Tri-State Adventures: Holland Ridge Farms

Holland Ridge is Insta-famous. Every spring, the influencers descend on this central Jersey farm for idyllic photos of row upon row of tulips. It is truly beautiful. It’s not as amazing as visiting Keukenhof Gardens in Holland, but for a farm in New Jersey, it’s pretty solid. During the Spring Festival, the tulips bloom and the farm is mobbed by crowds of families, couples, and wannabe instafamous people. This leads to a bit of chaos and after going for my first time, I thought it might be helpful to discuss what it’s all about, and what I’d do differently next time.

The Basics

Holland Ridge Farm is an enormous U-Pick flower farm located about an hour south of New York City, and an hour north of Philadelphia (300 acres at 86 Rues Road, Cream Ridge, NJ to be exact). This prime location makes it extremely popular, particularly during the stunning springtime spectacular. 

In addition to beautiful flowers to pick, the farm stages a lot of photo-op areas with bicycles, carriages, swings, wooden shoes, and things like that. It’s all very instagrammable. 

Other activities:

  • A small feeding farm with goats, sheep, and donkeys
  • Pony rides 
  • A barn with rescue animals
  • A museum and souvenir shop
  • A hay maze
  • Hay rides that make 5 stops around the farm
  • Horse and carriage rides

During the festivals, they bring in various food trucks (around 10 on weekdays and 20+ on weekends) including Tessa’s Dutch Poffertjes with authentic Dutch mini pancakes and stroopwafels with toppings, my fave. 

When we went, it was $15 per person for ages 3+ and tulips were $1 a flower for U-Pick’em. 

What I’d Do Differently If I Went Again

If at all possible, I’d go on a weekday. The weekend crowds were epic, even by Jersey standards. I’d also pre-book my tickets further out, so I could guarantee an earlier entry. We aren’t really solid morning people, so I’d likely aim for 10am. We failed to do this and could only get 4pm entries day of, which was not ideal.

Next, I’d be better prepared. The farm is HUGE and we were surprised that the weather was so different from our house a mere 11 miles east of the farm. We should have worn layers, brought sunscreen (or rain gear if appropriate), more water than we brought, and some snacks (we did hit up the food trucks, but it was super crowded, lines were long, and we were hot and sweaty and DONE by the time we got our snack). We did at least bring the Veer wagon, which was great because it was very muddy and our Minu would have struggled.

I’d start by taking the tractor to stop 4, then work my way BACK to the parking lot. We did it in reverse on our first visit, and it ended with an epic line for the tractor back to the lot, with a melting-down toddler screaming about wanting to ride the tractor and not wanting to wait. Stop 4 has animals, pony rides, souvenirs, and beautiful flowers. From there, it’s a short walk to the hay maze and food trucks. There are LOTS of picnic tables by the hay maze, so I’d split up, send one person for lunchtime food while the other stayed at the maze, then meet back up to eat at the tables by the mazes. 

That would enable a leisurely stroll back to the parking lot, picking flowers as we go, taking photos, and stopping off at the feeding farm once the flowers were enough. From there, it’s only a short walk back to the parking lot. 

In my head, it sounds great. I know the reality would probably still be a bit chaotic, but hopefully a little less melty-down. They have a sunflower version in the fall, so maybe we will give it a try and report back. 

All in all, it was a fun (if chaotic) afternoon and I would recommend it, so long as you go in prepared. 

This post is the first of a series of posts I plan to do about destinations, activities, and annual events within an hour of New York City. Let me know in the comments if there are others you are interested in learning about!

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