Monthly Archives: April 2015

Burnside Farms

Burnside Farms
2617 Longmill Road
Haymarket, Virginia
www.burnsidefarms.com
 

I was online searching for spring festivals in the DC area a couple months ago when I came upon Burnside Farms. After seeing just one photo of the tulip fields, I decided this was a place that we needed to get to this year one way or another. I have a love for flowers and nature and so do my girls. They are happier and behave better when we spend time outside around pretty things!

We arrived at the farm shortly after opening last Sunday morning. We paid the entrance fee and picked up baskets for our tulips. We walked over to the fields and first stopped to try on the wooden clogs. My girls got a kick out of trying these on!

BurnsideMaeshoesOf course when they saw the giant pair of clogs they had to take turns standing in them!

BurnsideMaegiantshoesThen we headed out to find a good picking spot in the fields. There were only a handful of people there early in the morning, so we had plenty of picking space to ourselves. There are advantages to having early rising toddlers!

The view is a feast for the eyes! Absolutely gorgeous!

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BFtulipscloseupThe girls were really enjoying picking and would have kept going if I let them. But at $1 per stem, I had to cut them off eventually!

BurnsideClaraWe had a wonderful first time at Burnside Farms and definitely plan on going back next year!

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Good to Know:

•Admission is $4 for a day pass, children under 12 months are free
•$1 per tulip, $.50 per daffodil.
•45 minute drive from DC.
•Baskets are provided.
•You pay for what you pick. So if you have toddlers picking and they break the tulips, you are still paying for those!
•They do accept credit cards.
•Don’t wear nice shoes because the fields can be muddy.
•Port-a-potties on site.



Strawberry Picking at Wegmeyer Farms 2015

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Spring has finally arrived in Northern Virginia, and there is no better way to celebrate than picking red, juicy strawberries straight off the vine at Wegmeyer Farms. Berry picking is a fun, healthy outside activity for the kids, particularly after this long winter.  The fields should be ready for picking by Memorial Day.

Starting the week of May 25, Thursday is Family Picking Day, and Wegmeyer Farms would like to extend a 25% discount for Capitol Momma readers when they come and pick on any Thursday this season at one of their three locations.  There is no charge to visit, you only pay for what you pick – $3.99 per pound. Just mention the Capitol Momma discount to the cashier when checking out.

This year, Wegmeyer Farms has three u-pick locations:

  • Hamilton, VA boutique farm setting – Tucked away on back roads of Lincoln (between Purcellville and Leesburg) at a historic homestead, our farm provides the most scenic views of rolling farmlands.  We offer picnic tables for you to bring your own lunch and refreshments available for sale. After you pick berries, we invite you to stick around with the kids and let them play on the John Deere tractor slide and playground. 38299 Hughesville Road, Hamilton, VA

 

  • Historic Oatlands – our strawberry patch and era-themed attire at this historic mansion will whisk you back to the 1800’s.  While visiting our strawberry patch is free, you can choose to make a day of it by purchasing tour passes for the historical garden and/or mansion in addition to strawberry picking. 20850 Oatlands Plantation Ln, Leesburg, VA

 

  • Gilbert’s Corner – strawberry picking in its most natural state.  This no-fuss location is perfect for a simple outing.  Parking is available right at the site.  Intersection of Route 15 and Route 50 in Aldie, VA.

 

Packed with nutrients and antioxidants, strawberries are known as one of the most popular you-pick fruits in the area. Customers are encouraged to call the strawberry field hotline at (540) 751-1782 to check field conditions before heading out to the farm.  More information can be found online at www.wegmeyerfarms.com.

strawberries



Meadowlark Botanical Gardens

Meadowlark Botanical Gardens
9750 Meadowlark Gardens Court
Vienna, Virginia 22182
 

My girls have been so excited to spend time playing outdoors this spring, especially after the winter we had. They absolutely love looking at (and picking) flowers. So, last week on an exceptionally beautiful day we headed out to Vienna, Virginia to explore Meadowlark Botanical Gardens.

