Tulip Festivals are taking over our Instagram feeds lately and encouraging everyone to plan a vacation to visit some brightly coloured tulip blooms. There are so many things to do in British Columbia in Spring, but a trip to visit the Instagrammable Abbotsford Bloom Tulip Festival was at the top of our to-do list. Since Swoop Airlines launched their flights to Abbotsford, BC, it was a no-brainer: We decided to take advantage of the reasonably-priced flights to visit Abbotsford to enjoy the blooms.
Visiting Abbotsford, BC:
Located a quick one hour flight from Edmonton or an hour drive from Vancouver, thousands of visitors flock to Abbotsford for a day trip just to see the blooms. We spent 3 days in the Abbotsford which was the perfect amount of time to explore the Tulip Festival as well as nearby wine region. Since it’s so close to Vancouver, it’s also the perfect day trip.
Abbotsford Tulip Festival Dates
The Abbotsford Tulip Festival dates vary each year, usually lasting 4-5 weeks. This year, the Festival opened a few days earlier than the planned date (15th of April) thanks to the perfect mix of sun and showers, but one usually has to watch their Instagram for an opening announcement each year. The Bloom Tulip Festival runs until the blooms last and, this year, is expected to close on the 12th of May.
Note: The Abbotsford Tulip Festival is cancelled for 2020, due to COVID-19.
Other Canadian Tulip Festivals to visit in 2020?
- The Canadian Tulip Festival in Ottawa, Ontario. 2019 Dates: May 10 – 20, 2019. Check website for 2020 dates.
- The Chilliwack Tulip Festival in Chilliwack, British Columbia. 2019 Dates: Check here for updated details.
High Bloom vs Low Bloom
We were excited that our visit coincided with ‘High Bloom’, when all the tulips were out. Perfect for photos! ‘Low Bloom’, on the other hand, is when the buds are still green, there are far less crowds and there are ‘value’ tickets available.
We had been watching the Festival’s Instagram account closely for weeks to make sure we didn’t miss the best time to visit. The Festival is also weather-dependant so we had to check their social media updates for any unplanned closures too. Luckily, the fields were full of gorgeous colours and mostly in bloom when we were there (24th of April).
You can purchase tickets at the Festival, however, you’ll find the best value tickets online. When purchasing online, you usually have to choose a particular time slot. Although not strictly enforced, I would highly recommend sticking to your time-slot. Be aware that during ‘High Bloom’ weekends, there are high sell-out risks, so book your tickets in advance! The various rates are online but they begin from $5, all the way up to $25, or more for a VIP Crown Package.
Did you see our IG Takeover on the Festival’s Instagram account, @abbotsfordtulipfestival? I got way too excited about the U-Pick area where you get to pick your own tulips! (Spot the cheesy smile in our photos!). It’s also a better area for photos since you can actually walk through the fields in this area. You can pay $1 per tulip, or purchase the bucket which costs $35. By the way, you get to take the bucket home too! (That’s what we did!)
Pack those boots!
We weren’t sure how necessary boots would be but I am so glad we packed our rubber boots. The Festival was extremely muddy, especially at the entrance and in the U-pick area, where you can walk through the fields. I love these boots that I bought at the start of our Winter in Edmonton and have worn pretty much everyday since. They went perfectly with this gorgeous yellow dress (that I’ve received several compliments on), and my favourite denim jacket which helped with the early morning chill.
I noticed several visitors in bright, white sneakers that were anxious to avoid the mud. Do not make the same mistake as them! Pack those boots! I would also pack some plastic bags to put your boots into when you leave, plus a change of shoes, so the mud does not get into your vehicle. If possible, I would also avoid taking strollers into the Festival due to the mud.
Can’t get enough of Tulip Photos?
You could always tack on another Tulip Festival nearby in the Fraser Valley. The Chilliwack Festival is 16 minutes away and has a swing for Instagrammable shots!
Take some home with you!
If you’re not keen on the U-Pick, you can always grab a bouquet on the way out (or perhaps, on the way in? Photo Op!). We loved having some tulips to brighten up our hotel room for the entire duration of our stay. They also made for some fun and playful last minute photos in Downtown Abbotsford.
Festivals of Tulips 2019:
Wondering which Festivals of Tulips to visit? Here’s our list of Tulip Festival, in addition to the Abbotsford Tulip Festival, that you can visit around the world:
- Tulip fields in Lisse & Keukenhof, Netherlands (Europe)
- Skagit Tulip Festival in Washington (US)
- The Flower Fields in Carlsbad, California (US)
- Wooden Shoe Tulip Farm in Oregon (US)
- @hollandridgefarms @peonysenvy @happydayfarmnj in New Jersey (US)
- @wickedtulips in Rhode Island (US)
- Texas Tulips in Denton, TX (US)
- Belmont Nurseries in Norfolk (UK)
- Tulip Fields in Kiev, Ukraine
- Kisosansen Park Tulip in Kaizu, Japan (Asia)
- Sakura Tulip Festival in Sakura (Asia)
Thank you to Bloom Abbotsford Tulip Festival for having us.
Blooming excited to visit next year, Leigh