Every year, the City of Ottawa prepares to celebrate the Ottawa Tulip Festival. This family-friendly, tourist-welcoming event is a highlight in the city each spring, and with warmer weather beginning recently, the 2019 Ottawa Tulip Festival is looking to be a beautiful affair. With millions of tulips on display and over 650,000 visitors expected for the festival, you’ll want to make some plans ahead of time to fully enjoy all that the Ottawa Tulip Festival has to offer. If you are planning on going to the event, which runs between May 10 and 20, we’ve gathered up some information that will make your visit even easier.
Tip: There are many new offerings this year so you’ll want to browse their website to learn more!
What to do as a family at the Ottawa Tulip Festival
Photo credit: Baby Hackett, courtesy of Mommy Hackett
From May 10 – 20, plan a visit to Commissioners Park for this extravagant outdoor floral display. This celebration of a royal tulip gift from years ago will help you learn about the Canadian tulip history, the birth of Princess Margriet and the role of Canadian soldiers in helping free the Netherlands during World War 2.
We are excited to learn about the new Canadian Tulip Festival Museum which has been curated to highlight 66 years of festival history.
We highly encourage you to take time to stroll through the areas where the flowers are (a site map is available on the Ottawa Tulip Festival website) to really enjoy the massive undertaking that happens each year to prepare the flowers and gardens. The tulips offer the opportunity to take gorgeous photos of the kids (and you!) and we know you’ll want to have a chance to snap a few candid and posed shots while you are walking around.
There will be a tulip sale, gardens to explore, activities to attend, art to admire and for families who are able to stay up late into the night, a spectacular fireworks show on May 19th at about 10 pm will be one of the finales to this year’s event.
Kid-friendly activities happening this year
World Changing Kids will encourage visitors to paint giant tulips for future displays. Kids can paint on weekdays between 12 and 6 pm, and on weekends from 10 am to 8 pm. On the weekends (and the holiday Monday) there will be face painting and glitter tattoos available and a practice kids garden where kids can get in the dirt and learn how to plant bulbs! Pedelheads will also be on site providing some fun.
Know before you go:
Know which official Ottawa Tulip Festival location you want to attend before you go. Look to their calendar of events and locations to confirm where you can go, where to park and all of the details to plan the best visit.
Many events are free, but some do have specific fees and require registration or tickets. Full calendar details with all of the events, dates and times are available on the Ottawa Tulip Festival website.
Concessions and food trucks will be available, but if the weather is nice, you may want to pack a picnic!