Mamamia Recommends: Victoria’s Tulip Festival featuring clog dancing, Dutch pancakes and Peppa Pig.

I always try to plan a couple of special things for my kids each school holidays. I have been in planning mode for the September school holidays and to be honest, I was filled with dread at the thought of sitting drinking bad coffee while they leap around at one of those trampoline inflatable places for the fifth school holidays in a row. 

And, yes I did think about doing a theme park these holidays, but I know in my attempt to be a ‘fun-mum’ I’ll get dragged onto some kind of whirly-twirly thing and end up with a week-long funny tummy (this used to happen to me when I was young, so I can only imagine it’ll be worse now I’m middle-aged).

Then I found it, the Tesselaar Tulip Festival, and knew that this was the perfect school holidays outing for our family. It gets my kids off screens and out in nature, and there’s Bluey and Peppa Pig shows they’ll love, plus treasure hunts and a fairy garden. I will get to roam through fields of tulips and pretend I’m having a European summer, and my husband can chow down on poffertjes (Dutch mini-pancakes) and croquettes – which was the staple diet of our trip to Holland ten years ago.

What is the Tesselaar Tulip Festival about?

The Tesselaar Tulip Festival is a perfect day out for the whole family, with great food, activities and experiences, live entertainment, and lots of fun. Only an hour from Melbourne, in a town called Silvan, guests can delight in the over a million spring bulbs (mainly tulips, my absolute favourite flower) that will be on display throughout the festival. 

The festival team have developed a program the whole family will enjoy. The kids particularly will love the children’s week activities which run for 2 weeks of the festival and there are Bluey and Peppa Pig stage shows each day, plus lots of other free kids entertainment such as an interactive wildlife show, a fairy hollow, Dutch games and a tulip train. And for the adults, there is delicious food, long beautiful walks, markets to shop at, and happy, satisfied kids. 


Image: Supplied. 

Come for the...

Beautiful celebration of spring, sunshine, flowers, and a perfect family day out. It really is hard to come up with activities to engage the whole family on the school holidays, particularly ones that get the family outside, away from screens and actually enjoying time together. The Tesselaar Tulip Festival has all of this and more. 


Stay for the...

Delicious food, plus the chance to see your favourite characters live on stage. Yes, the kids will be excited to see Bluey, but to be honest so will I! It’s also a really lovely way to celebrate the arrival of spring, leave the cold feet behind and bask in some sunshine and springtime beauty. 

What’s so unique about it?

This really is a must-see event. As well as all the wonderful entertainment and food, it is a chance to experience Dutch culture. There’s clog dancing, historic cheese market performances, a stunning Dutch Findlay Fairground Organ playing beautiful music, delicious Dutch food, and a gift shop filled with Dutch treats and souvenirs (including bunches of tulips, which I’ll be spending up big on).

As well as the chance to immerse yourself in Dutch culture, the festival organisers have really thought of everything to make this a truly special day out and to keep the kids genuinely entertained. In addition to the kids’ activities already mentioned, there’s also drumming workshops, craft activities, tulip tractor rides, face painting, and Becky Bubble impressing everyone by creating giant, shiny bubbles. 

Image: Supplied. 


Why does Mamamia recommend it? 

This is everything we want for our kids during the holidays – time outside in nature, tick; engaging with the real world and not screens, tick; exposure to different cultures and experiences, tick; family activities that keep everyone entertained and occupied, tick. 

Normally with school holiday activities someone misses out, while the kids have fun the parents twiddle their thumbs, or when parents try to plan something educational, the kids are quickly bored. Not with the Tessalaar Tulip Festival, there really is something for everyone, and that is a complete win in our book.

The combination of nature, culture, arts and crafts, good food, music, and entertainment really is a winner. 

Image: Supplied. 


Okay, what's the practical stuff I need to know? 

The Tesselaar Tulip Festival runs from September 16 to October 15, 2023. It is held at the Tessalaar Flower Farm, 357 Monbulk Road, Silvan about an hour from Melbourne by car and there is also easy public transport to the farm, details are on the festival website.

Children’s Week runs from September 18-21 and September 25-28 with specific kids’ shows and activities, but the festival continues for the full month with other special days and events such as Spring Fever Week, Rock the Fields Weekend, and Irish Weekend. 

For kids 16 and under the festival is free, and there are very reasonably priced adult tickets available on the website now. Delicious food is available at the festival, but visitors can also pack a picnic to enjoy amongst the blossoms.

Book your tickets to the Tesselaar Tulip Festival, a great school holidays activity for the whole family to enjoy.

Feature Image: Supplied.