Explore a historic Dutch town packed with thousands of vibrant tulips, a Great Lakes island brimming with fragrant lilacs and more. 
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Lilac Festival in Mackinac Island, Michigan
Credit: Lilac Festival

As spring flowers burst into bloom, Midwest communities jubilantly herald their arrival with street festivals, parades, dancing and an abundance of floral displays. To inspire your next nature-focused getaway, we've rounded up eight of the best Midwest spring flower festivals that promise color and excitement this season.

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Zoo Blooms in Cincinnati, Ohio
Credit: Zoo Blooms

1. Zoo Blooms — Cincinnati, Ohio

In Cincinnati's Avondale neighborhood, passersby can't miss the spectacular Zoo Blooms (April 1-30) with bulb displays beginning at the entrance of the Cincinnati Botanic Garden & Zoo. Every spring, the zoo transforms its grounds into a magnificent explosion of color with 100,000 tulips. Perhaps, it's the one time the gardens outshine the zoo's adored animals. On Thursday nights, the zoo hosts Tunes & Blooms with free concerts by local bands.

Related: Top Things to Do in Cincinnati

Azalea Dogwood Festival in Charleston, Missouri
Credit: Charleston Azalea Dogwood Festival

2. Dogwood-Azalea Festival — Charleston, Missouri

A six-mile trail of flowering dogwoods, azaleas and Victorian homes creates a stunning backdrop for this 54-year-old Dogwood-Azalea Festival (April 21-24). Walk or cruise the trail. Tour the homes. Grab a seat along the parade route, or sign up for the 5K run. Be sure to linger for the candlelight tour with 2,000 luminaries and spotlighted banks of azaleas. It's no wonder the town touts itself as the "flower of Missouri's bootheel."

Daffodil Days in Granville, Ohio
Credit: Daffodil Days

3. Daffodil Days — Granville, Ohio

This charming historic college town has celebrated daffodils for decades. On April 23-24, the Granville Garden Club will host its 75th annual daffodil show and bulb sale at the idyllic, butter-colored Bryn Du Mansion. Scan dozens of yellow, white and even salmon-colored daffodils displayed on risers, then order your favorites for fall planting. Daffodil festivities continue on April 23 with a day-long Celebrating Daffodils event including a garden tour and expert talk at the town's history museum.

Orleans Dogwood Festival in Orleans, Indiana
Credit: Orleans Dogwood Festival

4. Orleans Dogwood Festival — Orleans, Indiana

In mid-April, hundreds of pink and white dogwood blooms blanket this southern Indiana city thanks to a 1960s community-wide planting called "Operation Dogwood." Today, Orleans celebrates its dogwood heritage in a big way with the Orleans Dogwood Festival (April 23-30). Head to party central at the historic Congress Square where artisans gather and entertainers perform at the restored 1926 bandstand. Food vendors serve up ham and beans, and "Hoosier" pork tenderloin sandwiches. Stay nearby at the French Lick resort.

Related: Ultimate Midwest Resorts

Tulip Festival in Pella Iowa
Credit: Tulip Time Festival Pella, Iowa

5. Tulip Festival — Pella, Iowa

This picturesque town settled by Dutch immigrants in 1847 loves its heritage just as much as its multitude of tulips.  Pella's Tulip Festival (May 5-7) features tours of its 12-story windmill, a craft market and twice-daily parades complete with street sweepers and dancers (clad in traditional Dutch costume and wooden shoes, of course). Don't miss the Dutch treats like poffertjes (mini pancakes), Pella bologna and puff pastry letters.

Related: Top Things to Do in Pella

Tulip Time in Holland, Michigan
Credit: Tulip Time

6. Tulip Time — Holland, Michigan

Holland's abuzz about a new immersion garden that's coming to Tulip Time, its 93-year-old tulip festival (May 7-15).  Dutch floral designer Ibo Gülsen is designing three elevated displays to take visitors on a 'Journey of the Tulip' from its discovery in Turkey and popularity in the Netherlands to its celebration in Holland, MI. The football-field-sized display space will be filled with 50,000 tulips elevated to eye level for plenty of ogling and selfie-taking.  The festival includes other favorites like three parades, an artisan market, Dutch dancing and tours of the city's six million tulips.

Tulip Festival in Pella, IA
Credit: Tulip Festival

7. Festival of Spring — Oshkosh, Wisconsin

The 1920s Tudor mansion and gardens at Paine Art Center are the perfect setting for the community's Festival of Spring (May 21). The outdoor festival features a large plant sale, artisan fair, expert plant clinics, live entertainment and food vendors. One highlight is touring the estate's three acres of gardens filled with 15,000 bulbs plus flowering perennials, wildflowers, trees and shrubs.

Lilac Festival in Mackinac Island, Michigan
Credit: Lilac Festival

8. Lilac Festival — Mackinac Island, Michigan

The fragrance of lilacs fills the streets of Mackinac Island for the Lilac Festival (June 3 – 12). Originally established as a parade in 1949 to showcase the island's lilacs, the festival has expanded to a 10-day celebration with a 10K run/walk, horse drawn carriage tours, a multitude of concerts, culinary events, wine tastings, and even a dog and pony show.