The Flower Fields at Carlsbad Ranch is open for the 2024 season between March 1 and May 12 (Mother’s Day). The familiar activities will all be back, in addition to a jam-packed events calendar offering all kinds of fun options for both families and adults only.

This year’s theme is ‘Spring into Color,’ and that’s certainly what you will experience, whether it be in the Sea of Sunflowers garden, the Sweet Pea Maze, the Orchid Greenhouse, or the ranch’s famous Poinsettia display.

Get ready to flood your Instagram feed with coordinated displays of natural color thanks to the Giant Tecolote Ranunculus and other blooms spread across 55 acres. Below, you’ll find everything to know about visiting this working ranch and spring attraction set in the rolling hills of North San Diego County.

People walk through The Flower Fields at Carlsbad Ranch on a sunny day.
An average day at The Flower Fields in a prior season, complete with wagon rides.

Before You Go

You must purchase time and date-specific tickets in advance online because they are not for sale onsite. Advance tickets are on sale now even though it opens in March, so you can buy now and plan ahead. Season passes are also available and do not require reservations.

Note: all tickets in the Activity/Event calendar add an extra fee not noted in the descriptions below as they all vary.

Wear walking shoes that you don’t mind getting a little dirty. Remember, the display areas are a working farm, and flowers grow in the dirt! Do not forget sunscreen and sunglasses.


25 Fun Things to Do at the Carlsbad Flower Fields

Mother Nature certainly puts on a show at what’s considered one of the most unique attractions in the United States. It is certainly one of the best things to do in Carlsbad in the spring!

1. Take Plenty of Photos

Flower-covered arches and blooms on the ground in the family portrait area.
The dedicated family portrait area.

This is your opportunity to take the perfect holiday card, family, or social media photos against a backdrop of orange, yellow, pink, white, and red ranunculus flower rows and the Pacific Ocean in the distance.

Don’t be shy. You will see plenty of visitors doing the same thing (some with wardrobe changes). Leave your drones at home.

2. Pick Your Own Blueberries

Back this year is a U-Pick Blueberry activity. Buy a pint and fill it with fruit that you select from the 2-acre blueberry patch.

Admission to the patch is included with admission to The Flower Fields, but guests not visiting The Flower Fields can access the patch for free by parking in a designated lot and using a different entrance.

Blueberries are available for picking starting in early March until the patch runs out. Upon entering The Flower Fields, you’ll notice signage indicating picking is open. If there is no sign, the blueberries aren’t available that day.

3. Tour Ranunculus Flowers in an Antique Tractor Wagon

The antique tractor pulls a wagon full of guests through the ranunculus flowers.
A wagon tour from a prior season.

Every season, guests (especially kids) look forward to the Antique Tractor Wagon Tours, where you can ride through the fields in a towed wagon while listening to the history of this unique San Diego attraction.

You buy wagon ride tickets when you arrive and can pay by credit/debit card only. Tickets cost $8 for adults and $4 for children 3-10. Toddlers and babies under age 3 ride for free.

4. Navigate the Sweet Pea Maze

Children navigate the maze of sweet pea plants and flowers at Carlsbad flower fields.
The fragrant maze.

Step into this living maze to see if you can find your way out. That is if you want to get out. The colorful sweet pea flowers also give off a lovely fragrance.

5. Check Out the Greenhouse Poinsettia and Orchid Displays

A display of potted poinsettias with FAQs listed above them.

Until the 1960s, this land was used by the Ecke family (who still owns the land) to grow their famous poinsettias. Long story short, they moved their operations to greenhouses, but Paul Ecke Jr. convinced his friend and local grower to plant his ranunculus flowers here. It was Paul Ecke Jr. who came up with the idea to open the ranch up for tourism to keep the location economically viable.

So, it only fits that a rather large greenhouse at The Flower Fields showcases rare and unusual poinsettias along with the history of this important Southern California site.

