With over 300 acres and 8 million planted tulips, Holland Ridge Farms brings a bit of Dutch tradition and style to Cream Ridge, NJ. Tulip season lasts for only a few weeks, so this time last year, we set out on a mother-daughter spring road trip to pick our own tulips and see the different varieties exported from Holland. Yet the trip wasn’t just about tulips—we also saw farm animals, learned about Dutch traditions, and snapped a bunch of gram-worthy and memorable photos since every spot is just begging for a photo op (and lots of props too). Scroll down for more on what we did there, and keep in mind the season is short, set to begin the second week of April 2023. Want more blooms? Check out where to see spring flowers in NJ.
The story of Holland Ridge Farms
The Jansen family has been in the tulip industry for over 100 years. Great Opa Casey was a bulb grower and seller in Holland, and he eventually passed on his knowledge to his son Casey Sr. who came to America as a teenager and started a tulip-growing business in NJ. Five years ago, Casey Sr. found the land that is now Holland Ridge Farms and brought a bit of Holland to New Jersey with the help of the entire Jansen family. Today this 300-acre farm has tulip blooms in the spring and sunflowers in the fall.
Explore a tulip haven
Once you enter the farm, you can walk the fields on foot or hop on the complimentary shuttle that picks up and drops you off at different points around the farm (it’s first-come, first-serve). We started walking through the rows and rows of colorful tulips instead of taking the shuttle. Some tulips bloom early, and others may bloom later, so you are sure to see plenty of flowers no matter when you go. There are over 3,000 tulips in 15 varieties, all from trusted bulb farmers in Holland. And you can see tulips in every color of the rainbow, including candy cane tulips and more unique combinations. We loved the dip-dyed-looking two-toned tulips and snapped quite a few photos of all the pretty blooms.
Snap gram-worthy photos at Holland Ridge Farms
At Holland Ridge Farms, you can bring your phone, camera, or even a professional photographer to record memories in the picturesque fields. (The pros need to have a timed ticket as well). Everywhere you turn, there’s a brilliant and eye-catching backdrop for a photo. My daughter and I took photos running through the tulip beds, a mother-daughter hug against the huge colorful flower wall, snapped her poses with the butterflies, and found an adorable swing to take some selfies. It’s easy to spread out to get your photos, but we did experience a few lines at popular photo stops like the bike and flower wall. We left with a bunch to fill up frames (and give to the grandparents), and they encourage you to post your photos using the hashtag #hollandridgefarms.
Eat treats from delish food trucks and the Bakery Barn
When it was time for a food break, Holland Ridge Farms had plenty of opportunities to sample delicious treats. With 30 different food trucks, you can try empanadas, Maine lobster, BBQ, Thai food, and even Dutch Poffertjes Stroopies, which looked and tasted amazing. For a list of all the trucks, the Food Vendor Calendar lets you know when to go to find a favorite. And don’t miss the delicious Bakery Barn featuring New Country Bakery from Point Pleasant with award-winning cookies, cakes, and tasty treats. Once you get your food, sit at a picnic table surrounded by tulips—there are several all over the property. New this year, you can picnic with your own food and drinks (non-alcoholic) Monday through Friday (weekdays only).
Pick a bouquet (or two)
My daughter could not wait to pick the tulips, and this turned out to be our favorite part. There are flower buckets at several locations throughout the farm, and once you have your bucket, get ready to collect some beautiful flowers. When picking a tulip, they recommend reaching down to the bottom of the stem by the soil and then twisting and pulling to snap it off the bulb. We picked some closed tulips and some open, so we could enjoy the blooms at various stages when we got home. After you pick your tulips, you hand over your bucket, and at the checkout, they will count and put your tulips in a sleeve. And if you get home and decide you want even more fresh blooms, you can order a surprise box online.
Shop for Dutch delights at Holland Ridge Farms
Look for hints of Holland while visiting the farms. Did you know that Dutch tulip farmers would wear wooden clogs to pick and plant bulbs? The clogs were durable, cheap, and water-resistant, and now you can see the clogs sprinkled around the farms purely for photo purposes. When you pick your flowers, don’t forget to check out the Dutch souvenirs and Holland Ridge Farm merch.
Say hello to the animals and the Dutch Dike
After visiting the Big Buds rescue animals, there is a Little Sprouts feeding zoo filled with adorable mini farm animals to feed for $1 per cup. And riding a pony in the flower field is one of those unforgettable experiences you can’t miss (as well as the photo op). Last year, a new addition was the Dutch Dike display with real sailboats that recreates the story of the boy and dike, a Dutch story that became American folklore. For 2023, expect to find a wishing well where you can make donations to Soldier On, a nonprofit committed to ending Veteran homelessness, and even more bikes and props for selfie moments.
What to know before you go
Holland Ridge expects to open between April 10-14, and tickets are expected to be available online starting the week of April 3. For the latest updates and to secure a date and time you need, sign up to be a VIP to access tickets before they are open to the public. Once tickets go on sale, you will be asked to pick a date and time to visit the farm (flex tickets are unavailable this year), and ticket costs are $15 per person (children 2 and under are free). The farm is open 7 days a week during the tulip season, and time slots are available for a 4-hour visit timeframe. As you drive through the rural area of Cream Ridge, you will see signs for Holland Ridge Farms and the parking lot, where parking is free. After parking, enter through one of six entrances and grab a brochure as you scan your tickets. Parking and the front entrance close at 5 PM, all purchases must be made by 5:45 PM, and the farm closes at 6 PM.
You can wander the flower fields (use the new 3-D map on the website to scope out the areas you want to visit), take photos, and pick as many tulips as you like for just $1 per stem. Strollers and wagons are welcome, and the Bakery Barn has a changing table in the restroom should you need it. The farm is open, rain or shine, and they only close in extreme weather. And if you are looking for more floral fun, u-pick sunflowers are available at Holland Ridge Farms in the fall.
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