In 1910, Frederick Nelis sent his 17-year-old son Harry from the Netherlands to America in search of land so that the family of 14 could later join him across the pond. After a tough couple of years, the clan discovered a settlement in Holland, Michigan, whose rich soils proved ideal for growing tulips.
Over the course of the next eight decades, the Nelis’ 80-acre tulip farm blossomed into the theme park it is today. Still family operated and brought to life by the Netherlands’ signature blooms, the park is now home to myriad attractions for all ages. Traditional Dutch dancers don wooden shoes and lead lessons for visitors, and artisans hand carve candles into intricate masterpieces or slightly smaller candles. As guests stroll to the Dutch swing, petting zoo, or carousel, the notes from an Amsterdam street organ float through winding canals and over the looming windmills that, at a glance, may momentarily transport guests to the Netherlands as Harry Nelis last saw it in 1910.