The Chilliwack Tulip Festival is Vancouver’s largest and most famous flower festival. It takes place on a farm in Chilliwack in the Fraser Valley in April.
Last year the outdoor event ran from April 11th until May 1st. We expect 2023 to be similar, or perhaps slightly later because of all the snow this past spring. Exact details about this season, however, are to be confirmed.
TOP ATTRACTIONS IN SPRING
While you’re in the Fraser Valley, top places to take children in Chilliwack this time of year are Fantasy Farms and Greendale Acres. The former hosts Petey’s Easter Eggstravaganza on the Friday, Saturday and Sunday of the Easter Long Weekend. It’s a fun event, and in 2023 they have pony rides on site.
Greendale Acres hosts an Easter Egg Hunt at their farm on the same days too. If you have young children, these are the places you’ll want to take them at Easter! Greendale Acres also hosts Sweet Spring which features spring flowers and family-friendly activities from April 14th to May 14th in 2023. Again, if you are looking for an exceptional place to take children for fun at a farm in spring, Greendale Acres is a fabulous place to take them. They have flowers to admire, but also great kid-friendly activities too!
Other awesome places to take children at Easter are Maan Farms and Taves Family Farms in Abbotsford. Both of these farms have awesome Easter events for children on the April Long Weekend. The weekend before, on the first weekend of the month, they also have special adults-only Easter Egg Hunts too! Those are a ton of fun!
In this article you’ll find the following information:
Location | Dates & Hours | Admission Rates | Special Passes & Discounts | Sunrise Openings | Additional Information | Tips & Advice | About the Festival
Click on any of the above links to jump to a specific topic, or continue reading to learn all about the event.
Chilliwack Tulip Festival
Formerly called Tulips of the Valley, the Chilliwack Tulip Festival is the Lower Mainland’s original tulip festival. It’s also Western Canada’s largest. 2023 marks the festival’s 17th year. With over 20 acres of beautiful fields, the attraction is definitely worth checking out!
The 2022 season kicked off on April 11th. 2023’s festival season will likely start a little later because of the unusually colder and snowier earlier spring in the Lower Mainland (but we might be wrong).
At the attraction, on a sunny day, the fields are amazing and feature some 30 different varieties of tulips and over 9 million flowers in all! Adding extra colour to the festival are fields of hyacinths and peony-like double daffodils. If you like flowers and tulips, you should go! It’s impressive!
The Chilliwack Tulip Festival is hosted by people behind the same community’s tremendously popular Chilliwack Sunflower Festival which takes place towards the end of the summer. Both festivals happen at the same farm, at 41310 Yale Road, and both are highly recommended.
Tulip Festival Location
The Chilliwack Tulip Festival takes place in Chilliwack on a real working farm at 41310 Yale Road close to Exit #109 just off the Trans-Canada Highway.
Note: The farm is located in Chilliwack, not Abbotsford.
Driving from the Vancouver direction, on your way to the Chilliwack venue you’ll likely see signs to the Abbotsford Tulip Festival along the way. The festival in Abbotsford is a nice event too – just smaller and a bit more expensive. The Chilliwack Tulip Festival is just another 10 minutes or so further down the road.
Festival Dates & Hours
The Chilliwack Tulip Festival was cancelled in 2020 due to COVID-19. It ran in 2021, but only for residents of the Fraser Valley region because of the pandemic.
In 2022, the festival ran from Monday, April 11th, until Sunday, May 1st. It was open from 6:00 am to 6:00 pm on weekends and from 10:00 am to 6:00 pm on weekdays (with guests having to be out by 7:30 pm).
The festival will happen sometime between April and May in 2023. As of mid-March, exact details about its start and finishing dates are yet to be determined.
Festival Admission Rates
As of early April 2022, admission to the attraction that year cost between $7 and $25 depending on age and when tickets were bought.
On weekends, tickets for children ages 3 to 12 cost $12 when purchased in advance and $17 if purchased on the day. Tickets for people with disabilities or for seniors ages 65 and above cost the same. However, for adults and kids ages 13+, the cost was $20 for tickets bought the day before or earlier, and $25 when purchased on the day of your visit.
On weekdays, tickets are less expensive. Tickets for seniors and children between ages 3 and 12 cost $7 in 2022 when purchased in advance and $10 on the day. For adults and teenagers, the cost was $13 for tickets bought the day before or earlier, and $18 when purchased on the day of your visit.
All tickets had to be purchased online for set entry times during the festival’s run in 2022. Advanced pricing was applicable to any tickets bought before 8:00 pm on the day before you wanted to go.
Special Passes & Discounts
The Chilliwack Tulip Festival typically offers a number of ways to save money. In addition to the above-mentioned discounts for families, seniors and people with disabilities, there are also usually Weekday Season’s Passes, Full Season’s Passes, special Photographer Passes and Local’s Day specials. Unfortunately, not all of these passes were available in 2022. Hopefully they return in the future.
Weekday Season’s Pass
The Weekday Season’s Pass is good Monday to Friday on non-holiday weekdays during regular (non-sunrise) hours of operation. The cost in the past has been $25 per adult and $20 for youth and seniors, inclusive of taxes and online fees.
When available, Weekday Season’s Passes must be purchased online in advance; they are not available on the day at the gate. These passes were not available in 2021 and they didn’t appear to be available in 2022 either.
Full Season’s Pass
Full Season’s Passes allow access to the venue during regular hours 7 days a week throughout the festival’s run. The cost in 2022 was $90 for all ages.
The same as in previous years, these passes must also be purchased online in advance; they are not available at the gate.
