Spring is the perfect time to visit Oregon, especially when the tulips are in bloom. I’ve always wanted to visit the Skagit Tulip Festival in Washington, but after visiting the Wooden Shoe Tulip Festival, I personally think Mount Hood makes a better backdrop (fingers crossed you go on a clear day). The colorful rows of tulips are beautiful and Hood looks majestic, which makes for amazing photos. It’s any photographer’s dream.
When we lived in Portland, we visited the 40 acre Tulip farm twice. Both times were well worth the 40-minute drive.
YOUR ULTIMATE GUIDE TO THE WOODEN SHOE TULIP FESTIVAL OREGON – WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW BEFORE YOU GO
Originally Created: March 9, 2018
BEST TIME TO VISIT
The 2018 Season runs from March 23–April 29 and daily from 9 am to 6 pm. Each year, the exact dates will differ a bit but will generally be around the same time.
As you can imagine, the weekends are much busier than during the week, so if you want to avoid the crowds or if you’re going to shoot photos, you should absolutely try to go during the week. The first time we went, it was for sunrise on a Saturday, and I was surprised by the crowd of photographers dedicated enough to wake up for it. It makes sense, though, since the peak bloom has such a limited time frame and it’s so weather dependent.
The advantage of going during the weekend is that there are more activities available, which is great for families who want to make a full day out of their trip.
THINGS TO DO AT THE WOODEN SHOE TULIP FARM
These activities are open daily unless otherwise noted.
- Tulip & Daffodil Display Beds
- Wooden Shoe Gardens
- Tram &/or Hay Wagon Ride
- Children’s Play Area
- Photo Cut-out Boards
- Cow Train ($4 pp)
- Field Train ($5 pp)
- Food: Mt. Angel Sausage Company, Loco Ono BBQ (Thurs-Sunday), Coffee Cart (Thurs-Sunday)
- Wooden Shoe Vineyards Tasting Room
- Tulip Market
- Field Greenhouse Tent
- Wooden Shoe Making Demonstration (weekends only)
- Stream Tractor Demonstration (weekends only and weather dependent)
- Crafter Market Place (weekends only)
- Local Balloon Artists (weekends only and weather dependent)
- Pony Rides (weekends only and weather dependent)
- Tulip the Cow Meet & Greet (weekends only)
- Wine Wagon Farm Tour (weekends only and 21+)
Additional Kids Activities are available during the weekends only and are $3-7: Jump Tents, Bungee Jumper, Pony Rides, Rock Wall & Zip Line.
Hot Air Balloon Rides
We were hoping to catch some photos with Hot Air Balloons in the air, but the weather didn’t work out during our visits. Of course, you can also go on a hot air balloon ride to see the tulips from above! For information about flying or booking a ride, visit their list of approved Balloonists here.
WHICH TICKET TO PURCHASE
Depending on your interest, there are a few different ticket options for the Tulip Fest. All admissions include parking, walking access to the tulip fields, Tram & Hay Rides to and from the fields, access to Wooden Shoe Gardens, and more!
You can purchase tickets online or onsite, but to save time, purchase your tickets online.
- Season Pass $40 – This is the one we got and it covers the entire car. It gives you access all 6 weeks of the festival and allows early and late entrance (one hour before sunrise and one hour after sunset), which is especially important for photographers.
- Individual Admission $5 (Ages 13+) – One day access during the regular 9am-6pm hours.
- Family Car One Day Pass $20 – One day entrance for the entire car during regular 9am-6pm hours.
- Sunrise Individual Entrance Pass $15 – One person can get access during prime early mornings (1 hour before sunrise).
If you are visiting more than once or with multiple people specifically for photography, we recommend getting the season pass.
About the Farm
The farm was started in 1950 by Ross and Dorothy Iverson, who continued to expand the farm as they put their six kids through college. In the late 1970s, they bought a few acres of tulip bulbs from Dr. Homan, who was retiring, and by the early 1980’s, they had over 15 acres. They started the Wooden Shoe Bulb Company, which took off in 1985 when they opened their fields for Easter weekend. In 2001, they changed their name to the Wooden Shoe Tulip Farm, and currently, it is a popular destination to visit in Oregon.
Buying and Keeping Fresh Cut Flowers
Tulips can stay in bloom for over 8 weeks, starting as early as late February and until late April. Most of them start at the end of March. They pick flowers by hand, wash them, and wrap them in clear cello to protect them. They are then stored in cold storage (33°F) in water. You can purchase fresh cut flowers onsite at the Gift Shop from March to April (special dates vary depending on n weather). You can also have them shipped to you.
Once you purchase them, keep in mind that tulips can last up to 8 hours without water. They will take 1-3 days to open. I wanted to come home with some, but we didn’t get any because tulips are poisonous to cats and dogs, and we have a hard time keeping them out of their reach.
Contact Info & Address
Wooden Shoe Tulip Festival
33814 S. Meridian Rd.
Woodburn, OR 97071
ESSENTIAL TIPS FOR GOING TO THE WOODEN SHOE TULIP FESTIVAL
- The best way to find out the current status of the Tulip Fields is to check out the current Field Report. They give an update on what’s happening and include photos.
- During sunrise, expect there to be a lot of photographers out, but the farm is big and there are still plenty of places to shoot from.
- Be mindful of the flowers. They spend a lot of time growing them for everyone to enjoy, and it’s sad to see when they get trampled.
- They hold special events throughout the season, like photography classes, 5K/10K runs, and more. Find details here.
- Well behaved dogs are allowed on leashes.
WHAT TO PACK
- Rain Gear – The Pacific Northwest gets a LOT of rain, which means, during your visit it’s likely to be really muddy. Be prepared with the proper footwear (the mud gets slippery) and clothes you don’t mind getting muddy.
- Backpack you can easily access without having to put it down since the ground gets muddy.
- Tripod if you want to shoot during sunrise or sunset.
- All of our photos are shot with the Canon 5D Mark III (full body DSLR) + 70-200mm lens. You can bring a wider lens as well, but we like a longer lens to compress the photo.
11 MORE TULIP FARMS AND TULIP FESTIVALS IN THE US YOU MUST SEE
- VanderZanden Farm, Hillsboro, Oregon (March-April)
- Skagit Tulip Festival, Mount Vernon, Washington (April 1-April 30 2018) – largest tulip festival with over 300 acres.
- Holland America Flower Gardens, Woodland, Washington (March-April)
- Dutch Hollow Farms, Modesto, California (March-April)
- Pella Tulip Time, Pella, Iowa (May 3-5 2018)
- Texas Tulips, Pilot Point, Texas (March-Early April)
- Tulip Festival, Albany, New York (May 12-13, 2018
- Tulip Festival, Orange City, Iowa (May 17-19th, 2018)
- Tulip Festival, Thanksgiving Point, Utah (April 13-May 5 2018)
- Tulip Time Festival, Holland, Michigan (May 5-May 13 2018)
- Tulip Time Festival, Topeka, Shawnee County, Kansas (early to late April 2018)
- World’s Largest Pig Hairball (7.7 mi / 13 min south) – the strangest roadside attraction in OR
- Woodburn Premium Outlets (8.8 mi / 18 min northwest)
- Silver Falls State Park (23.9 mi / 40 min south)
- Oregon Lavender Farm (32.7 mi / 50 min northeast)
- Portland, Oregon (34.1 mi / 50 min north)