Waterdrinker's annual Tulip Festival is now at two locations. Newsday's Rachel Weiss reports from Riverhead. Credit: Newsday/Steve Pfost; Newsday archive

The annual Tulip Festival at Waterdrinker Farm in Manorville has sprouted an offshoot — this spring the festival will also be celebrated at the farm's Riverhead location.

“It’s a great season opener to wake up the North Fork,” co-manager Marc Weiss says of the Riverhead addition.

About 2 million tulips in a burst of colors are expected to bloom at the Manorville location, and hundreds of thousands are expected at Riverhead. While Riverhead has fewer flowers, it has rolling hills that offer a different ambience and visual experience than the flat fields at Manorville, Weiss says.

Both celebrations open April 12 and tulips should be blooming through May 10, Weiss says. “It’s really all up to Mother Nature. If it gets too warm in May, the tulips will fade faster,” he says. The more than 100 tulip varieties open in waves — early, middle and late bloomers — with peak overlap expected to occur April 25 to 29, when the majority of the flowers will be in bloom at the same time, he says.

Come to see the tulips, but stay for everything else:

At Manorville only

Adrianna Faith, left, and Rylie Faith, of Levittown, run through...

Adrianna Faith, left, and Rylie Faith, of Levittown, run through the rows of tulips during the tulip festival at Waterdrinker Family Farm in April 2023. Credit: Morgan Campbell

  • New this year is a tulip train. “Small carts will be pulled by a tractor, with Farmer Frank in charge of the ride,” Weiss says.
  • Also new is the ability to race ducks. Kids can purchase rubber ducks for $2 each and use vintage pumps to propel them through a series of pipes using the power of water. “Our employees built it from scratch,” says Weiss’ co-manager and wife, Brittney. “They are cute little rubber duckies that will float along a short track and fall into a tub.”
  • Experience Little Amsterdam. A tulip tunnel made from a greenhouse features a museum of Dutch culture and the history of tulips, Marc says. Visitors will learn about the importance of Delft blue, the country’s love for the stroopwafel cookie and the ubiquity of bicycles in Amsterdam. Screens will project scenes from Holland and other tulip fields around the world.

  • Visit Tulip Town, a miniature Dutch village, which will have seven houses that kids can enter. “They’re very colorful and they have little stepping stones and landscaping,” Brittney says. “The kids can feel like giants,” Marc says. A bridge in Tulip Town will be the site of the duck racing.

At both Riverhead and Manorville locations

Tulips at the tulip festival at Waterdrinker Family Farm in...

Tulips at the tulip festival at Waterdrinker Family Farm in Manorville. Credit: Morgan Campbell

  • Pick your own flowers for $1 a stem. “When we check them out, we’ll give them a sleeve so they can turn their picked flowers into a bouquet,” Marc says.
  • Selfie opportunities abound: In past years, Waterdrinker had three giant wood Dutch shoes available; this year 20 shoes will be apportioned between the two locations. Each farm will also have stationary bicycles that visitors can hop on. “It appears that they are riding through a field of tulips,” Marc says.
  • Kids can burn off energy at the jumbo jump pad, the mini-golf and obstacle course.
  • Barnyard animals will include sulcata tortoises and Nigerian dwarf goats in Riverhead; Manorville will also have Kunekune pigs, alpaca, a miniature donkey and an emu. Children won’t be able to pet or feed the animals but can take photos.
  • Check out the beer tasting areas; a Dutch Pilsener will be available for purchase. Different food trucks will be in the brewery area each day. Stroopwafels will be for sale as well. “Caramel is sandwiched between two waffled cookies,” Brittney explains. “Traditionally, the stroopwafel is placed above a cup of coffee and the warmth of the coffee softens the caramel.”
  • Visit the gift shop for garden supplies, tulip festival souvenirs and a full line of potted spring flowers to plant at home.


WHEN | WHERE 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. weekends, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. weekdays at Waterdrinker Farm, April 12 - May 10; 663 Wading River Rd., Manorville and 4560 Sound Ave., Riverhead.

COST $20 per person ages 3 and older weekdays at both locations and on weekends at Riverhead; $25 per person on weekends at Manorville

MORE INFO 631-878-8653 both locations, water-drinker.com