July 13, 2012

Tulip Time

Ahh, Tulip Time in Holland, MI.  A sure sign of spring.  The whole family decided our house would be a great place to gather for Mother's Day this year.  None of them live all that close, so that means they were coming for the weekend.  I think they would all like to live in West Michigan, so they visit often.  The weather was beautiful the whole weekend, so we all headed to Holland to enjoy some Tulip Time festivities on Saturday.  We did not make it to the lighthouse on this visit, but we did have some lighthouse activity, so stay with me.

Holland has deep roots in Dutch culture and they are very proud of it.  Every May, they celebrate it with Tulip Time.  Back in 1927, " Miss Lida Rogers, a biology teacher at Holland High School, suggested that Holland adopt the tulip as its official flower and celebrate it with a festival."  (That is a direct quote from the "holland michigan page".

If you've never been and you love small town festivals, then Tulip Time is a must.  They have a good size art show (with really cool handmade items), Dutch dancing in the streets (the kids were mesmerized), lots of kids activities, parades and more.  Of course, you have to make time to peruse all the cool downtown shops while you're there.  You won't have a hard time finding a good place to eat, either.  We've been to Holland many times and never tire of it.

Ok, so Tulip Time is fun and all that, but let's get back to our priorities.  We've visited the Holland Harbor Lighthouse (aka, Big Red) twice so far.  Once up close, in the summer and once in the winter, from across the Holland channel in Holland State Park.  You can check it out here and here.  However, we have never gotten our passport stamped.  In fact, we never knew that had one.  Which is fine, if lighthouses don't have stamps available you can put in a picture of the lighthouse, according to the United States Lighthouse Society website.  But a reader left me a comment in my first Big Red post telling me all the details about the unknown stamp.  (Thank you anonymous commenter, whoever you are!)  I already had the picture glued in our passports, so there was no removing it, but we were on a mission to get that stamp! 

Holland Museum

The very first place we headed was the Holland Museum with our passports in hand.  The museum looked like a fun place to visit. I'm sure we'll be back to check it out, but for today, since it was so beautiful outside, we were just after the stamp.  You just walk in the entrance and the stamp is right at the counter. Easy breezy.
we squeezed the stamp next to the picture that was already glued in
So, now that our official lighthouse business is taken care of, we're off the enjoy Tulip Time.  The first thing the kids want to do is watch the dancing in the streets.  After that, the boys are with the kids and the girls hit the art show.  According to what Grandpa taught the boys to say, "women be shoppin'".  To them, that saying NEVER gets old, even though, it so rarely actually happens.
watching the dancers

Manya--the Arabian Mystery
the boys and Chloe

the boys with the Dutch dancers

so stinkin' cute
Spencer with the copper man

the girls

water fountain




our art festival finds

hoo hoo

Now, we're ready to relax, sit down, and eat.  We're off to our old favorite, New Holland Brewing.  The first time we went there was on August 2, 2010, the official start of "Stewart Family Lighthouse Explorations"! (check it out here)  We also enjoyed it during our winter visit to Big Red. (check it out here) John, Kristen, Michael and Joy haven't been yet, so they were excited!  (Kristen posted about it here)

New Holland Brewing
hmmm....what do I feel like tonight?
three cheers for Tulip Time
Just when you thought we we're done, the day gets even better.  Manya & Grandpa were kind enough to take the kids & Chloe home, and the rest of us got to walk around and enjoy ourselves.  We don't get out without the kids very often, so this was a special treat.  We found a cute little store called, Model Drug Store Apothecary Gift Shop.  Don't let the "drug store" part of the name fool you.  It is one cool store.  Kristen's eyes immediately went to the Pandora section.  She just got a bracelet for her birthday.  Joy and I knew we would be getting them soon enough.  So, we all bought the super cute tulip charm to commemorate our day.  Turns out, I didn't have to wait very long to wear my new charm.  John surprised me the next day, Mother's Day, with a bracelet and three birth stone charms (for each of the three kids)!  What a guy!!!

Tulip Bead


  1. Great post. That Burnett Brew Blog is a great blog too!! Looks like it can be found at www.burnettbrewblog.com


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