Wagon Rides: $5.00 for Adults, $3.00 for Children 3 - 10
Exactly what it boasts - A field of flowers, only it's on a hill. :)
A camera is a must. You can walk or take a tractor ride, but I highly recommend walking. There are little "cut outs" into the fields so that you can walk in and be surrounded by flowers. A perfect setting for christmas cards pictures or photo gifts for grandma and grandpa.
At the base of the hill there are a number of "stations" to learn about the flowers and a gold mining area. But the ultimate highlight, after the amazing flowers of corse, is the the playground. Set up to be an area to get out the wiggles after hiking the fields the mini-houses and climbing stuff were highlights for my kids.
Don't miss taking the exit out through the Armstrong Garden Center to get some ideas for your own flower field/hill/pot. :)
Note: We made the mistake of going on a weekend so it was incredibly busy. It is also incredibly expensive. There are discount coupons and I recommend seeking them out before you arrive.
I was really curious as to what was offered inside the gate of the Flower Fields at Carlsbad. Driving by it on the 5, I was always impressed with the colorful rows of flowers. It looked pretty, but I thought looking at the rows of flowers was all there was to it. Maybe we'd be done in less than an hour.
I was surprised and pleased right after we walked through the gates. A pleasant woman handed all of us a Stamp Passport titled "Fields of Fun!" The goal was to find all 8 stamp locations around the flower fields and "stamp in" on our passport (reminded me fondly of letterboxing!) The stamping stations were not difficult to find because they were marked with a high flying orange flag. My kids were so excited and motivated to go to all the locations and collect stamps.
The favorite location of all was the sweet pea maze. It reminded me fondly of harvest corn mazes but the sweet smell and pleasant flowers made me rejoice in the Spring! The kids loved running through the maze and my 10 year old was smart enough to solve the maze on the paper first so that he could find his way on foot (4 times!)
We visited the poinsettia display, the rose garden, artistic garden, and the sweet pea maze before we hiked up the hill to the viewing area. As we climbed the hill we stopped for many pictures among the stunning flowers (ranunculus... which are grown for their bulbs). We saw the fun tractor ride but we ran out of time.
Because we got all 8 stamps, we got $1.00 off at the Sluice Mining Attraction. My 8 and 10 year old really liked swishing their sluice box of sand in the water to find the gemstones. (It was obvious to me that they were planted in the bucket of sand... but who cares!) The gemstones/rocks were polished and are now resting in their treasure boxes on their dresser. A great souvenir.
Due to it's popularity and short season, I recommend visiting the Flower Fields early in the day or not on a weekend. When we left the fields at noon on the Saturday of our visit, the large parking lot seemed completely packed with cars still filing in, searching for a spot. Many people were enjoying the beautiful day!
Take a camera (a must), and wear good shoes. We didn't mind the dust but my daughter complained many times about the tiny pebbles getting into her sandals.
We pass the Flower Fields on the 5 freeway every time we go back and forth to LA and decided that we'd take the kids this season. It's only open for 10 weeks or so out of the year. When we went the flowers were about 65% in bloom and it was beautiful just walking through the rows and rows of flowers. Great photo opps with the kids. If you go, wear comfortable walking shoes (closed-toe suggested) and prepare for walking in dust and dirt and up slight hills or you can opt to take a wagon ride for an extra fee. My son just loved being free to roam about. My daughter was napping in the stroller throughout our visit though. There are bathrooms near the entrance and port-a-potties within the fields, thank goodness! There is also a little Santa's Village playground for the kiddies. My young son's highlight though was the Carlsbad Mining Company, where he got to "mine" for gem stones by sifting though sand in water ($3 per bucket of sand). We spent about an hour total here at the Flower Fields. There was a stand that sells lemonade and baked goods on the grounds, but it's also conveniently located next to the Premium Outlets, where we picked up lunch and coffee after working up an appetite by all the walking.
Cost saving tip: We found 2-for-1 discount coupons off adult admission, which is usually $10. Here is the link for 2011:
This is such a beautiful site to see and it is the Carlsbad icon! The fields are relatively expensive to get into but as long as you don't have allergies the pictures and the experience is worth it. They have recently been transporting people along the flower feilds with a hay ride which I have not been on but looked like a lot more fun than walking it :)
I have memories of my father bringing my mom home flowers from the field every friday. I am so lucky this place is so close to home!
Wear comfortable walking shoes as you and the kids traipse through more than fifty acres of gently sloping hillside covered with a rainbow of buttercups. An incredible sight!
The Spring season is from early March through early May.
Beautiful fields of blooming flowers, a hay ride, a Santa's village, what's not to like? This place is great for photo ops and one of the crown jewels of Carlsbad. Keep an eye out for discount tickets. They also give out Legoland Discount coupons so if your are on your way to Legoland and are also planning to visit the flower fields, you might want to pay a visit to the Flower Fields first.
The flowers bloom for a very short season...make sure to check to see if it is open before you go.