Get ready for the Canadian Tulip Festival!

Tulips near Canadian Parliament near ReStays Ottawa


Spring will soon bloom, which means one thing if you’re travelling to Ottawa – the Canadian Tulip Festival is around the corner. This year, Ottawa’s most fragrant festival takes place from May 10 to 20 and promises many tulip-themed activities and entertainment. Here’s what to expect at the 2024 Ottawa Tulip Festival edition.


Historic Tulip Tours

Curling around beautiful Dow’s Lake, the festival's home is verdant and peaceful Commissioners Park. During tulip season in Canada, over 300,000 tulips border tranquil walking paths in this park.

Opt for the festival’s Tulip Legacy Walking Tour to get more backstory with your stroll. A professional guide will share historical and horticultural know-how on tulip species. You’ll walk by The Man with Two Hats statue and Heritage Canada’s Dutch-Canadian War Brides display. The crowning jewel of the guided walk is the Queen Juliana Gift Bed, showcasing the tulips gifted to Canada by the Netherlands. Canada offered shelter to Queen Juliana and her daughters during the Nazi occupation of the Netherlands. Once she returned home, the grateful queen sent tulip bulbs back to Canada. 1963 we had amassed enough bulbs to launch the first Tulip Festival. There’s a historical tidbit to wow your guide with!

History gets an interactive twist during the Ghosts of the Glebe Walking Tour, taking place daily starting at 8 p.m. On this tour, your guide is a Women’s Royal Canadian Naval Reservist who tells haunting stories about the tulips and World War II. It’s an emotional and unique experience that’s not to be missed.


Tulip Time with Kids

The Canadian Tulip Festival offers tons to do for the tiniest tulip fans. Bring your kids to Tulip Town in Commissioners Park and challenge them to a game of giant chess and checkers, or let them unleash their inner artists at the Tulip Chalk Wall Activity and the group crafts table.

For night owls, big and small, the Blacklight Boardwalk showcases tulips in a different light every night of the festival between 8 p.m. and 10 p.m. The blacklight allows visitors to see tulips like butterflies and bees do. It’s the perfect opportunity for a mind-blowing natural science lesson about tulips and their pollinators.

Make sure to read our 6 Things to Do in Ottawa with Kids blog for more Ottawa family vacation tips.


Bouquets of Entertainment

Beyond and around Ottawa’s tulip gardens, the festival also promises a full calendar of daily entertainment. Get a front-row seat for free movies in Commissioners Park at Movies & Tulips, with viewings at 2 p.m. and 7 p.m. every day, weather permitting. Bring your food and blanket, or purchase a Tulip Festival blanket as a useful souvenir. Gourmet treats will also be available from on-site vendors. Look out for a breathtaking display across the waters of Dow’s Lake every day at 9:15 p.m. The Sound & Light Show will tell the story of the HMCS Haida, Canada’s most famous warship and the last Tribal Class destroyer ship in the world.


A Flowery Stay

Whether you’re visiting Ottawa for the weekend, or for the entire ten days of the Canadian Tulip Festival, book with reStays to enjoy suites that blend complete comfort with world-class luxury. A spacious suite that feels like home is especially ideal and appreciated when spending all day at an outdoor event.

Our stunning boutique condo-like hotel is located steps away from the best of Ottawa. A short, scenic walk near Parliament and along the Rideau Canal will showcase many beautiful tulip beds. Alternately, our partnership with Escape Tours Rental makes it easy for you to rent bikes and enjoy a 20-minute ride to Commissioners Park. You could also hop on the Tulip Festival Shuttle that stops at the nearby ByWard Market. Don’t miss this year’s Canadian Tulip Festival to see our capital, which is very colourful!

Just in time for the Tulip Festival, get 50% off your second night on weekend stays from Thursday to Sunday, March 15th, until May 31, 2024.


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Updated April 16 2024