A favorite Holland-area attraction for kids is the Critter Barn, located just outside of town in Zeeland. There families can learn how a farm operates and interact with farm animals like goats, ducks, chickens, rabbits, donkeys and more. Kids can hold big, furry bunnies or cradle newborn chicks in their hands. They can enter a chicken coop, pet goats and watch a pot-bellied pig perform tricks.
The spot began as a family farm for a teacher and her brood. As friends asked if they could bring their classes to the farm for field trips, she realized that she could create a unique resource for agricultural education in the Holland area and the Critter Barn was born.
The Critter Barn offers family tours and field trips when school is in session. In summer they offer tours and camps for kids interested in learning more about the animals and their care.
The Critter Barn offers events throughout the year, like a hoedown fundraiser in fall and a live nativity scene in winter. Please check the website for information about upcoming events, hours and pricing.
Each year in early May the residents of Holland pay homage to the brave Dutch folk who settled the region with the Tulip Time Festival. While Holland is host to various art shows and other events through the year, Tulip Time is the town’s most important event and they do it up big.
When Hendrick Meijer, founder of the grocery store of the same name, first immigrated from the Netherlands 1907 one of the reasons he chose to settle in Holland, Michigan was he’d heard he could get around perfectly well in this Lake Michigan Town without speaking a word of English. Times have changed, but there’s still a sizeable Dutch community in the area. And for the rest? They say everyone’s Dutch at Tulip Time.
The week-long festivities are filled with parades, art shows, petting zoos, bounce houses, magic shows, concerts, tours of the authentic Dutch windmill on Windmill Island, fireworks and plenty of performances by Klompen Dancers, clogging about in their wooden shoes. Children and adults wander about in traditional Dutch dress, and munch on Dutch snacks. All this against a backdrop of gaily colored tulips, all throughout the town.
The 2016 Tulip Time Festival will be held from May 7 to May 14.