Thanksgiving Point Gardens Tulip Festival with Kids

Thrifty Travel Mama - Thanksgiving Point Gardens with KidsI’m taking a break from BeNeLux posts today to recap a recent outing to the Thanksgiving Point Gardens Tulip Festival in Lehi, Utah.  We’ve just returned from three weeks in the US, and Salt Lake City was our first stop.

Thanksgiving Point Gardens.

Thanksgiving Point Gardens.

Thanksgiving Point is a attraction complex located just 30 minutes outside Utah’s capital that includes the gardens, a golf course, museums, a farm, shops, and restaurants.  Since my boys are still a little young to be interested in museums, I aimed to visit the gardens and add the farm if we had time (we didn’t).

Perfect!

Perfect!

Parking is free, but admission is rather steep ($10 adults / $8 children weekdays and $12 adults / $10 children weekends).  However, we mostly did free things in Salt Lake City, and I really wanted to see some dang tulips since we missed them at Keukenhof.  We coughed up the $36 and determined to enjoy ourselves.

Pretty, pretty.

Pretty, pretty.

After visiting THE best place for tulips in the whole wide world, Thanksgiving Point’s Tulip Festival rather underwhelmed us.  The bulbs were planted in narrow swaths along the paths throughout the park.  I had hoped for a field full of ’em, but sadly, my expectations were too high.

Most of the tulips were along the paths, like this.

Most of the tulips were along the paths and mixed in with other kinds of flowers.

What I had hoped for was a big fat field.  This was the best swath of blooms.

What I had hoped for was a big fat field. This was the best bunch of blooms.

However, I was pleasantly surprised to see some unique varieties: pointy petals, frilly edges, gigantic blooms, creative coloring.

Spikes!

Danger – formidable flowers ahead!

Besides the tulips, our favorite areas were the Creek Garden, the Italian Garden, and the waterfall with adjoining Mountain Garden.

The Creek Garden with lovely flowering trees.

The Creek Garden with lovely flowering trees.

The Italian Garden.

The Italian Garden – up, up, up!  Wheelchairs and strollers can access the top via a “back door” path.

View from the Vista Mound Garden.

View from the Vista Mound Garden.

We had hoped to see the Secret Garden (a replica of the garden in the novel of the same name), but Screech and T-Rex had had enough.  We needed to find the Children’s Discovery Garden right quick, or we were going to have a massive meltdown on our hands.

T-Rex entertained himself by taking pictures.

T-Rex is growing up, entertaining himself by taking pictures instead of making mischief.

His photo of a birdhouse, one of many in the Gardens.

His photo of a birdhouse, one of many in the Gardens.

Entrance to the Children’s Discovery Garden is included in the regular admission to Thanksgiving Point Gardens.  However, parents who would like to just visit the children’s area can purchase a separate ticket at a reduced rate ($6 adult / $4 child).

I’m always eager to reward my boys for good behavior at an adult attraction (such as the Gardens) with a trip to something more their style.  Even though I wasn’t completely mesmerized by the tulips, I thought surely the Children’s Garden would be a hit.

Wrong.

Noah's Ark on dry land.

Noah’s Ark on dry land.

The Children’s Discovery Garden must be a fantastic place in summer.  Since the main feature of the kids area is a large Noah’s Ark splash pad, the place can be rather dull in chilly weather.  Sure, there are a few educational things for kids, one very small rope jungle gym, and a modest sand pit (no playground!).

But mama to mama?  This place ain’t worth its salt in winter.

The sand pit, paltry by German standards, but the best cold weather kid entertainment in the Children's Garden.

The sand pit… paltry by German standards, but the best cold weather kid entertainment in the Children’s Garden.

On a brighter note, the gardens are definitely stroller and wheelchair friendly.  Should you want to upgrade your ride, golf carts and Segways are available to rent.  Restrooms are located throughout the park as are water fountains.  We brought a picnic lunch, but a cafe serving sandwiches and salads is located at the main entrance.

Stand out.

Stand out.

Would I visit Thanksgiving Point Gardens with kids again?  Probably not… unless it was free.  It wasn’t amazing enough to earn the steep admission.  However, I would be up for giving the farm a try.  Maybe the horses, cows, chickens and such would tickle our fancy enough to open our wallet.

Have you visited Thanksgiving Point Gardens?  The farm?  What was your experience?Signature-Marigold

4 thoughts on “Thanksgiving Point Gardens Tulip Festival with Kids

  1. Pingback: Visiting Keukenhof Flower Gardens with Kids | Thrifty Travel Mama

  2. Pingback: Fun, Free Things To Do in Salt Lake City.. With Kids | Thrifty Travel Mama

We want to hear from you! Share your thoughts here.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s