Ottawa’s Tulip Festival is Blooming Beautiful

Ottawa’s annual Tulip Festival is always one of my favourite times of year. In my mind, it marks the official start of spring here in the capital. This year’s festival runs from May 12 to the 22nd and if you haven’t been out to enjoy at least one of the festival sites yet, you absolutely MUST!

The tulips never disappoint and the Commissioners Park tulips alongside Dow’s Lake are my absolute favourite. It’s a free one kilometre explosion of over 250, 000 gorgeous blooms.

You can expect to battle the selfie-stick carrying crowds on a hot, sunny day (particularly a weekend), but it’s totally worth it.

This red and white beauty is the special tulip for Canada’s 150 birthday. 
There aren’t just tulips on display.

There are plenty of spots to grab a bite or something cold to drink at the tulip festival. My kids were especially impressed by the giant lemon.

Ultimately, it’s always ice cream for the win, especially on a hot day (it reached 30 degrees!). I’m not going to lie, I used ice cream as a bribe to get my kids to cooperate and walk the entire length of the festival.

As far as Rowan is concerned, this is heaven.

Other Tulip Festival Events

If you only make it to one tulip location, I recommend that it be Commissioner’s Park. But there are a number of other spots celebrating the festival too.

At the Lansdowne Park Tulip Gallery you can gain access to the Aberdeen Pavilion and the Great Lawn which will be brimming with tulip art and floral exhibits, artistic installations, culinary experiences, interactive family programming and entertainment. There is a $15 daily admission fee, but it is free for children aged 12 and under.

The Byward Market is also providing it’s own Urban Tulip Experience with stylized tulip art and massive art installations on the City Parkade, as well as interactive, artist-led creative workshops. There is also animation throughout the streets and courtyards, and a host of merchant promotions throughout the neighborhood.

The Garden Promenade celebrates Ottawa’s garden culture with over 70 experiences through 40 of the region’s most beautiful must-visit gardens. You can take a self guided or escorted tour of Ottawa’s public gardens exploding with millions of tulips in bloom.

Tulipmania Fireworks

The Canadian Tulip Festival joins the rest of Canada in celebrating the May long weekend on Sunday, May 21 with a spectacular fireworks show. You can bring your blanket or lawn chair to join everyone on the lawn for the best view of the Celebration and Tulipmania Fireworks. This is a ticketed event.

Tickets: $20 inclusive / Children 12 and under free


8:00pm 65th Anniversary pre-fireworks show entertainment and animation with CTV’s Sarah Freemark

Dusk- 9:00 pm approx.

Tulipmania Fireworks set to music

Fireworks ticket is for Fireworks and animation at TD Place only . Admission to the Lansdowne Park Tulip Gallery (open 10 am- 5 pm  daily) is not included.

For more information on all of the tulip festival events and the fireworks visit the official Tulip Festival website.

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