Soon it will be prime time to visit the Carlsbad Flower Fields in Carlsbad, California. The Flower Fields are in 90% bloom around Easter and there are literally flowers everywhere you go. The dates for the 2020 season are March 1 – May 12, 2020. My kids and I went to visit and see the flowers for the first time back in 2016. Since then, we have been back many times to enjoy the beautiful fields.
The Flower Fields grow a gorgeous flower known as the Tecolote Giant Ranunculus, which is one of the finest strains of ranunculus plants in the world. The ranunculus flower is native to Asia Minor and is a member of the buttercup family. This unique blossom also is known as a Persian Buttercup or Ranunculus Asiatic.
I’m always enamored with the beautiful flowers around me when I walk through the flower fields. Pictures simply don’t do them justice!
For over sixty years, the rolling hills of north San Diego County have been transformed into one of the most spectacular and coordinated displays of natural color and beauty anywhere in the world.
The nearly fifty acres of Giant Tecolote Ranunculus flowers that make up the Flower Fields are in bloom every year from approximately early March through early May. The caretakers set side approximately five acres of the fields each year to grow specialty flowers.
It’s interesting to note that at the end of the season, the flowers die back and produce seed for re-planting in the same fields for the next season. By allowing the plant to complete its life cycle, it helps to produce a more superior bulb crop. The caretakers told us that it helps to produce a more superior bulb crop.
The gardeners also harvest the Flower Fields bulbs – tuberous roots, corms and rhizomes versions – every year and sell them at the Armstrong Garden Center on site and at other garden centers nationwide. You cans also find them for sale online at EasytoGrowBulbs.com.
The best time to view the flowers is usually mid-March through Mid-April, with Easter being optimal time. We prefer to go first thing in the morning on a weekday when the crowds are lighter. As the day goes on, the Flower Fields start to get busy and it’s harder to catch a family photo with no one else in the background.
Attractions at Carlsbad Flower Fields
In addition to the 50+ acres of San Diego flower fields, there are several other picturesque places for visitors to enjoy.
Antique Tractor Wagon Rides
Guests can take an open-air wagon ride through The Flower Fields in an antique tractor. The cost is $5.00 per person. Tickets can be purchased either at the main entrance or near the wagon ride itself. The wagon makes one stop at the top of the hill where visitors can get out and take pictures or stay on board to go back down the hill. You can also walk down instead.
The Artist Gardens
Imagine your favorite painting transposed into a colorful garden using flowers as an art medium. The displays of flowers are as instructive as they are beautiful. Each illustrates how color can be used and enjoyed in gardens at home. There are several varieties of flowers in the garden to survey.
Have you heard of the historic Santa’s Village in Lake Arrowhead that closed many years ago? Well, now the Flower Fields is home to the whimsical playhouses and gigantic mushrooms that use to be a part of Santa’s Village. Children can play in the ‘Guard Shack’, ‘Doll House’, ‘Crooked Treehouse’ and colorful mushrooms.
Sweet Pea Maze
My children and I had a blast trying to find our way through the Sweet Pea Maze, a one-of-a-kind living maze! It is designed by using fragrant and colorful “old fashioned” sweet pea blossoms. My son found the exit within minutes, while my daughter and I had to go back to the entrance to find our way out!
Within the Flower Fields there are numerous places where visitors can take scenic photos. Many couples like to take their engagement pictures at the Flower Fields, while other people stop and pose for a once in a lifetime photo.
Field Trips to Carlsbad Flower Fields
The Flower Fields Educational Program is a great way for children to learn about growing plants, water conservation and local history. They offer several programs from Pre-K to 2nd Grade and 3rd to 5th grade every year, from September to April.
Classroom Presentation Only (Pre-K thru 2nd Grade)
From September thru February, the Flower Fields offers a classroom presentation for Pre-K thru 2nd Grade. A Flower Fields teacher will come to your classroom to give a slideshow presentation. Then the students will plant and grow their own bulb, seed to take home, or plant it in the school garden.
Classroom Presentation + Field Trip (Pre-K thru 2nd Grade)
This is a two-part program. The first part takes place September thru February. A Flower Fields teacher will visit your classroom to give a slideshow presentation and do a project with your students.
Then in March thru April (offered Monday – Friday), your students will visit the Flower Fields for a field trip to learn about composting with worms, complete an art project, and enjoy some music. Students will also take a wagon ride thru the fields.
Onsite Growing Program (Pre-K thru 2nd Grade)
In March thru April (offered Monday-Friday), teachers can set up a field trip to the Flower Fields for students to learn about composting with worms, do an art project, and music. Students will also take a wagon ride thru the fields.
Investigative Program (3rd – 5th Grade)
Available March thru April (offered Monday-Friday), students in 3rd – 5th grade, will learn about Good Bugs and Bad Bugs. Students will receive an investigative portfolio, dissect flowers, learn how to be water wise, about pollination, study plant benefits, and composting with worms. Afterwards, they will take a wagon ride thru the fields.
Education Programs at Carlsbad Flower Fields
- Composting Program – Teaches students the principles of recycling, using worms as the “world’s greatest recycler.” Each composting session is taught by a Master Composter. Worms are a fun way for kids to learn about recycling and become more aware of the environment.
- Art Program – Students create a special “hands-on” art project to take home.
- Music Program – Students will enjoy singing songs like “Dirt Made my Lunch” and “Bees Have Power” that both teach and entertain.
- Antique Tractor Wagon Rides – Students will enjoy a ride on an open-air wagon pulled by an antique tractor.
Carlsbad Flower Fields Admission
- Adults: $18.00
- Seniors 60+: $16.00
- Children 3-10 yrs.: $9.00
- Children 2 yrs. & under: Free
Hours: Starting on March 1, open to the public seven days a week from 9:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.
Location: The Flower Fields, 5704 Paseo Del Norte Carlsbad, CA 92008
Happy Field Tripping!