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Strawberry Picking at Wegmeyer Farms Oatlands

Oatlands Historic House & Gardens
20850 Oatlands Plantation Lane
Leesburg, VA 20175
www.wegmeyerfarms.com
 

After 15 consecutive days of rain in DC, we just couldn’t wait any longer to get out into the strawberry fields. We knew there would be a pretty good chance we’d get rained on so we just put on our boots and jackets and decided to embrace the mud!

Once we arrived at Historic Oatlands, we found out that they were not offering the usual wagon rides to the strawberry fields due to the muddy roads. So we followed the strawberry signs and took the kids on a walk. They were full of energy, so this ended up being a good thing! Even though it is a fairly long walk to the fields the kids were entertained by the sights along the way. They stopped to look at the cows grazing in the field and look for frogs in the lily pond.

Cows (1 of 1)

We had the entire field to ourselves on this rainy Friday morning, so the kids got to choose their rows and were excited to start picking right away. Since there has been a lack of sunshine the past two weeks, the ripe berries were mixed in with lots of unripe berries. We explained to the little ones that they could only pick the bright red strawberries and thankfully they (mostly) obliged.

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Wegmeyers berries are simply the best; so juicy and sweet! We ended up eating almost half a bucket on our walk back to the car.  You can see the passion that Wegmeyer Farms has for their strawberries just by looking at their fields. They grow their berries on raised plastic beds, which keeps the berries clean, dirt-free and makes for easy picking. We completed our strawberry picking outing with a picnic! And then headed home to make strawberry shortcake!

Bonus: Wegmeyer Farms is offering all Capitol Momma readers 25% off on weekdays – just mention Capitol Momma at the register!

 

Good to Know:

•Open 9am-6:00 daily
•Hayride tickets: adults $5, children 16 and under are free
•Strawberries are $3.99 per pound.
•Don’t dress your children in their nicest clothes. There’s a good chance they are going home with strawberry stains. Totally worth it though!
•Containers are provided or you can bring your own. Just ask them to weigh your container first if you bring your own.
•The Carriage House has a restroom.
•No food is sold here but you are welcome to bring a picnic.

 

 



Strawberry Picking at Wegmeyer Farms 2016

 

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Spring is here 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. It is definitely one of my favorite things to do with my girls during the spring and summer months.

Wegmeyer’s fields are set to open on May 7! They have graciously offered all of you a 25% discount on the strawberries you pick during weekdays (Monday-Friday). There is no charge to visit, you only pay for what you pick – $3.99 per pound.  Just mention Capitol Momma at the register to get the discount.

Wegmery Farms has three u-pick locations. We visited the Oatlands location last year. You can read more about that location in this blog post.

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

38299 Hughesville Road, Hamilton, VA

Historic Oatlands – The strawberry patch and era-themed attire at this historic mansion will whisk you back to the 1800’s.  For those who do not want to walk from the parking lot to the field, you may hop on the wagon for $5 for adults and children under 16 are free.While visiting the 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 or visit www.wegmeyerfarms.com to check field conditions. Happy berry picking, friends!



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.

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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.



The Three Musketeers – Encore Stage & Studio

Encore Stage & Studio
125 S. Old Glebe Road
Arlington, VA 22204
www.encorestageva.org
 

If you haven’t taken your children to an Encore Stage & Studio production yet, you should add it to your entertainment must-do list! The Three Musketeers was the second Encore show my daughter Clara and I have had the pleasure of watching. What I love about Encore’s productions is that the actors are all children. It seems to really capture my daughter’s attention to watch other children perform on stage. In The Three Musketeers ensemble there were over 25 talented young actors.

Encore1

The story was fun and entertaining with a twist on the classic Alexandre Dumas adventure:  In 17th century France, a poor young nobleman named D’Artagnan leaves home to join the famous Musketeers of the Guard – defenders of the King and masters of the rapier! On his journey, D’Artagnan befriends three famous Musketeers: Athos, Porthos, and Aramis. As the foursome roams the countryside, they encounter a dastardly plot to kidnap the King’s favorite dog…and realize they’ll need the help of three swashbuckling ladies to save the day.

