Every year in Spring Thanksgiving Point hosts the Tulip Festival in the Ashton Gardens. This is the time when the gardens are awakening and all the tulips, daffodils, and other beautiful flowers are blooming in the springtime. The festival runs April 13-May 5, 2018.
We love to visit the Tulip Festival. And we often go several times because we have a pass to Thanksgiving Point since we live so close. Every time we go, there are different flowers blooming because different tulips open at different times. And every year there is something different to see. This year (2016) they have the logos for BYU, U of U, and USU, which was a fun surprise.
You can rent golf carts to ride through the gardens, but we love walking the paths. There are a lot of pathways that the golf carts are not allowed to travel on, so you will miss a big section of the gardens. But it is helpful for those who need assistance. A lot of the paths are paved, and even if they are not, we have pushed a stroller everywhere in the gardens, so I would classify this venue as stroller and wheelchair friendly.
On Fridays and Saturdays during the Tulip Festival there are food trucks, vendors, and other fun activities such as bounce houses or art projects. So it might be worth your time and money to go on the weekend, but it will also be the busiest those days.
One of our favorite parts of the Tulip Festival is that there is often an owl nesting behind the waterfall. When you cross the bridge behind the waterfall, look toward the wall behind the falls, and you might see a Great-Horned Owl resting. Please be quiet and try not to disturb the owl as you take pictures and admire how beautiful she is.
The Thanksgiving Point Ashton Gardens are beautiful anytime of the year, but the Tulip Festival really is the peak of the beauty! If you have never visited the gardens, make sure to start with a trip during the Tulip Festival.
Tips for Families:
- Make sure to pick up a map when you arrive so you can keep track of where you have wandered because not all paths take you through the entire grounds.
- Visit the Monet Pond and bring a quarter for food to feed the fish. This is one of our children’s favorite things to do at the gardens.
- Visit the Secret Garden. You walk through a tunnel made from vines, and end up in a small garden with a fountain. This is always popular.
- If the weather is nice, let the kids roll down the hill toward the waterfall. It’s a great hill for rolling!
- Plan on walking quite a bit, so if you have little ones a stroller might be a wise choice.
- There are picnic tables near the waterfall and snack shop/food trucks, so you can bring a lunch and have a picnic in the gardens.
- The Tulip Festival is in Spring in Utah, so plan on any kind of weather. We wore gloves and winter hats when we went this year. Last year we had on hoodies and long pants, and I remember one year wearing shorts. So plan for the weather.
- There are lots of other fun venues at Thanksgiving Point. If you are in the area, you can check out The Museum of Natural Curiosity, The Museum of Ancient Life, and Farm Country.