The Tulip Festival Begins Today


It’s that time of year again. The city has been preparing for tulips to take centre stage and to welcome tourists and residents to come enjoy the 71st Canadian Tulip Festival, on until May 23. The term ‘April showers bring May flowers’ has never been more true than in Ottawa this spring. This festival, which is rich with a historical past filled with national friendships and gift giving that took place decades ago, now showcases amazing talent and experiences as well. With a little planning, you can have a day of floral fun that works for the whole family.

Kick off the celebrations with a fantastic fireworks show on May 12—that’s tonight. Tickets for children under 10 are free, and the show, which is set to music, can be viewed from the Great Lawn at Lansdowne Park between 9:15 and 9:45 pm. Get ready to be in awe with each boom and pop!

This year, much of the festival is taking place at Lansdowne Park and inside the Aberdeen Pavilion. Walk through the indoor tulip and sculpture garden, visit the International Pavilion Friendship stage to take in some music and live shows and keep an eye out for buskers and performers along the way.

What we love about the Tulip Festival is that festivities run all week long, so there are plenty of opportunities for your family to participate—no need to cram everything into one day. Mark your calendars this weekend and get ready to see military vehicles and explore an educational re-enactment camp. Catch the battle re-enactment taking place at Lansdowne Park’s Great Lawn on Saturday, May 14 at 2 pm and be transported back in time.

And of course, the stars of the show are the tulips themselves. Small children love to see the gorgeous colours and rows and rows of tulips, and we think older children will appreciate the sense of awe these flowers inspire when they are in full bloom. Now is the time to grab your cameras and snap some family photos (or selfies). While many activities are being held at Lansdowne, it’s always worth a leisurely stroll through Commissioners Park near Dow’s Lake to take in the sites. Visit the Festival’s Tulip map for a guide to where the tulip gardens are located across Ottawa and the area.

What else do we think your kids will love? The face painting, photo opportunities, music, artists in the park, Doo Doo the Clown, princesses, and so much more! Plan out your Tulip Festival adventures and enjoy another gorgeous season.

The spring weather is too nice not to take advantage of. We recommend these local parks and these great outdoor spots.


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