Tulips, like the DC cherry blossoms, are one of those telltale signs that spring has started in Washington, D.C. We begin to see these delicate bulbs begin to bloom in April around the U.S. Capitol and gardens across the District.
When those flowers start to pop, I know there is only one place to find tulip fields near me that allow me to pick my own flowers– Burnside Farms.
Having grown up in Philadelphia surrounded by flowers, and then living close enough to the tulip fields in Washington State, I missed seeing endless fields of colors.
The hunt for tulip fields near me was on as soon as we moved to D.C.
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Hunting for Pick-Your-Own Tulips
There are plenty of Pick-Your-Own flower farms in Virginia and pick-your-own events in Maryland, but when it comes to tulips you’ve got one option worth the day trip from D.C.
Burnside Farms is the perfect spot to tiptoe through the tulips, cut a few flowers to bring home or dig up bulbs to plant in your own garden.
FAQ Burnside Farms in Virginia
As one of the only farms with a dedicated tulip field in Virginia, Burnside Farms allows you to come out for a few hours to pick tulips and daffodils throughout the growing season.
You can easily grab mums and zinnias at other U-pick farms, but tulips are special. When you see a massive field of tulips all planted in a row, a rainbow explodes before you.
How many tulips does Burnside Farms have?
The farm plants more than 2.5 million tulip and daffodil bulbs each autumn across 15 acres.
When can I pick tulips in Virginia?
At Burnside Farms, you can pick tulips starting in about mid-April, although spring weather patterns and a sudden cold snap can effect bloom times. Always check their social media channels for exact dates and times when the Nokesville farm is opening for spring, as Mother Nature is very hard to predict.
The growing season lasts about 3 weeks, so make sure you stalk their website to grab your chance to go picking.
Do I need tickets to pick tulips?
Advance/ pre-purchased tickets are available and highly recommended, especially on the weekend. A number of cut tulips usually comes with your admission tickets and a ticket is needed for each member of your family.
What’s the best day of the week to visit Burnside?
Weekends are always more crowded than weekdays. I’d recommend going in the morning on a weekday if possible.
You will mostly see moms with babies and toddlers in the field and random groups pop in who could get off work or are out of school.
Can I bring my dog to the tulip fields?
Dogs are allowed, as long as they are on a leash, you pick up after them and they are well behaved. Tulips are a special picking experience, and no one wants to worry about a dog trampling the flowers.
Are kids allowed in the tulip fields?
Yes! Tulip picking at Burnside Farms is a family affair. Bring your kids and get ready to show them the wonders of farm life and the beauty of spring gardening.
Just keep in mind that the farm is a business.
Explain to your kids that they need to stay on the paths, they can not randomly pick flowers or toss them aside (you will need to pay for every flower cut and bulb dug up).
Things to do at Burnside Farm
Obviously, you will want to pick tulips when you go to Burnside Farms. That’s why you drove out after all. Tulips are sold by the bulb or cut stem.
Farm staff will explain how to cut tulips or dig up the bulb. Bring your own scissors and a small shovel if you plan on grabbing bulbs.
Not a lot of people remember that Burnside Farms has daffodils too, and yet a sea of yellow and white will greet you as you wander the farm.
Just like the tulips, you will be charged per stem or bulb. You are welcome to grab a mix of both, just remember that bulbs, whether tulip or daffodil bulbs, will cost you an extra dollar per bulb.
Have a Picnic
Pack up lunch or a hardy snack to enjoy while tulip and daffodil picking at Burnside.
There is a picnic area in the barn courtyard with plenty of picnic tables. Just remember, they are available on a first come, first serve basis. You can not reserve a picnic table.
Bring a blanket just in case the tables are all full. You are welcome to spread out on the lawn to enjoy your meal.
Enjoy the Festival of Spring
Similar to Butler’s Orchard in Maryland during the fall harvest, the Burnside Farms “Festival of Spring- Holland in Virginia” offers up loads of activities for kids of all ages to enjoy.
