Picking your own strawberries at Sweet Berry Farm is a classic Austin springtime tradition. It’s quite a trek out there (past Marble Falls), so it’s nice to plan ahead as much as you can. Here are 10 tips our family has found helpful for making the most of our berry-picking.
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1. Bring your camera. The rows of strawberries make a pretty background, and kids look adorable bending over with a basket full of berries (or with juice dripping down their cheeks!). Also, save time to stop along the way to take bluebonnet pictures. During much of strawberry season there are phenomenal roadside wildflowers leading up to the farm.
2. Don’t go on a Wednesday. The farm is closed every Wednesday. I made that mistake one year and was not happy to have wasted all that gas and time!
3. Strollers are tricky in the strawberry patch. Wagons work well though. If you have a baby, I have found that a back carrier seems to work best (a front carrier left me with a juicy baby!).
4. It’s easy to overspend on strawberries. The first time I went, I made the mistake of assuming that it would be cheaper to pick them myself than to buy strawberries at the grocery store. In reality, it costs a little more to pick your own, but you will probably end up with fresher, juicier berries. Be aware though that the cost adds up quickly when you fill your basket. If you’re headed out to the farm soon, visit www.sweetberryfarm.com/
5. No need to bring extra containers for the berries. The farm provides their own baskets and requires them to be used at check out. Picking containers are 50¢.
6. Pack a picnic lunch. There is a lovely place to eat on the picnic tables over by the goat pen. It has plenty of shade, and the goats provide entertainment. Children have fun picking grass to feed the goats through the fence openings. There are ice cream, strawberry popsicles, and drinks for sale, but no other lunch items are sold by the farm in the spring. Don’t plan on eating a lot of strawberries while you pick, as the farm discourages it.
7. Make sure to walk along the back of the farm and visit the horses.
8. Bring cash or checks. The farm does not accept credit cards. I forgot cash one year and had to use the ATM at the farm, which of course, cost me extra in fees.
9. Weekday mornings are a great time to visit. Weekends are popular, so if you visit then you may find bigger crowds and picked-over strawberry fields. In the mornings on weekdays (except Wednesday!) are usually the best time to visit.
10. Wear play clothes. There is lots of room to run and play for kids, but it tends to be dusty (and sometimes muddy). My kids have come home absolutely filthy the past few years. Closed toe shoes are also recommended.
Hours: 8:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday; 1:00 – 5:00 p.m. Sunday; Closed all Wednesdays. The farm is open rain or shine.
Admission and parking are free. Strawberries are $2.85 per pound. The picking container is 50¢.
See here for more information (and directions, as GPS sometimes has trouble navigating here). For information on berry supply, click on the “Fresh News” Marble Falls link or visit Sweet Berry Farm’s Facebook page.
Sweet Berry Farm
1801 FM 1980
Marble Falls, Texas 78654
Katey writes about activities for families and children at Having Fun at Home.