From left to right, D'Artagnan (Christopher Wagner), Porthos (Colin Meek), Aramis (Brody Karton), Athos (Zach Longsworth). Photo by Larry McClemons  courtesy of Encore by Larry McClemons

The script included plenty of humor that had both my daughter and I laughing throughout the show. The stage set and costumes were creative and well done. Some of our favorite parts of the show were the sword fighting scenes and the toy poodle, Piper! He definitely thrilled the audience!

 Encore Stage & Studio's production of The Three Musketeers is full of action, comedy and adventure for the entire family. Photo by Larry McClemons.
                                                                                 courtesy of Encore by Larry McClemons

Clara was particularly fond of Milady de Winter so she was super excited to pose for a photo with her after the performance!

EncoreMilady

We are looking forward to attending Encore’s upcoming performances this summer: Alice in Wonderland, June 5-14 and Shrek, July 17-26.

Good to Know:

•Ticket prices: $12 adults ($15 for Shrek), $10 children, students, seniors, and military ($12 for Shrek).
•The shows last approximately 1 hour and 30 minutes with a 15 minute intermission.
•Concessions can be purchased and enjoyed in the lobby before the show and during intermission.
•There is free and ample parking at the Thomas Jefferson Community Theatre, where all Encore productions are located.
•Encore offers a birthday party package.
•Encore also offers a variety of classes and camps.



Great Wolf Lodge – Williamsburg, Virginia

Great Wolf Lodge
549 E Rochambeau Drive
Williamsburg, Virginia 23188
http://www.greatwolf.com/williamsburg/waterpark
 

We just returned from a mini vacation at Great Wolf Lodge in Williamsburg, Virginia. This year for Clara’s fourth birthday we decided to take a trip instead of having a big birthday party for her. Last year we did the big party with all her preschool buddies at My Gym, so we wanted to do something different this year. It was our first time at the resort and we (especially the girls) had a great time!

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After we checked in we hit up the water park.

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I was really impressed with the cleanliness of the water park and the attentiveness of the lifeguards. There are several different areas in the water park that accommodate all ages of kids.

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Clara’s favorite part of the water park were the big slides that you ride down on an inner tube.

GWslides

After our first round at the water park, we grabbed dinner at the Loose Moose Bar & Grill, which was actually a not so great buffet. The food at the resort was my least favorite part. I would research some local dining spots nearby if we were to visit again. They do have a Dunkin’ Donuts inside the resort, which was nice to get much needed coffee for my husband and I in the morning.

After dinner, Clara got her face painted as a wolf in the hotel lobby and then we headed to the Northern Lights Arcade. It was the birthday girl’s lucky night – she hit the jackpot!

GWarcade

We took the girls to story time in the main lobby and then it was time to get them settled into the Kid Kamp for the night. The nice thing about the room is the little private kids area with bunk beds and their own TV.

GWkidkamp

The next day we spent more time at the water park with lots and lots of rides down the water slides! We also checked out the Ten Paw Bowling alley.

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As a special treat for Clara’s birthday, we went to Scoops Spa for Momma-Daughter mani-pedis. The spa has an ice cream theme and is super cute but a little pricey.

Scoopsspa

We enjoyed our first adventure at Great Wolf Lodge! Clara is already asking if we can go back! It is really a great kid focused resort with a lot of different fun activities.

Good to Know:

•Sign up to become a member (it’s free) on the Great Wolf website for the best rates on rooms.
•The water park has puddle jumpers and life jackets available.
•Beach towels are provided in the water park.
•The Scoops Spa is by reservation only, so make sure to book a reservation ahead of time.



Santa Events & Photo Opportunities: Holiday Season 2014

 
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It’s the most wonderful time of the year! Here is a list of places (other than shopping malls) where you can take your little ones to visit Santa in Maryland, Virginia, and DC.

