On Saturday, I decided to pack up the kiddos & my camera and head to the Tulips of the Valley Festival. On a long weekend, without the hubby. Not my best idea ever, but we survived.
It’s only about an hour from Vancouver, but since we only live 10 minutes from Agassiz, it’s right down the road for us. It’s actually located out on Seabird Island, a local First Nations community just past Agassiz on highway #7. I felt like a horrible local because I it’s been going on for a few years now, but I’ve never had a chance to check it out until now.
Honestly, it was SUPER BUSY (although you would never guess from the photos – see Tip #6) and a bit of a tourist trap, but the fields were gorgeous, it was well organized, and it ended up being a great spring-themed, outdoor outing for the kids to burn off some of their Easter weekend sugar-high.
Here are a few tips to make your trip the best it can be!
Tip #1 – Bring Cash!
There aren’t any ATMs nearby (the closest is 5 minutes down the road in Agassiz), and they don’t accept debit or credit, so bring cash! Also, prices jump on weekends and holidays, so be prepared to pay more. Their prices are listed on their website.
Tip #2 – Avoid the Easter Weekend!
I don’t think I’ve ever seen traffic like there was in Agassiz this past Easter Sunday. According to reports, people were stuck in traffic for 1-2 hours waiting to get into the parking lot, and that doesn’t include the wait times for the bus. It would be best to come any day other than Easter Sunday, but if you must come on the long weekend, try to avoid the peak hours between 11am-3pm.
Tip #3 – Wear Appropriate Shoes!
Don’t forget it is spring in the Fraser Valley, and when it rains, fields tend to get muddy. Gum boots or hiking shoes are highly recommended, as are clothes you don’t mind getting dirty. If you have young kids, be prepared for them to jump in mud puddles – it was my kids’ favourite part of the whole trip! But I honestly couldn’t help but giggle when a few ladies in dresses & heels attempted to navigate a mud pit…
Tip #4 – Ditch the Stroller!
I would highly recommend leaving the stroller at home or in your car. There are buses which take visitors from the parking lot to the tulips, so strollers have to get folded up and put underneath the bus for the trip. Once you arrive, the pathways are narrow, bumpy & can be muddy – so my preference would be to baby-wear if I had a little one too young to walk.
Tip #5 – Be Patient.
If you do decide to go on the long weekend, be prepared for traffic and long bus lines – and don’t say I didn’t’ warn you! Before you head out, make sure to check their Facebook Page for updates and information. And remember, this is a small community event & they are doing the best they can with the huge crowds.
Tip #6 – Bring your Camera!
I am addicted to Instagram & don’t go anywhere without my iPhone, but if you have a better camera than your cell, bring it! No matter how busy it is, you aren’t allowed to pick or walk between the rows of tulips, so from most angles it will appear like no one else was there in your photos!