Tulip Season Status Update
The last day of the 2018 season for Tulips of the Valley was Sunday, May 6th. In 2019 we expect the festival to start up around March 30th (plus or minus) depending on the weather and spring growing season).
Tulips of the Valley Festival
Now in its 13th year, Tulips of the Valley is the Lower Mainland’s original tulip festival and Western Canada’s largest. With 24 acres of beautiful fields, the attraction is definitely worth checking out (assuming you like flowers).
On a sunny day, the fields are amazing and feature some 30 different varieties of tulips and over 7 million flowers in all!
New as of last year are two acres of hyacinths and three acres of peony-like double daffodils which will add extra colour and allow the festival to open a couple of weeks earlier than in past years. Also new is the Rotary Cub Train which runs on weekends and proceeds from which benefit the local community.
In this article you’ll find the following information:
Click on any of the above links to jump to a specific topic, or continue reading to learn all about the Tulips of the Valley Festival.
Tulip Festival Location
Tulips of the Valley takes place in Chilliwack on a real working farm at 41310 Yale Road close to Exit #109 just off the Trans-Canada Highway.
Note: Tulips of the Valley 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. Tulips of the Valley is just another 10 minutes or so further down the road.
Festival Dates & Hours
Last year Tulips of the Valley was open for the season starting on Sunday, April 1st, which was couple of weeks earlier than the previous year. 2019’s opening date will likely be similar.
In 2017 the fields at Tulips of the Valley were open to the public from April 18th until May 7th. Last year’s season went until May 6th. 2019’s final day will likely be similar, but of course depend on the weather.
The attraction is open most years from 10 am to 6 pm on weekdays and from 9 am to 6 pm on weekends and holidays. The fields are also open to the public on weekends from just before sunrise for an additional fee.
Festival Admission Rates
The cost of admission to the Tulips of the Valley event depends on the day you go, your age and how you buy your tickets. If you go on the weekend it costs more than a weekday, and if you purchase your ticket online it’s cheaper than if you buy in person at the gate.
2018 General Admission Prices
Below was the list of rates for 2018. 2019 prices are expected to be similar.
If Purchased Online (excluding extra online fees)
- Adults (17+): $6 on weekdays and $10 on weekends.
- Youth (ages 6-16): $3 on weekdays and $5 on weekends.
- Children (ages 0-5): Free
- Family Pass 1 (1 adult and up to 3 children): $10 on weekdays and $18 on weekends.
- Family Pass 2 (2 adults and up to 3 children): $16 on weekdays and $28 on weekends.
- Sunrise Openings: $20 per person (on Friday, Saturday and Sunday mornings starting 30 minutes before sunrise).
Click Tulips of the Valley to purchase tickets.
If Purchased at the Gate (cash only and including GST)
- Adults (17+): $8 on weekdays and $15 on weekends.
- Youth (ages 6-16): $4 on weekdays and $8 on weekends.
- Children (ages 0-5): Free
- Sunrise Openings: $25 per person (on Friday, Saturday and Sunday mornings starting 30 minutes before sunrise).
Notes about 2018 Prices:
- Family passes are only available in advance online. They are not available at the gate.
- Seniors (ages 65+) get to pay the same rate as youth on weekdays, but the full adult rate on weekends.
- Adults with disabilities are charged the same price as youth, on both weekdays and weekends, plus their attendant gets in for free!
- Online tickets are available for purchase for any given day up until one hour before closing on the same day.
To purchase online click Tulips of the Valley Tickets.
Special Passes & Discounts
Tulips of the Valley 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 Weekday Season’s Passes, Full Season’s Passes, special Photographer Passes and Local’s Day specials.
Weekday Season’s Pass
The Weekday Season’s Pass is good Monday to Friday on non-holiday weekdays (so excluding Easter Monday and possibly Mother’s Day). The cost is around $20 per adult and $10 for youth and seniors, all plus online fees.
Weekday Season’s Passes must be purchased online in advance – they are not available on the day at the gate.
Full Season’s Pass
Full Season’s Passes allow access to the venue during regular hours 7 days a week during the festival. The cost is $40 for adults and $20 for youth and seniors, all plus online fees.
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 $60 per adult and $30 per youth or senior (plus online fees). They allow access to the site during regular festival hours, plus early access to see the sunrise on weekends. These too can only be purchased online.
Tulips of the Valley offers discounts for locals on Thursdays most years.
