WINDMILL ISLAND GARDENS SPOTLIGHTS
WINDMILL ISLAND GARDENS
Many visitors to Holland are looking for signs of our Dutch heritage and find examples all throughout town. However, THE place to go to get a taste of our area's Dutch history and culture is Windmill Island Gardens!
Fortunately, a group of City Fathers in the 1950s and 60s recognized the importance of keeping our heritage alive as well as providing a place where community-members and visitors could gather. They were able to procure the last working windmill allowed to leave the Netherlands in 1964. The historic windmill 'de Zwaan' is the highlight of our park and stands amongst 36 acres of exhibits, gardens and natural areas. The mill still turns and grinds grain into flour and a tour up 5 floors is the highlight of any visit to the park.
Visitors can also enjoy:
- Tunes from a working street organ - a gift from the City of Amsterdam after World War II
- Rides on an antique kid's carousel - with handpainted horses and other animals
- 150,000 tulips in bloom for several weeks in late April and early May
- Thousands of annuals and perennials in bloom through spring, summer and fall
- Annual themed garden plantings beginning in June through early October. 2022's theme is Holidays!
- Replica structures including a wayside inn, fisherman's houses, an orphanage and a working mailbox
- The historic Little Netherlands display showing life in the low countries in the 1840's when Holland was founded
- A permanent 'Tulip Grove' carved from old-growth oak trees (to save them from becoming wood chips!)
- A gift shop featuring Dutch treats including cheese tasting as well as a wide variety of souvenirs
- A 'Welkom' movie explaining how Holland was settled and the Island came into being
- Beautiful walking trails featuring natural areas and wildlife including many bird species that call the Macatawa River delta home
We strive to connect with visitors on a variety of interests - history, horticulture, floriculture, engineering, music, science, agriculture, food, and much more - all under an umbrella of our area's Dutch heritage.