Richardson Farm Tulip Festival: A Colorful Way to Welcome Spring

Warming days bring with them something truly remarkable at this family-owned farm in Spring Grove: fields ablaze with color and photo opportunities.

The annual Tulip Festival at Richardson Adventure Farm, in Spring Grove, puts more than one million brilliant flowers on display from April through Mother’s Day. Since it started in 2021, it’s become a beloved springtime destination for area families.

Nothing signals the arrival of spring like the first colorful blooms of tulips and daffodils.
And for the past three years, Richardson Adventure Farm, 909 English Prairie Road, in Spring Grove, has set the tone with its much-anticipated Tulip Festival, where more than one million bulbs, in an assortment of varieties, bloom through early, mid and late spring.

At any one time, more than 300,000 colorful blooms cover 10 lakefront acres. Another 10 acres feature a half-dozen food trucks, outdoor games for kids and families, a beer and wine tent, homemade doughnuts, live music and more.

“This year should be a perfect tulip season, with the 12 inches of snow that fell keeping the soil moist enough,” says George Richardson, one of six co-owners of the sixth-generation family farm founded in 1836. “As long as temperatures stay under 70 degrees, we will be in business.”

The weather dictates bloom times, but the festival typically runs from mid-April through Mother’s Day, Richardson says. It officially opened for the season on April 20 and will continue until the blooms are spent. Check the farm’s Facebook page and website, richardsonadventurefarm.com, for updates.

The Richardson family’s first Tulip Festival featured 300,000 bulbs, all planted in the fall of 2020. The Richardsons added another 300,000 in the fall of 2021, and yet another 300,000 in the fall of 2022.

The bulbs are planted in color blocks with paths around them, so people can get close to the flowers for a sniff and a photo. Richardson estimates more than 20,000 people come through the tulip fields each year to see the incredible bursts of color.

With admission, each guest gets to pick a tulip to take home. Pick a few extras for an additional cost.

There’s much to enjoy during Tulip Festival. Food trucks bring a variety of foods such as tacos, hot dogs, hamburgers, pulled pork sandwiches, polish sausage, wood-fire pizza and poutine. Beer, wine, pop and snacks are for sale at the trolley. Picnic tables and yard games such as cornhole, an oversized Connect Four board and giant Jenga blocks invite you to sit and enjoy yourself. Family-friendly local bands play near the picnic tables and add even more ambiance.

The gift shop is located inside the big red barn near the festival entrance. Inside, you’ll find homemade apple cider doughnuts, kettle corn, cheesy Chicago popcorn and fudge. A dozen wines are available for sample and purchase at the gift shop wine bar. Springtime gifts, many crafted by local artists, are also for sale.

The original Richardson family homestead was 160 acres, yet today it’s a 550-acre property that offers special events year-round.

In September and October, the farm is host to more than 100,000 visitors coming to see the “world’s largest” corn maze. After Thanksgiving, the farm sells more than 6,000 Christmas trees and 1,000 wreaths and greenery. No matter the season, visitors look forward to fresh snacks at the farm shop.

The Richardson Farm is located just 2 miles from Wisconsin and 20 miles west of Lake Michigan, which puts it within an hour’s drive for millions of people.

“Because of our location and because we like being in the people business, we have evolved into what we call an ‘agritourism’ farm,’” says Richardson. “We do a little traditional farming of corn and soybeans, but we are primarily focused on having people come to our farm to have fun.”

Now in its fifth and sixth generations of ownership, the Richardson family farm at one time focused on raising pigs. They planted about 1,000 Christmas tree seedlings as a side hobby in 1981 and sold the first ones six years later. In 2001, the family quit the pig business and kept growing Christmas trees, built the corn maze, and later added tulips.

“We realized we liked talking with people a lot more than talking with pigs,” says Richardson. “So, we began finding ways to host people on our farm year-round. I love to be out in the fields with the people and see the smiles on their faces and the joy they are feeling because what they are looking at is so gorgeous. It’s just a beautiful place to be.”

The farm officially opened on April 20, and blooms are expected to last into May. Find the latest details on Richardson Adventure Farm’s website, richardsonadventurefarm.com.