitement with a balloon animal or let your little athletes get their energy out in the jump tents or the rock wall. For adrenaline addicts, there are even carnival rides. It’s easy to spend a whole weekend playing and relaxing on the farm.
But if you ask us, the got air balloon rides (available only on the weekends) are the big draw. If you are interested in seeing the tulip fields from above, there are a number of balloonists you can call directly and book flights with. Please remember, the rides are weather dependent.
Where to Eat at the Festival
One of the things that makes this festival family-friendly is that families can pack their own picnics and eat onsite with the kids. It's a great way to save money. But if you'd prefer to head out the door without a ton of prep time, there are plenty of tasty options available at the festival. Alotta Wood Fire Pizza will sell you a slice, Real Mexican Food will be available, and who doesn't want something from Gimme Some Sugar? You will also find coffee and smoothies and so much more.
Wine Tasting & Tours
Whether you're looking for a date idea or you've got grandparents or a friend who wants to come along and watch the kids, you don't want to miss the Tulip Fest's wine tasting and tour opportunities. Enjoy a glass of one of the estate-grown wines or a glass of local beer or cider at the vineyard, or go on a wine farm tour at the scheduled ticket time. There are three different tours you can go on: The Estate Wine Tour, the Light Wine Tour, and the Red Wine Tour. All are worth it.
Other Things to do in the Area
Extend your fun beyond the fest by joining one of the festival-related events. Check out the Wooden Shoe Vineyards for some wine-tasting fun. There are also a number of fun runs to check out including the Tulip Trail Run.
What to Bring & Wear
Make sure you get the most out of your Wooden Shoe Tulip Festival experience by showing up prepared. Spring is wet in Oregon so bring boots and a raincoat in case you get caught in a downpour. It’s also wise to bring a dry change of clothes for the kids or at least dry socks if you want to keep your diaper bag uncluttered. Snacks are a must. If you have little ones, pack the stroller. It’s bound to come in handy. Don’t forget your camera! You will get some incredible shots no matter what the weather does.
Insider Tip: This is a dog-friendly event. Your pooch must be leashed, but is bound to love the event as much as you do.
Dates: Mar. 17-Apr. 23, 2023
Cost: $10-$40/weekday pass; $15-$55/weekend pass; $60/season pass; all tickets include parking
Wooden Shoe Tulip Festival
33814 S. Meridian Rd.