Brunch with Santa at Strathmore Mansion
Bethesda, MD
December 21, 10am or 12pm

Cookies with Santa at Thomas Farm Community Center
Rockville, MD
December 20, 2-4pm

Holly Trolleyfest
Colesville, MD
December 6 – 28, Saturdays and Sundays, 12-5pm

Breakfast with Santa at the Kentlands Mansion
Gaithersburg, MD
December 6, 9-11am

Rockville Town Square Holiday Open House
Rockville, MD
December 4, 6:30-9pm

College Park Aviation Museum Santa Fly-In
College Park, MD
December 6, 12-4pm

Congressional Plaza Holiday Open House
Rockville, MD
December 6, 12-4pm and December 7, 1-5pm

Ticonderoga Farms Winter Christmas Festival
Chantilly, VA
December 6, 7, 13 and 14, 10:30am

Virginia Railway Express Santa Train
Northern Virginia
December 13
(all tickets for this year are sold out)

Breakfast with Santa at the Purcellville Volunteer Rescue Squad
Purcellville, VA
December 6, 8-11am

Mount Vernon Triangle Santa Celebration
Washington, DC
December 11, 4:30-8pm

Roof Terrace Restaurant at the Kennedy Center
Washington, DC
December 13, 14, 20, and 21, 10am

Santa-Day at Stead Park
Washington, DC
December 6, 11-1pm

Santa’s Workshop at the National Christmas Tree
Washington, DC
December 5, 6, 7, 12, 13, 14, 19, 20, 21, 12:30-9:30pm



Loudoun Heritage Farm Museum

Loudoun Heritage Farm Museum
21668 Heritage Farm Lane
Sterling, Virginia 20164
www.loudounmuseum.com
 
 

I came across this museum when searching online for a kid-friendly place to meet a friend in the area. I had never heard about it before but after reading some information it sounded like our little tots would enjoy it so we decided to check it out. I am so glad we did as we were pleasantly surprised. This museum is truly a hidden gem!

It is located on the grounds of the Claude Moore Park in Sterling. The museum is a non-profit organization which works to promote and preserve Loudoun County’s agricultural heritage through exhibits and activities.

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When we first arrived, my girls were excited to see the big tractors out front.

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Inside the museum are several great interactive learning exhibits for small children, probably best enjoyed by those under age 7. My girls were first drawn to the red barn in the Claude Moore Children’s Farm exhibit. In this area children can help perform chores on the farm such as milking a life-like cow, collecting eggs from the play chickens, carrying supplies in the wheelbarrows, and riding Equi-ponies and pedal tractors. There are even dress up clothes including coveralls and straw hats.

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In this area, kids can also use their imaginations to perform puppet shows.

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In the Waxpool General Store, children can play shopkeeper, shopper, or postmaster. There are shelves and baskets full of play food and an charming old cash register. This definitely beats the typical pretend grocery store found in children’s museums.

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In the back of the museum is the Grandma’s Kitchen exhibit, a replica of a century-old farm kitchen. My daughter loved using the old fashioned kitchen tools and wood burning stove to pretend to prepare and serve us meals.

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Outside the museum there are some trails to walk that will take you by the Workhorse Museum and an old cabin. There is also a small pond with a few docks where you can feed ducks and geese.

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I am so glad we found this museum. My girls were entertained for a couple of hours but could have played longer. It was not busy when we were there on a weekday afternoon but I imagine the weekends are a bit more crowded. If your child likes to role-play they will definitely enjoy the museum. We had such a great time that we will definitely be visiting again soon. It is also a nice option for an indoor activity on a rainy day or during the winter months. The Loudoun Heritage Farm Museum is one you don’t want to miss while your children are young.

Good to Know:

•Admission is $5/adults, $4/seniors and military, $3/children 2-12.
•Hours Tuesday-Sunday 9:30-4:30, Sunday 11:30-4:30, Monday by appointment only.
•Ample parking available in front of the museum.
•The museum gift shop sells snacks, locally made Virginia products, and a variety of toys including Lucy’s Closet dolls, educational toys from Melissa and Doug, and stuffed animals from Douglass.
•The museum also offers a variety of children’s programs including Kids’ Holiday at the Museum, Kids’ Night at the Museum, and Tractorpalooza to name a few. They also offer kids birthday parities.