Things to Do

It’s Flower Season! Where to Frolic in the Blossoms

Festivals, farms, and other spots to take the family or a date.

Friends Megdalia Bromhal, 9, (left) and Olivia Thompson, 10, of Manassas stroll through a tulip patch as they pick some to take home at Burnside Farms, in 2013. Photo by Jeffrey Mankie.

Spring is here, and flower-filled parks and farms offer a great way to enjoy the season—and sometimes even bring colorful blooms home. Strolling through tulips or wild bluebells makes for a great date idea (outdoorsy and romantic!) or family day trip. Here are some DC-area spots that are perfect for frolicking in the fields.

Bluebell Festival at Merrimac Farm

Sunday, April 10, Merrimac Farm Wildlife Management Area (15014 Deepwood Ln., Nokesville, Virginia)

The cherry blossoms have fallen, but there’s another peak bloom worth seeing: the Virginia bluebells, which will be at their height this weekend. This Sunday, flower lovers can celebrate spring at the annual Bluebell Festival, which is free and runs from 10 AM to 4 PM on April 10. Visitors can participate in a series of family-friendly nature walks and other activities showing off the flowers and other wildlife. 

Carpets of the delicate blue and purple blossoms can also be spotted at several other Virginia parks less than an hour from the District, including Manassas National Battlefield Park (6511 Sudley Rd., Manassas, Virginia), Bull Run Regional Park (7700 Bull Run Dr., Centerville, Virginia), and Riverbend Park (8700 Potomac Hill St., Great Falls). 

Burnside Farms’ Festival of Spring

Through Sunday, April 17, with possible extended dates, depending on the weather (11008 Kettle Run Rd., Nokesville, Virginia)

Wander through fields of multi-colored blooms at this pick-your-own flower patch. Burnside Farms plants more than a million bulbs, with 200 different kinds of tulips and more than 30 types of daffodils. Tickets start at $14 for weekdays or $16 for weekend visits and include five flowers for adults and three for children (additional flowers are $1 each). 

If you’re looking for a great tulip photoshoot but don’t need to take the flowers home, nearby spots like the Floral Library on the National Mall or the Netherlands Carillon in Arlington each have thousands of flowers around this time of year for an Insta-perfect background. 

Photograph by Kevin Poh via flickr.

Butler’s Orchard Pick Your Own Peonies

Starting in May, with exact dates TBA based on weather (22222 Davis Mill Rd., Germantown, Maryland)

This Germantown farm offers pick-your-own peonies starting in May. The bright-pink flowers are expected to bloom sometime next month—and you might be able to snag some strawberries while you’re out in the field, too. 

Butterbee Farm Tours

Weekends, starting May 14 (Pikesville, Maryland)

This five-acre flower farm is only open to the public during springtime tours, which include a stroll through the fields guided by owner Laura Beth as well as a bouquet of flowers visitors create themselves. Tickets are $35, and kids under 8 go free. If you’re interested in creating your own garden, Butterbee also offers virtual classes on how to grow a variety of flowers, from amaranths to zinnias.

Kayla Benjamin
Assistant Editor