Inside the visitors center are a few tanks with turtles and fish, so we stopped to look at those first.

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After paying the entrance fee, we headed outside to explore the gardens. At first, Clara and Mae were disappointed when I told them they couldn’t pick any of the flowers but they got over it quickly. There was so much else for them to look at and do here. And we did find a few wildflowers growing by the lake that I let them pick. That seemed to keep them satisfied with their flower picking desires!

We stopped to admire the fairy garden right outside of the Visitors Center. Then I told Clara that there was a children’s garden area, so of course that was the spot she wanted to check out next. We took the path down to the whimsical area next to the Gardiner lake.

My girls were immediately drawn to the deck area that had a little wooden chairs and a table with tea cups. Such a perfect spot for a lakeside tea party!

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There is a second tea garden area with another cute table and chairs. The children’s garden also has “touch and smell” areas for the children to explore.

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My girls loved watching the geese in the lake and spotting all the turtles – lots and lots of turtles! Clara had fun counting them all.

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From the children’s garden, Clara spotted these totem poles out in an open field and ran over to them. Mae tried to follow as quickly as she could! It looked like these were put there just for them – big sister and little sister totems!

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We continued around the path and enjoyed the cherry blossom trees along Lake Caroline. We walked out onto the gazebo and the girls loved looking at the Koi fish.

MBGlake

By this point, we had been at the gardens for close to two hours and Mae (who hadn’t yet napped) was on the verge of a meltdown. So we skipped the Korean Bell Garden and a lot of other areas. We started to walk back towards the visitors center but stopped briefly at this garden full of golden daffodils. It was too pretty to not enjoy.

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There is so much more to explore at Meadowlark! We will definitely return to see everything we missed during our first visit. I imagine that it’s a different experience with each different season.

Good to Know:

•Admission: free under age 6, $2.50 age 7-17, $5.00 age 18-54, $2.50 age 55 and older
•Free parking
•Bring a stroller for little ones. It is a lot of walking, so even if they don’t want to sit in the stroller at first, they might want it towards the end of your visit. There is a paved pathway throughout.
•There is a gift shop in the visitors center where they have drinks, snacks, and small toys available to purchase.



Exploring Lake Frank

Lake Frank – Rock Creek Regional Park
15211 Avery Road
Derwood, MD 20855
 

A few weeks ago, I took the girls to explore Lake Needwood for the first time. I had driven past it several times before and finally decided we needed to check it out. At the time we visited, the lake was still frozen and strikingly beautiful. Clara and Mae had a great time looking for “treasures” and had quite the collection of sticks, leaves, and acorns.

LakeNeedwood

After posting this photo on Instagram, the author of Hiking Along recommended I visit nearby Lake Frank. So, when when Mother Nature gave us a gorgeous day last week I thought it would be the perfect opportunity to take the girls for a picnic and hike.

I pulled into the parking lot and noticed there was a paved path leading into the wooded area so I decided to let Clara ride her bike. We started out on the path and it got very steep so I helped her walk her bike down the hill where the path became level. Then we came to an incredible view and decided this was a perfect picnic spot. It is about 1/4 of a mile from the parking lot to the lake.

LakeFrank1

After the picnic we continued along the path and the girls wanted to feed the ducks, so we walked down closer to the lake.

LakeFrankMae

It is really a quiet and peaceful area; such a nice haven from suburbia. Many Montgomery County residents don’t even realize it exists. We only walked about a quarter of the way around the 54 acre lake before Clara got tired, so we turned around and headed back to the parking lot. The pathway is paved for first section of the trail but is unpaved for the remaining 2/3 of the trail. The trails can also be accessed from Meadowside Nature Center, which is another great place to take kids.

Lakefranktrail

The best part about Lake Frank is that its so close and easy to get to! It’s located in Derwood, just east of Rockville, so it is only a 15-20 minute drive from Bethesda/Potomac. Sometimes it’s just nice to escape traffic and crowds and find a peaceful spot like Lake Frank. There is a lot more here to explore. So we will definitely return for more hiking, bike riding and picnicking this summer!

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