Photographer All Access Pass
Photographer All Access Passes cost $65 per adult in 2022 and $50 per youth or senior (plus GST and online fees). They allowed access to the site during regular festival hours, plus early access to see the sunrise on weekends. These too could only be purchased online.
Unfortunately, these passes didn’t seem to be available as of early April 2022.
On Tuesdays in 2022, anyone with a permanent address from Chilliwack, Abbotsford, Mission, Maple Ridge and Langley could pay just $10 at the gate. On Thursdays, folks who lived in Chilliwack, Agassiz, Harrison, Fraser Canyon or Hope could also enter for $10 at the gate. If you want to take advantage of the locals’ discount when visiting the festival in 2023, don’t forget to bring along ID to prove you live in one of those areas.
Weekend Sunrise Openings
Sunrise Openings in past years have been a special time on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays between just before sunrise and regular opening hours when visitors could watch the early morning sun appear over the tulip fields (assuming good weather).
During the Sunrise Openings the venue has opened about 30 minutes before sunrise, which is enough time for photographers to find ideal spots to take their pictures from.
The actual time of sunrise varies over the course of the month. In Chilliwack at the beginning of April sunrise is at around 6:30 am. By the end of the month the sun starts appearing as much as 40 minutes earlier! Click Chilliwack Sunrise Schedule for exact times and remember to arrive up to 30 minutes earlier.
Admission for the Sunrise Openings in past years has been about $20 (plus taxes and online fees) in advance or $30 at the gate regardless of whether it’s Early Bloom season or Full Bloom season.
Details about Sunrise Openings in 2022 had yet to be released at time of writing. If the special openings weren’t available that year, hopefully they return in 2023.
Sunrise Openings Tips
Below are a couple of suggestions to keep in mind when Sunrise Openings are available.
TIP #1: Check the weather forecast before you go. If the sky is overcast and the sun can’t peak through, there obviously won’t be much of a sunrise.
TIP #2: Plan to arrive as close to opening time as you can as you’ll want to leave time to find a good spot and for unexpected delays. Also, the magic of the morning light begins before the sun actually starts to appear.
The cost for the Fraser Rotary Club Train was $1 per passenger a couple of years ago with proceeds benefiting charitable causes. Rides were complimentary on the Easter Long Weekend, however, as were the balloon animals and face painting stations. In 2019 the train ran just on weekends, but the cost to ride it was included with general admission.
Also at the festival most years are several specialty display gardens including a World Friendship tulip display. In 2018 there was also a Canada 150 display and one dedicated to Variety the Children’s Charity. In 2019 there were flower mosaics including one of an Aboriginal face. 2023 details are to be confirmed.
Other Things to Know
Below are other valuable things to know to help make your experience at the Chilliwack Tulip Festival as exceptional as possible.
- Dogs on leash are welcome.
- Parking is free.
- The site is non-smoking.
- Food trucks are on-site daily.
- Cut and potted tulips are usually available for sale on-site.
- Accessibility: There is limited handicapped parking. Also, wheelchairs and walkers are able to make it up to the edge of the fields by the parking lot fairly easily. On dry days wheelchairs will likely also be able to get around some, but not all, of the bark-mulch paths around the field. In wet weather, however, the venue is not recommended for wheelchairs, walkers, strollers with small wheels or people with mobility challenges.
Tips and Advice
Below are some more tips to help you make the most of your experience at the Chilliwack Tulip Festival.
TIP #1: Take a picnic (if allowed this year) or, better yet, try some of the festival’s food truck fare.
TIP #2: Take good walking shoes, but ones you don’t mind getting dirty. If wet weather, then wear boots.
TIP #3: Go on a sunny day when the colours are at their most magnificent.
TIP #4: Go on a weekday if you can. Weekdays are slightly less expensive than weekends and the crowds are less.
TIP #5: If you plan to visit the Chilliwack Tulip Festival several times, get a season’s pass! The passes are a great deal for people who love flowers, and folks who want to accompany friends and out-of-town visitors on different occasions.
TIP #6: The Easter Bunny usually makes occasional appearances at the venue on the Friday, Saturday, Sunday and Monday of the Easter Long Weekend. There are also typically balloon animals and face painting stations on those days too.
TIP #7: Gas is usually cheaper in the Fraser Valley than in Metro Vancouver. Consequently, don’t forget to fill up your gas tank while in Chilliwack.
TIP #8: If you love flowers, be sure to check out the Chilliwack Sunflower Festival which runs in the late summer. It’s at the same venue and run by the same folk as the tulip festival. It too is impressive!
About Chilliwack’s Tulip Festival
The Chilliwack Tulip Festival is a great concept. Onos Greenhouses grows the tulips for their bulbs which they use in their greenhouses to grow more tulips. They sell their cultivated tulips throughout Western Canada and parts of the United States.
Instead of just growing the tulips and then cutting them right away for sale, the festival invites the public to come see them at their peak. It means a feast for the eyes and extra income for the farmer and festival organizers. It’s a win-win for everyone!
Tulips of the Valley (now called the Chilliwack Tulip Festival) has been running since 2006. It took a year off in 2016 but has been back in operation since 2017 at its present new venue.
For more details about the festival in the spring, or to buy tickets, see the Chilliwack Tulip Festival website.
To learn more about the venue’s other annual festival, which takes place in the fall, click Chilliwack Sunflower Festival.
For ideas on other things to do in the area click Fraser Valley.
For a list of other events in the Lower Mainland, see Vancouver’s April Events Calendar or click Festivals & Events.