Spring is the season when New England literally springs back to life. Days grow longer, temperatures warm, and April showers reliably bring May flowers. Spring is also a relatively affordable and uncrowded time to visit New England.
Need additional inspiration for planning a spring visit? New England welcomes spring with lively events that celebrate the emergence of colorful blooms. Here's your guide to 10 fabulous flower festivals in New England and neighboring New York State.
Location: Bristol, Rhode Island
Dates: April 1-30, 2019
During the annual Gateway to Spring event at Rhode Island's Blithewold Mansion, you'll see more than 50,000 daffodils growing in gardens and along woodland paths. For an added treat, enjoy afternoon tea in the dining room Tuesday through Friday at 1 or 3 p.m. from April 16 through May 10. Reservations are required and can be made by calling 401-253-2707.
Location: Nantucket, Massachusetts
Dates: April 26-28, 2019
Fields of buttery daffodils—more than 3 million of them—are a spectacle to behold each spring on the Massachusetts island of Nantucket. Weekend events include an antique car parade, a tailgate picnic, a "daffy" dog parade, a hat pageant, a children's parade and more. For information, call 508-228-1700.
Location: Meriden, Connecticut
Dates: April 27-28, 2019 (with Pre-Festival Events on April 14 and 20)
With more than 600,000 daffodils in bloom, the Meriden Daffodil Festival can certainly be called Connecticut's most colorful free spring event. In addition to fragrant fields of yellow and white daffodils, you'll also find continuous music on three stages, carnival rides, a craft fair, food, a parade, fireworks and entertainment for children at this annual flower festival. For information, call 203-238-1315 (from April 1 through May 1).
Location: Fairfield, Connecticut
Dates: May 10-12, 2019
The Dogwood Festival has been a spring tradition at Greenfield Hill Congregational Church for more than 80 years. Thousands attend this festival and craft fair that celebrates the beauty of dogwood trees in bloom while also raising money and awareness for people in need locally, nationally and internationally. Take your mom: It's Mother's Day Weekend! For information, call 203-259-5596.
Location: Rochester, New York
Dates: May 10-19, 2019
Lilacs have bloomed in Highland Park since 1892, and Rochester's famous spring festival offers an opportunity to view more than 500 varieties of lilacs in bloom. This free annual festival features music including performances by national recording artists, children's activities, garden battles, a juried art & craft show, international food vendors, a craft beer expo, plant sales and more. The festival will be held from 10:30 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. on May 10th through 19th. For information, call 585-279-8300 or 800-677-7282. You may also contact the Springut Group at 585-473-4482.
AddressWashington Park, Albany, NY, USA
Location: Albany, New York
Dates: May 11-12, 2019
One of Albany's oldest events, the 71st annual Tulip Festival celebrates the city's Dutch heritage. Historic Washington Park blooms with more than 140,000 tulips in a multitude of colors and 150 varieties. Head to New York's capital city for a Mother's Day weekend of food, music, crafts, kids' activities and more. The Royal Tulip Ball will be held on May 11 at 6:30 p.m. For information about this festival, call 518-434-2032.
Location: Boston, Massachusetts
Date: May 12, 2019
Fragrant, flowering lilacs get their very own celebration at Boston's Arnold Arboretum each year. The grounds are home to nearly 400 lilac plants representing 165 different varieties: It's one of North America's most significant collections of lilacs. On Lilac Sunday, picnicking on site is permitted, and special tours and activities for families are scheduled. The event will be held from 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. Call 617-524-1718 for event details.
Location: Portsmouth, NH
Date: May 25, 2019
America's oldest lilac bushes erupt in lush purple hues each spring at the seaside Wentworth-Coolidge Mansion State Historic Site. Take a free tour the grand Colonial-era home of New Hampshire's first royal governor (who was quite a character), and enjoy family activities, guided trail walks and more on the lawn amid the fragrant lilacs. You can also purchase heirloom varieties of lilacs, which have been cultivated on the grounds for 250 years. Event runs from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.
Location: Sandwich, Massachusetts
Dates: May 25-June 2, 2019
For a multi-day period in May and June, the Heritage Museums & Gardens, an eclectic Cape Cod attraction, invites guests to experience one of its most spectacular living collections: more than 100 varieties of flowering rhododendrons planted in the 3-acre Dexter Rhododendron Garden. Many talks, walks and other activities are scheduled to coincide with the festival, which inspires gardeners and allows them to purchase rhododendron plants to cultivate at home. Regular admission fees apply. For details, call 508-888-3300.
Location: Franconia and surrounding towns, NH
Dates: June 1-30, 2019
Gorgeous purple and pink lupines in bloom are reason enough to visit New Hampshire's Franconia region each June. The 26th annual Celebration of Lupine (formerly known as the Fields of Lupine Festival) provides added incentive for travelers including special tours and events, concerts, art exhibits, a photo contest and more. For information, call 603-823-5661.