Windmill Island Gardens extends season amid record attendance

After a pandemic-shortened 2020 season led to reduced attendance numbers at Windmill Island Gardens, the popular destination welcomed a record number of visitors this year. 

In response to the continued demand, the city of Holland, which operates the park, will extend the season beyond its scheduled closing day of Oct. 3. The Dutch attractions and gardens will open on Saturdays and Sundays through Oct. 24 for guests to enjoy at a reduced admission of $5.

Unfortunately, the onset of the pandemic in 2020 coincided with Holland’s annual Tulip Time celebration, leading to the cancellation of festivities. When Windmill Island Gardens was able to open in mid-June that year, no tulips remained to greet the 50,000 guests — less than half of the previous season’s total. 

This year has been a different story. Staff and industry expectations were shattered as the park eclipsed its record seasonal attendance earlier this month. The nearly 60-year-old attraction previously welcomed a record crowd of 122,646 in 1972. This year, the number may surpass 130,000 despite crowd limitations earlier in the year. 

Reduced admission rates

“We’ve been amazed by visitor demand and very fortunate that our staff stepped up to allow us to stay open all season,” says park Development Manager Matt Helmus.

Due to the need to begin planting tulip bulbs, the park traditionally closes the first weekend of October. However, this year it will reopen to visitors on Saturdays and Sundays through Oct. 24. As staff will begin seasonal cleanup and bulb planting, admission rates will be reduced to $5 for adults with kids 15 and younger admitted free.

With the extension of the season, the staff is also excited to participate in Downtown Holland’s Fall Fest. On Saturday, Oct. 9, admission to the park will include entry to a Fall Artisan Market from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. 

Additional events in the downtown area include pumpkin carving and painting, hayrides, street performers, and more. Additional information on the festival can be found at

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Read more articles by Shandra Martinez.