Imagine colorful hot air balloons gracefully floating over 40 acres of brilliant tulips fields. All with a backdrop of snow-covered mountains. This is the beauty you’ll find at the Wooden Shoe Tulip Farm during Tulip Fest, Oregon’s best tulip farm.
Spring is a beautiful time of year in the Pacific Northwest and the Tulip Festival showcase its splendor with a 6-week celebration of flowers. The festival is open from 9am – 6pm on weekdays and 8am – 7pm on weekends from late March through late April, with most activities available on the weekend.
I waited to visit until the tulips were near peak bloom, which will vary depending on the weather conditions. Check the field report often to know when the farm will be most vibrant.
Here’s everything you need to know:
- When to visit
- Admissions options
- Food options
- Buying flowers
- What to bring
Where is it?
Wooden Shoe Tulip Farm is nestled in the rolling farmland of the Willamette Valley. It’s 40 minutes south of Portland and 30 minutes north of Salem, in Woodburn Oregon.
When to Visit
The 2020 tulip festival runs from March 20 – May 3 with weekday general admission from 9am – 6pm and weekend gerneral admission from 8am – 7pm. The festival caters to families who want to enjoy flowers and activities, and photographers who want to capture the stunning landscape.
If you plan to enjoy the flowers and activities, go on the weekend during general admission. It’s the busiest time but all activities are available, including the field trams, kids play area, gift shops, and if the weather is nice, hot air balloons.
My family visited the first weekend the tulip fields were in peak bloom. The parking lot was packed but once we were in the fields it didn’t feel crowded.
No matter when you go, check the Field Report first to know the field conditions and how much of the farm is blooming.
There are many options to enjoy the festival. These are the most popular for 2020:
- Individual admission (ages 13+) $5 weekdays/ $8 weekends
- Family admission, one car $30 weekends
- Season pass $60
For more admission options and additional info, see the Ticket Information website.
You’ll find the most activities and special events on the weekends. Clear weekends draw the largest crowds but it also offers something spectacular. Hot air balloons!
On clear, mild weekends you’ll find hot air balloons gracefully filling the skies above the tulip fields. Some are tethered to the ground and offer rides to those brave enough to climb into the basket. You can imagine the spectacular view of tulip fields, rolling farmlands, and snow covered mountains.
Floating high above the ground may be intimidating to kids (and adults), so they provide many activities for the little ones.
Kids can climb on tractors that are placed throughout the tulip fields. They make great photo opportunities while entertaining the kids.
There’s a cow train near the windmill that takes them on a bumpy ride around a field in cow shaped cars towed by a tractor. I saw nothing but smiles. This is available every day of the week.
On weekends there’s an entire kid entertainment area that includes bounce houses, a climbing wall, zip line, slide, and pony rides. There’s an additional cost for these but the uncontained enthusiasm from Coen made the $4 bounce house worth it.
For the adults, they have local food and craft vendors, gift shops, and wooden shoe making demonstrations.
Special events happen throughout the tulip festival. Some nights they shoot sparks from old steam-powered tractors. They bring in alpacas from a local farm. And offer photography classes. Check out their Special Events page to see what they have planned this year.
There aren’t a lot of food options but the offerings are delicious. They are mostly meat-based, so pack a lunch if you’re vegan or vegetarian. You have a choice of:
Mt. Angel Sausage Company – daily
Bratwurst or chicken sausage with onions and kraut, corn dogs, hot dogs, and fries.
Loco Ono BBQ – Thurs – Sun
BBQ pulled pork & chicken sandwiches, slow wood smoke beef sandwiches & homemade coleslaw.
Cocos Coffee – Thurs – Sun
Specialty coffees, hot chocolate, and smoothies.
If you want to take home some of the beauty you see at this Oregon tulip farm, you have three options:
You can buy blooming bulbs that are potted in small or large containers. I bought a small container of unique orange and purple tulips for $10.
Cut flower bouquets are available, which are picked by hand and wrapped in clear cello. They can last 8 hours without water and will take 1 – 3 days to open.
Bulbs can be pre-ordered and shipped to you when they’re ready in the fall. Grab a brochure before you leave or order them on-site.
What to Bring
Oregon springs are wet. Beautiful sunny days are always bookended by rain, which brings muddy fields. This means the number one thing you need to bring is rain boots. I recommend bringing a pair of shoes for the car and your boots for the farm. They do have a boot wash station near the gift shops.
Additionally, you need layers of clothes and a rain jacket. When we left Portland the weather was beautifully mild. When we got to the tulip farm it was much cooler and breezy.
If you have a nice camera, bring it. It will be the best way to capture the vivid beauty of the tulip fields.
If you don’t eat meat, bring lunch. As I mentioned, the food offerings are meat heavy.
The Wooden Shoe Tulip Farm Festival is the perfect way to welcome spring after a long winter. The tulip festival is thoughtfully organized to please children, families, and photographers. Coen had a great time, not a single complaint.
If you live in Oregon or are visiting, I recommend putting Tulip Fest on your list. Don’t live nearby? Find a flower festival near you. Many regions grow flowers and it’s sure to brighten your day.