By Patricia Hall, FairfaxFamilyFun.com
For some families in Northern Virginia, one sure ritual in spring is to wander in a field with thousands of tulips, picking out their favorite flowers. Each year, Burnside Farms, a family farm in Haymarket, Virginia (in Prince William County) hosts the Festival of Spring. During the event, you can pick your own tulips on the site. With more than eight acres of spring flowers, this is one of the largest pick-your-own flower events in the world. In the early spring days, guests can pick tulips and daffodils.
Daffodils usually begin to bloom in middle or late March, while tulips start sometime in early to mid-April, but this can vary greatly by year. The exact timing of the flowers’ bloom is very hard to predict as it depends spring weather patterns. This year’s event is going on now, and this weekend, April 22-23, will be the second one of the peak bloom for the 2017 season, the farm recently announced. Tickets will go on sale on Wednesday, April 19, around noon, but that may change with the rain forecast. Burnside Farms charges a small admission fee: $6 on weekdays and $8 on weekends (children age 2 and under are always free). Because weekends are such popular times to visit, the farm limits the number of guests visiting then and tickets must be purchased in advance online.
During your visit, you can walk among rows and rows of beautiful flowers and pick the ones you want to buy (if you’ve never done this, the farm provides tips on how to pick the flowers). Daffodils are two for one dollar, and tulips are one dollar per stem. While at the farm, you can enjoy a picnic on one of the farm’s picnic tables. And on the last week of the festival, the farm usually hosts “dog days” when you can bring your dog, too! See the Burnside Farm website and Facebook page for updates on the best days to visit.
Remember that as this is an event in a field, you should dress for the occasion (think boots for muddy days after rain), wear sunscreen, check yourself for ticks, and take any other pre- or post-event precautions as you would for any outdoor activity.