In her wildly popular 2018 TED Talk, designer and author Ingrid Fettell Lee reveals that bright colors, curved silhouettes and symmetry are scientifically proven to cheer us up.
Families are eager for fun in the springtime sun, and seeing as nature’s colorful hues and soft shapes make us healthier and happier, now might be the perfect time for a flower-filled family tradition.
Though many of us associate tulips with Holland, the flower is actually native to central Asia. Tulips began to move west around 1000 A.D. when sultans added large beds of them to palace gardens. Once the bulbs reached Holland in the 1500s, the plant’s popularity skyrocketed. To this day, Holland is still the world’s largest producer of tulips.
Fortunately for us, beautiful displays of these flowers are now in our region, where two family farms have planted a combined 900,000 bulbs.
These eye-catching flowers only bloom for around three weeks, so these tulip festivals won’t last for long.
Richardson Adventure Farm
Homesteaded in 1836, this Spring Grove-area farm has been in the family for generations. What began as a 240-acre plot has grown to encompass 540 acres today.
Richardson Adventure Farm has long been a place for families to get lost in a corn maze, hunt for pumpkins and Christmas trees, and even go ziplining. And in 2021, the farm became even more irresistible with the addition of sunflower and tulip fields.
As many as 600,000 tulip bulbs, spanning 40 varieties, have been planted for this year, ensuring Richardson’s 2022 Tulip Festival will be awe-inspiring.
“I am overjoyed at the thousands of people who come to our farm and have a wonderful time,” says co-owner George Richardson. “The positive comments and emails we get make me happy to think that so many people are getting joy out of this. We need joy in our lives.”
Guests can walk through the fields, take pictures, and even pick their own tulips in designated areas.
While Richardson is proud of the tulip fields, he’s also excited about the updated gift shop. Homemade popcorn and doughnuts, desserts from local bakeries, freshly brewed coffee, and wine are on the menu.
Families also can walk along the farm’s 36-acre lake and challenge each other to a game of giant checkers, Connect Four, Jenga or bags. Plus, there’s live music Saturday and Sunday afternoons.
Tickets for Richardson Adventure Farm cost $12 per person Tuesday through Friday and $15 on weekends. Admission includes one free tulip per person. Kids age 3 and under are free. For more information and to buy tickets online, head to richardsonadventurefarm.com.
Kuipers Family Farm
What started as a 71-acre pumpkin patch in 1998 is now a thriving family farm, complete with an orchard, animal attractions and family-friendly fall activities.
Given the Kuipers family’s Dutch heritage, it’s fitting they’d add a sprawling field of tulips into the mix.
Set on more than 5 acres near Maple Park, the tulip display at Kuipers Family Farm is bursting with color from more than 300,000 bulbs in more than 20 varieties.
“It’ll be spectacular to see so many flowers blooming at the same time,” says Kim Kuipers, co-owner of the farm. “Each block of flowers is a consistent color, and there are many, many colors. You get that giant pop of color, but the design is like a rolling fan. It will be stunning.”
Kuipers is opening 15 other farm-themed attractions, too, and most are included with admission. Kids will love riding down the Mountain Slide and hopping on the Jumping Pillow. Visitors can also expect to see a variety of animals, including baby chickens, ducks, rabbits and goats. There’s also food, entertainment, hard cider and wine, doughnuts, and other farm-made favorites.
“People are so hungry to get out and gather again,” Kuipers adds. “It’s been a long winter, and people want to go outside, do something fun, and enjoy spring in the Midwest.”
Tickets can be purchased on the farm’s website, youpickfun.com. Admission costs $12 per person Monday-Friday and $15 on weekends when purchased online; the cost goes up by $3 per person at the gate. Kids age 2 and under are free.
Waiting on Nature
Both farms expect to be fully open by Mother’s Day, but that depends on the weather and flowers. Check each farm’s website and social media for the latest. ❚
Richardson Adventure Farm is located at 909 English Prairie Road, in Spring Grove. Kuipers Family Farm is located at 1N318 Watson Road, in Maple Park.