You can also walk through a greenhouse filled with blooming cymbidium orchids, which you can also purchase at the Armstrong Garden Center Gift Shop.

6. Admire the American Flag of Flowers

A shot of the whole American Flag made with petunias in bloom on the hillside.
It’s huge!

Every year, red, white, and blue petunias are planted on a hillside in the shape of the American Flag.

7. Let the Kids Play at Santa’s Playground

The entrance to Santa's Playground at The Flower Fields at Carlsbad Ranch.
A fun place for kids ages 2-12.

Do you remember Santa’s Village in Lake Arrowhead? Well, some whimsical playhouses and other displays now live at The Flower Fields.

The Flower Fields is already one of my favorite things to do in San Diego with kids and, of course, in Carlsbad with kids.

8. Attend a Yoga Class Or Barre Class

Check the calendar of events, and you’ll find regular Flower Flow Yoga classes at The Flower Fields. It’s a one-hour hatha yoga class set against the spectacular and coordinated displays of the Giant Tecolote Ranunculus.

Tickets to the class include admission to the Flower Fields and you need to take your own yoga mat. Class dates vary throughout the season, so head over to the calendar and book the time and date that works for you.

9. enjoy a luxury picnic among the flowers

Credit: Diana Rose Photography

Pop Up Picnic Co is back this year to lay on their PICNICS + FLOWER pop-up event for guests. You’ll be treated to a delicious picnic lunch while enjoying live music atop the Flower Fields. The fixed menu includes tea sandwiches, a salad selection, mini charcuterie, drinks, and mini fruit pies.

The picnic event takes place on Saturdays and Sundays from March 23 – May 12. Ticket prices start at $140 and include entry to the Flower Friends, wagon rides, and more.

10. Wander Through the Artist Gardens

Talented artists use flowers as their medium to replicate famous works of art. Visit this section for garden inspiration, to admire natural color and beauty, and see birds chirping away in their aviaries.

11. Improve Your Green Thumb at the Demonstration Garden

Raised garden beds put together by Master Gardeners of San Diego County.
Neat mixes of edibles and ornamentals.

The Master Gardeners of San Diego County display ornamental and edible plants for visitors to browse and learn more about how to grow at home.

You’ll also walk away with a few garden design tips — it’s neat to see how experts pair companion plants together.

12. Take a Field Trip

I’m a huge advocate of taking advantage of the educational resources that our attractions offer.

Field trips for ages Pre-K to 3rd grades are available that cover topics like composting and gardening but include fun hands-on projects and art. And, don’t forget that you can download age-appropriate activity sheets to complete at home.

13. Earn a Girl Scout Patch

Take your troop to The Flower Fields on one of four designated dates to learn about composting, gardening, and the environment, and even take a wagon ride.

What a fun way for Daisies and Brownies to earn a patch. Reservations are required.

14. Take Home Flowers and Plants

A butterfly lands on a yellow ranunculus flower.
A close-up of Giant Tecolote Ranunculus flowers.

One of the most frequently asked questions is whether you can take flowers home. The answer is yes, thanks to the Armstrong Garden Center gift shop.

Pick up some cut ranunculus or take home some bulbs to grow at home in the ground or containers. You can also find plenty of other plants, flowers, pots, and tools for sale here.

15. Spend the Night

You have some choice when it comes to Carlsbad hotels near The Flower Fields. The two closest, located above the Carlsbad flower fields, are The Cassara Carlsbad and Grand Pacific Palisades. A shuttle will take guests to The Flower Fields (and beyond).

The Cassara Carlsbad is popular with families for its two-bedroom Karlsbad Suites. Grand Pacific Palisades are vacation rental condos with full kitchens and one to three bedrooms. Both share a kids’ water play and swimming pools.

16. MINE YOUR OWN GEMSTONES

Thanks to the Carlsbad Mining Company, adults and kids can have a blast mining their very own gemstones using a water-based method called sluicing. Tickets cost $4 per person, and kids get a dollar off if they show a completed passport.

