Tulip Time is here! And it's one of my absolute favorite events. I married a handsome Dutch man five years ago and he told me all about this celebration filled with thousands of tulips, elaborate glow-in-the dark floats, poffertjes (tiny, sweet pancakes dusted with powdered sugar), wooden shoes and a Pella Bologna sandwich that's worthy of its own festival.

We make it an annual tradition to take the short drive over to Pella to celebrate our Dutch heritage. But it had me thinking...there are lots of Dutch experiences right here in the Metro. And if you're one of the thousands visiting for Tulip Time, here are some more places to catch while you're here:


1. Downtown Des Moines Farmers' Market - Ranked #2 of the 101 Best Farmers' Markets in America
Saturdays 7 a.m. - Noon


This is a must experience and you can get your fill of Dutch treats at Vander Ploeg's Bakery (on Court Avenue between 1st and 2nd Streets). You can't go wrong with their classic Dutch Letters.


2. Spring Garden Festival at Greater Des Moines Botanical Gardens
Thursday, May 7 from 5 - 8 p.m.
Friday & Saturday, May 8 & 9 from 10 a.m. - 5 p.m.
Sunday, May 10 from 10 a.m. - 3 p.m.

  There's a pop-up garden festival this weekend with over 500 limited edition varieties of plants (hint: it's Mother's Day on Sunday). Also, catch the beautiful new outdoor space with a half-acre water garden overlooking the Des Moines skyline. And I promise there will also be lots of beautiful tulips along your botanical journey.

3. Chocolaterie Stam
Ingersoll Location
Monday - Friday 9 a.m. - 7 p.m.
Saturday 9 a.m. - 5 p.m.
Sunday Noon - 5 p.m.

  You don't need to fly to Amsterdam to get the world's best chocolate. You just need to make a short trip over to Chocolaterie Stam. Their century-old chocolate recipe and hand crafted truffles are the best you'll ever taste. The perfect take home. Did I mention they also serve gelato?

4. Pella Tulip Time Wine & Wood Fired Oven Pizza Day - Tassel Ridge Winery
Thursday, May 7 from 11 a.m. - 6 p.m.
Friday & Saturday, May 8 & 9 from 11 a.m. - 4 p.m.

  No reservations required, just swing by this picturesque winery and grab a slice of an arugula, prosciutto, pear and shaved parmesan pizza and pair it with a glass of Iowa Edelweiss made entirely from grapes grown here in Iowa. Crisp. Light. And refreshing!

So celebrate your inner dutch-ness this weekend through chocolate, wine, plants or pastries! And send me pictures of your best Dutch finds in the Metro.

Proost! Cheers!