Your admission price to the Festival of Spring includes two bounce feature (think bounce house or giant bounce pillow), a playhouse area, grain bin basketball, a pedal cart track, corn sandbox, cornhole games, a short film cinema in the bar, and 100+ pairs of authentic Dutch wooden shoes to try your hand at “klomping” around the picnic area.
Food vendors and live music are often available on the weekends to entertain the crowds.
Photographing at Burnside Farms
Guests are welcome to take photos of their children walking through the fields and delicately pick a few flowers. Just be mindful that other people may want to take pictures, so don’t hog all of the best spots.
Professional photography sessions at Burnside Farms
According to their website, professional photographers may set up sessions with their clients anytime during regular business hours.
You do not need to pre-book a spot at the farm, but you will need to purchase pre-purchase admission tickets for every person going to the farm.
Getting that perfect Instagram Tulip Photo
As this is a working farm, and rain does happen in spring, the tulip fields can be very muddy. The tulips are also more spaced out than you see in photos of tulip fields outside of Seattle, WA. You will see more brown dirt than tulip colors some days, but that doesn’t mean you can’t get a gorgeous photo to show off to your friends.
Burnside Farms is the perfect place to snap photos of your cute new waders, raincoats and to get close ups of your face in the tulips.
Tulip Photo Ideas
- Close up of a child sniffing a tulip
- Low shot taken from the base of the tulips looking up towards someone walking by (show off those rain boots!)
- Holding a basket of cut tulips
More U-Pick at Burnside Farms?
Tulips aren’t the only thing you can pick when you visit the tulip farm. There are festivals throughout the year to celebrate what is in bloom, from Virginia sunflowers to Christmas trees.
Here’s a current list of what you can pick at the farm throughout the year:
You can also pick up pre-picked apples, pumpkins, wild flowers, Christmas trees and anything else that is in season at the farm.
Seasonal festivals on the farm
The Festival of Spring – Holland in Virginia
Every spring the season is welcomed in with a family-friendly festival of fun (try saying that five times fast!). Pick daffodils, enjoy a picnic and enjoy all of the activities the Festival of Spring at Burnside Farms has to offer.
Find more u-pick flowers in our guide to Lavender Fields in Virginia
The Summer of Sunflowers
Starting in mid-July you can wander through 30 varieties of “cutting” sunflowers across eight acres to see blooming flowers for about six weeks (through Labor Day). Come ready to pick sunflowers and gladiolas, which are also in season around then.
Even more exciting than fields of bright yellow sunflowers is the sunflower maze, one of the only sunflower mazes in the country. It lasts for about two weeks, so stalk the farm social media to make sure you don’t miss it.
Admission fee for Summer of Sunflowers
There is a fee to attend the Summer of Sunflowers at Burnside Farms, but your admission does come with three cut sunflowers of your choice (you can cut more for an additional fee per stem), and to all of the summer activities at the farm.
- Jump Pad
- Bubble stations
- Chalkboard message signs for photos
- Kids clubhouse play area
- Short cinema theater
- Shaded picnic area.
Sunset Sunflower Photo Opportunities
Don’t miss out on the Sunflower Sunset admission times, when the sunflower colors will really start to glow across the fields.
Find more in our guide to sunflower fields in Virginia
Fall Farm Fun and Fall Market
- Address: Nokesville Farm, 11008 Kettle Run Rd., Nokesville, VA
It’s all about the mega-corn maze when you visit Burnside Farms in the fall at their Nokesville Farm location. The Haymarket Farm market has it’s own goodies, but not the corm maze.
Get lost in the 6-acre corn maze that can keep you occupied for hours. You might want to pick up your pumpkins first.
Fall Farm Fun admission includes
- Corn maze
- Picnic area
- Inflatable slide
- Playset area
- Grain cart basketball
- Short film cinema in the barn
- Corn hole games
- Corn sandbox
- Cow train
Fresh-Cut Christmas trees
Less of a festival, and more of a family tradition, the day after Thanksgiving fresh-cut Virginia Frazier Fir trees arrive at the farm. Newly cut trees show up every week so you are guaranteed the freshest tree for your home.
What Kind of Christmas Trees?
Trees start at 3 feet and go to 12 feet. You can also pick up wreaths, garland and tree stands at the farm.