17. TOUR THE BUTTERFLY GARDEN

The Butterfly Garden features benches and statues surrounded by sprawling fields of blooming flowers. Dedicated to the butterflies that help the flowers grow, this spot is both an incredible photo op and a wonderful learning opportunity for kids.

17. EXPERIENCE THE SEA OF SUNFLOWERS (NEW)

This year, you can tour the remarkable Sea of Sunflowers, a 5-acre patch filled with sunflowers of all shapes and sizes. Some stand as tall as 12 feet! Kids and grown-ups will both have an amazing time getting lost among the bright blooms.

18. EXPERIENCE THE SEA OF SUNFLOWERS

This year, you can tour the remarkable Sea of Sunflowers, a 5-acre patch filled with sunflowers of all shapes and sizes. Some stand as tall as 12 feet! Kids and grown-ups will both have an amazing time getting lost among the bright blooms.

19. DISCOVER AND WONDER IN THE ILLUSION GARDEN

The Illusion Garden is a fun, mind-bending activity that includes two new topiaries handcrafted by Jennifer Coborn, an artist known for her whimsical, imaginative designs.

20. snap a selfie at the pothead garden

This unique garden features more than 15 large concrete busts bursting with flowers and greenery. It’s definitely a sight to see and a great photo opp.

21. choose from the live music act line up

The 2024 live music calendar features a great line up of various celebrated artists playing blues, jazz, rock n roll, soul, and funk. Choose your vibe in the events calendar.

22. sip at sunset with a wine tasting treat

Wine lovers can sip on premium tipples paired with food bites while enjoying live music as the sun goes down over the Fields. The ranunculus flowers’ myriad of colors come to life in a unique experience during sunset.

The wines are chosen by Sommelier Lamar Engel of The Wine Militia, and celebrate Californian wine-growing regions. Tickets cost $115.

23. take tea in the garden

You can book a relaxing afternoon tea in a picturesque setting at the Flower Fields. Tea and food is served by The Grand Tea Room. Note that this is an adult only event and only children 11 and older are allowed. There are four seating times so make sure you book ahead to secure your spot.

The Tea takes place on select Sundays until April 28. Tickets cost from $84 and admission to The Flower Fields is included.

24. Grab a Bite to Eat

Bring your appetite to the Flower Fields. Grab a slice from the Pizza Trolley, Taco Trolley, or fun foods like lemonade from the Lemonade Stand, cotton candy, or a strawberry milkshake from the Strawberry Shack — just to name a few options.

25. Host an Event at The Flower Fields at Carlsbad Ranch

With so much color and beauty, it’s no surprise that people choose to host weddings and other events at Carlsbad flower fields. While events are still prohibited at the time of this writing, keep this knowledge in your arsenal because event space is available year-round.


Ticket Information, Parking, and Directions

Rows of ranunculus with the Pacific Ocean in the background.
You can see the ocean, too, from this part of coastal Carlsbad, California.

When you purchase tickets, you’ll be required to select a date and entrance time that will serve as your reservation. Season Pass holders do not need to make reservations.

Day Passes:

Adults: $23
Seniors 60+: $21
Children 3-10: $14

Season Passes

Adults: $48
Seniors 60+: $44
Children 3-10: $28

Wagon Tour

Adults: $8
Children 3-10: $4

Address: 5704 Paseo Del Norte Carlsbad, CA 92008 (get directions)

Parking: It is free to park in the Carlsbad flower fields parking lot.

Have fun!

*Photos are courtesy of The Flower Fields.

Katie Dillon is the managing editor of La Jolla Mom. She helps readers plan San Diego vacations through her hotel expertise (that stems from living in a Four Seasons hotel) and local connections. Readers have access to exclusive discounts on theme park tickets (like Disneyland and San Diego Zoo) and perks at luxury hotels worldwide through her. She also shares insider tips for visiting major cities worldwide, like Hong Kong, London, Paris, and Shanghai, that her family has either lived in or visits regularly (or both).

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