There’s hardly anything more satisfying than laying your eyes on a field full of strawberries ripe for picking…especially if you’re a kid. Luckily for the littles (and let’s be honest, you, too), there are dozens of farms and fields across the DMV where the picking party can commence. We’ve listed 10 of the best berry farms below, many of which boast bonus features–from precious play areas to stocked farmers markets.
Photo: Ayren Jackson-Cannady
This adorable farm, tucked away on the back roads of Lincoln, offers some of the most scenic views of rolling farmland you’ll ever see. Great for tots, in addition to berries as big as baby hands, the farm features picnic tables, a giant sand pit, and a tractor slide.
38299 Hughesville Rd. (Hamilton, Va)
Nestled in the scenic hill country near Skyline Drive, even the journey to this farm is a quaint one. Make the drive to this family-run farm to pick your own strawberries; by mid- to late-June, cherry and blueberry season will have begun, with peach season soon to follow. Families rave about the orchard and farm’s produce quality, fair pricing, and attentive customer service. Naked Mountain Winery and Vineyards is nearby, as is Chateau Obrien at North Point (but put this winery on your “for later” list, as no kids are allowed).
3064 Hartland Ln. (Markham, Va)
Just 35 miles from D.C., this wholesale fruit and vegetable farm is just a hop, skip, and a jump from the city. Make sure you pack a picnic for those hungry tummies! You can enjoy your home-packed meal at their waterfront picnic area and strawberry patch (on the Patuxent River) while your kiddos run around in their play area.
7740 Swan Ln. (Owings, Md)
Great Country Farms
With wagon ride farm tours, u-pick orchards, catch and release fishing, a barn yard, mazes, play area, and a giant jumping pillow, good luck leaving before closing time. Visit during the weekend of May 13-14 for the Strawberry Jubilee—a huge festival with live music, pie eating contests, time to pick your own strawberries, and tasty strawberry treats (don’t miss the Donut Strawberry Shortcake). Yum.
18780 Foggy Bottom Rd. (Bluemont, Va)
Strawberry season at low-key Homestead Farm usually begins in late May and runs about three weeks, followed by cherries, blueberries, and blackberries. Kids will love ogling the goats, chickens, pigs, and sheep, and they can either ride a tractor out to the fields or enjoy a stroll (unless you’re feeling generous and want to push them in one of the wheelbarrows). The small market sells fresh, local honey, jam, and other treats.
15604 Sugarland Rd. (Poolesville, Md)
Southern Comfort Berry Farm
You’ll travel a little farther to this berry farm in rural St. Mary’s County, along the Potomac River banks, but it’ll be worth it once you’re surrounded by over 9000 strawberry plants. Don’t forget to greet Genny, the horse, and Jack, the donkey, among many other friendly farm animals. For even more fun, let your farmer-enthusiast ride the pedal tractors.
37450 Bushwood Wharf Rd.
Crooked Run Orchard
You won’t find strawberries at this produce-only farm, but there are plenty of other fruits and vegetables for picking (e.g., blackberries, plums, gooseberries, and sweet and sour cherries). Hear your child gasp when he or she visits one of the nature tables displaying the owners’ interesting finds throughout the year, like snake skin, animal bones, nests, dried bats or frogs, or turtle shells.
37883 East Main St.
Messick’s Farm Market
Strawberry picking is just part of the fun at Messick’s Farm. Every weekend families can take part in their Pickin’ Festival, which includes live music, a petting zoo, breakfast and lunch, sno cones, ice cream, and of course pick-your-own strawberries. Insider’s Tip: Produce isn’t the only food available at this farm. You can order a fresh batch of oysters!
6025 Catlett Rd. (Bealeton, Va)
Strawberry season at Larriland will likely begin in late May, when you can also plan to pick kale, chard, turnips, spinach, and radishes (if you can find a way to get your kids to eat these that does NOT involve cheese, please share your genius). Adults are given a picking container, but children must either share with a parent or bring their own container. To grow the safest and most delicious produce possible, Larriland employs Integrated Pest Management (IPM), which only uses pesticides as a very last resort. Check out their website for a great collection of kid-friendly recipes using all of their produce!
2415 Woodbine Rd. (Woodbine, Md)
Westmoreland Berry Farm
Located on the banks of the Rappahannock River, visit this farm and market to pick berries and purchase fresh produce, homemade jams, and locally-made gifts. Hopefully the overhead goat walk won’t give your tiny furniture-climbers any ideas. Distract them with the farm’s play area and hay rides—and save room for a delicious pulled pork BBQ sandwich and fruit sundae. Voorhees Nature Preserve adjoins the farm, so be sure to check out its beautiful hiking trails and scenic overlooks. Also nearby are Ingleside Plantation Winery, Monroe Bay Winery, and George Washington’s birthplace.
1235 Berry Farm Ln. (Oak Grove, Va)
What’s your favorite way to enjoy fresh berries? Dish in the comments section below!
—Ayren Jackson-Cannady and Katie Brown