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Since moving back to the Chicago area we’ve been blessed with seeing a lot of our family members who live downtown in the city as well as in Iowa. My SIL and BIL moved to Pella Iowa, we’ve come to love the town as much as they do!
I arrived yesterday afternoon with Landon to spend some time with my in laws and my adorable niece and nephew to attend their Tulip Festival and I couldn’t wait to experience it first hand because my SIL Tabby has been talking about it for the past few years. Pella is a beautiful and unique town but we both feel like during this particular tie, it really comes alive. Pella is a promonant Dutch town and super proud of their Dutch heritage.
From authentic Dutch attire, parades, authentic food, a Dutch Market, Dutch dancing and the sounds of wooden shoes will help to transport you to the Netherlands right here in the Midwest. There are gorgeous parades that start mid afternoon as well as an evening parade that’s lighted up! We decided to bring Landon and his cousins to the afternoon part of the parade which happened to be such a gorgeous day.
So, thinking of attending a tulip festival yourself? Here’s what you need to know!
What To Wear: Comfortable clothes of course! I usually dress myself and my kids in layers that way if we get hot or cold we can add or take off some clothing. My favorite items are THIS adorable dress for Lily and I just bought Landon THIS super comfy short collection under $5! The kids pretty much had casual clothing that was breathable since it was cooler in the morning but warmer in the afternoon. ( THESE overalls would be a great option too as well as a cute accessory like THIS purse )
What To Bring: We got to the square early and brought a few blankets and a backpack filled with snacks. Because Landon is pretty small, I kept him in his stroller so he wouldn’t wander off ( you all know how he loves to learn to walk ) ha. My SIL had an awesome wagon ( HERE ) which we need to get for our little ones!
Where To Eat: The tulip festival has a lot of great vendors both near the parade and all around the square. Some of our favorite places to grab coffee and sandwiches before the parade starts is Smokey Row Coffee Co. They have delicious coffee for a great price.
Make sure to also head to Jaarsma Bakery for their famous Dutch letters ( aka letter S’s with almond filling.. delicious ). You have also have to go to the United Methodist Church for the double dutch burgers or better yet, the triple threat ( aka a burger, bologna and gouda cheese with an egg on top ) !
What To Do: Enjoy yourself! The parade is such a fun experience for you and your friends and family! There are so many cute areas to get your pictures of the gorgeous tulips! We took a quick 45 minute tour of the town pulled by a tractor and learned so much of the influence of the Dutch heritage. There are small areas throughout the square for the kids to enjoy sliding down inflatable slides or purchasing a few trinkets at a local market.
We had a great time together. The kids all loved being together and I truly enjoyed having some quality time with my in laws for a few days.