By Patricia Hall, FairfaxFamilyFun.com
The COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic and all the restrictions now implemented for public safety have pretty much cancelled all spring activities. This makes it a challenge to celebrate holidays such as Easter and to support local businesses, many of which are struggling, but still we’ve come up with some fun ideas. Now you can add one to the list: You still can visit the nearby Burnside Farms tulip fields this spring, albeit in very limited circumstances to stay compliant with government mandates for social distancing.
For some families in Northern Virginia, visiting the fields at Burnside Farms is a spring ritual. Each year, this family farm in Haymarket, Virginia (in Prince William County), hosts the Festival of Spring. During the event, you can pick your own tulips on site from among thousands on eight acres. Earlier in the season, guests also can pick daffodils.
In 2020, the usual festival won’t take place. But you still can get some outdoor exercise walking in the fields while you support a local business — all while complying with social distancing guidelines for public health. Here’s what the farm is offering this year during Easter weekend to allow the opportunity and comply with the state guidelines:
- Extremely limited spots for photo opps to ensure the health and safety of guests and staff
- Timed slots that you purchase online ahead of your arrival to ensure only a handful of visitors and a cashless payment system
- No tickets sold at the gate whatsoever to ensure only the limited number of people allowed (staff will be watching for any other arrivals and any “drop-ins” will be turned away)
- Closed picnic and play areas to ensure no crowds gather
- No props or items on the fields other than the flowers to avoid areas that many people could touch
- You can see all the details and read about how the farm is complying with Centers for Disease Control and Virginia guidelines for social distancing.
The “festival” this year comes down to a limited activity of taking a walk outside (in more beautiful surroundings) for fresh air and exercise, with a nice opportunity to take pretty photos. The farm is selling tickets in 30-minute arrival windows, with no more than 10 at a time. Guests are expected to stay six feet away from each other and observe other social distancing requirements.
Adult tickets (age 13 and up) are $25 per person and include 10 stems of tulips; you can buy extra tulips or daffodils. Child tickets are for ages 3-12 and do not include pick-your-own flowers. Children under age three are free. All ticket sales are final. Time slots are available for Saturday, April 11, and Sunday, April 12, 2020. UPDATE: ALL SATURDAY SLOTS SOLD OUT; SOME TIME SLOTS REMAIN FOR SUNDAY in the early morning and late afternoon.