If you love a tulip of the bright pink, orange or yellow variety, we’ve found a perfect reason for you to venture out to Manorville sometime in the few weeks.
A half-million reasons, in fact.
Waterdrinker Family Farm and Garden, now in its fourth season on Wading River Road in Manorville, has planted 500,000 spring bulbs for its Tulip Festival, a kickoff to the season that begins Saturday, April 17. The event continues as long as the bloom lasts, about three to five weeks, said manager Marc Weiss, whose family has owned the property since 2018.
“They’re an early spring flower, so if it gets too hot, they’ll start to fizzle out,” he said of tulips. “So we’ll be going into mid-May, I can safely say.”
The farm, located just south of exit 69 off the Long Island Expressway, is loaded with activities for families and lends itself to plenty of Instagram moments.
Entry to the Tulip Festival is $15 (children under 2 are free) and you can walk the flower fields, play miniature golf and visit with the barnyard animals, including Kunekune pigs, mini donkeys, alpacas and goats. There’s also a wooden play area, an obstacle course and lawn games, like cornhole.
The farm will be open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. seven days a week and Weiss said peak bloom is anticipated around April 23. There will be food trucks present each day and live music from noon to 4 p.m. on weekends.
COVID protocols will be followed and visitors to the farm will be required to wear a mask at all times and social distance. The festival, which was launched in 2019, was canceled last year due to the pandemic, but Weiss recalled all the positive feedback they received from essential workers who passed the fields in full bloom on their way to work.
“It kind of lifted their spirits, just seeing the thousands of tulips blooming,” he said.
Waterdrinker will follow the Tulip Festival with a summer Sunflower Festival, pumpkin picking in fall and the return of their Airstream Winter Wonderland in December, Weiss said.