If you haven’t been to the Tesselaar Tulip Festival, you simply must.  It’s a family-run festival that started 61 years ago and runs for a month each year – from mid-September to mid-October.  The Tesselaar family immigrated from The Netherlands in 1939 and began planting tulip bulbs from their native country.  In 1954, they decided to open up their family’s farm to the public.  Situated at Silvan in the Dandenong Ranges, approximately an hour’s drive from Melbourne, the tulip festival comprises more than 100 species of tulips and more than half a million tulips.  The field of tulips is breathtaking.

Each year, the festival has many themed weekends.  It starts with Turkish Weekend because tulips are said to have originated from Turkey.  During this weekend, you’ll find Turkish representatives in costume, with their national music, food, dancing and more on display.  Following Turkish weekend is Dutch Weekend where you can see traditional clog dancing, bands, and so much more.  Next up is Food, Wine & Jazz Weekend which really showcases what the Dandenong & Yarra Valley region has to offer.  And finally, Irish Weekend when the ‘greening of the tulips’ occurs (the heads of the tulips are all cut off)!

Amidst the weekends are Seniors Week where there are reportedly smaller crowds, and Children’s Weeks during the school holidays where there are lots of activities for the kids.

We ended up going this week during Children’s Week.  It was so much fun.  Our 3-year-old loved tiptoeing running (carefully) through the tulip fields, observing all the animals on display, watching The MikMaks on stage, exploring Fairy Hollow, and eating a lot of Dutch poffertjes. 

The festival is planned really well with lots of food stalls, market stalls, plant stalls, and plenty of other activities to engage people of all ages.  Entry is $22 per adult, $18 per concession, but children under 16 are allowed in free if accompanied by adults.  This year, the tulip festival is open from the 11th September until the 7th of October every day from 10 am to 5 pm.  There is plenty of free parking and lots of places where you can lay out a picnic rug and enjoy spring at its finest.

357-359 Monbulk Road
Silvan  VIC  3795
+61 3 9737 7722

11 September – 7 October 2014
from 10 am – 5 pm daily

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