Last year, on Thursdays anyone with a permanent address from Chilliwack, Agassiz, Harrison, Hope and everyone in between could pay just $3 at the gate. Valid ID with proof of address was required. 2019 will likely be similar.
Weekend Sunrise Openings
Sunrise Openings are a special time on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays between just before sunrise and regular opening hours when visitors can watch the early morning sun appear over the tulip fields (assuming good weather).
In previous years the Sunrise Openings took place only on the first Saturday and last Friday, Saturday and Sunday of the festival. In 2018, however, Sunrise Openings took place every Friday, Saturday and Sunday (so not just on the first and last weekends). 2019 details are to be confirmed.
During the Sunrise Openings the venue opens half an hour 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 is about $20 (plus online fees) in advance or $25 at the gate.
Sunrise Openings Tips
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.
New at the Tulips of the Valley for 2018 were two acres of hyacinth flowers and three acres of peony-like double daffodils which allowed the festival to open earlier than in previous years.
Other special features of the festival last year included the Fraser Rotary Club Train on weekends and a crafts area on weekdays. In 2018 there were also Floral Mosaics made out of Hyacinth blooms.
The cost for the Fraser Rotary Club Train was $1 per passenger with proceeds benefiting charitable causes. Rides were complimentary on the Easter Long Weekend, however, as were the balloon animals and face painting stations.
Also at the festival in 2018 were several specialty display gardens including a World Friendship tulip display, a Canada 150 display and one dedicated to Variety the Children’s Charity (with a donation box).
Below are other valuable things to know to help make your experience at Tulips in the Valley as exceptional as possible.
- Unlike in previous years, as of last year the festival accepts credit card payments in addition to cash at the gate.
- Dogs on leash are welcome.
- The site is non-smoking.
- Food trucks are onsite Thursday to Sunday and everyday there is the festival’s own Stroop Waffle stand which sells traditional Dutch cookies baked fresh on site.
- Visitors are welcome to bring their own picnics (although picnic table seating is reserved for food truck patrons).
- Cut and potted tulips are available for sale on site.
- On weekends there is usually a balloon artist on site as well as face painting for children. Both are free on the Easter Weekend, but cost between $1 and $3 each at other times. On weekdays there is also a scavenger hunt for kids.
- 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.
- The daffodils and Hyacinths bloom first, over the first couple of weeks of the festival. Tulips then appear in various stages of bloom after that, and are in full bloom during the first 10 days or so of the final two weeks. Orange tulips are the first to come and go, followed by all the other various colours.
For more information on the festival, see the Tulips in the Valley website.
Tips and Advice
Below are some more tips to help you make the most out of your experience at the Tulips of the Valley event.
TIP #1: Take good walking shoes, but ones you don’t mind getting dirty. If wet weather, then wear boots.
TIP #2: Go on a sunny day when the colours are at their most magnificent.
TIP #3: Go on a weekday if you can. Weekdays are a tiny bit cheaper than weekends, but more importantly the crowds are less.
TIP #4: If you plan to visit Tulips of the Valley several times, get a season’s pass! The passes are a good deal for people who love flowers, and folk who want to accompany friends and out-of-town visitors on different occasions. Passes also allow guests to see how the fields change over the course of the season.
TIP #5: If you plan to get a season’s pass, remember to purchase it before April 9th! After that date they are no longer available! Also, don’t forget that they are only available online, not at the gate!
TIP #6: If you plan to visit near the very start of the season, then seriously consider getting a season’s pass. On the opening weekend there will be 5 acres of double daffodils and hyacinths in various stages of colour, but the tulips will only slowly be starting to bloom over the following couple of weeks. You’ll want to go back when the fields are at their peak!
TIP #7: Gas is usually about 10 cents or so 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 tulip festivals, then also check out the Abbotsford Tulip Festival at 36737 North Parallel Road in Abbotsford. It’s smaller and generally more expensive, but still a nice festival.
About Chilliwack’s Tulip Festival
The Tulips of the Valley is a great concept. Onos Greenhouses grows the tulips for their bulbs which they use in their greenhouses to grow more tulips which they sell 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 for the public and extra income for the farmer and festival organizers. It’s a win-win for everyone!
Tulips of the Valley has been running since 2006. It took a year off in 2016 but is back in operation since 2017 at its present new venue.
For more information on the festival, see the Tulips in the Valley website.
For ideas on other things to do in the area click Fraser Valley.