Lakeside Farm and Flowers

“Flowers don’t worry about how they’re going to bloom. They just open up and turn toward the light and that makes them beautiful.”– Jim Carrey

Ahh, Jim Carrey…leave it to Ace Ventura to point out the synonymity between growing flowers and raising children. I mean, if we’re being honest, they both just need a touch of tenderness, dedicated time, and a whole lot of love (and food, but that’s getting too literal for this metaphor). Don’t you think we all need more flowers and sunshine in our lives? And definitely more dedicated time doing what we love with those we adore?

So let me ask you this – when’s the last time you really stopped to smell the roses? Even more so, when did you take the time to do it with your children? It’s not easy, this parenting thing, this “stop and smell the roses” thing. Life moves fast, so we really do need to make the time to smell roses.

Lakeside Farm and Flowers

That’s why I drove my mom, sister, nieces, and daughter out west to Cologne, MN, near Waconia, on a random Tuesday evening right before sunset and quite literally smelled, admired, and picked flowers (not roses, but those are overrated anyway). We spent nearly 90 minutes at Lakeside Farm & Flowers, a U-Pick Flower Farm open for flower picking July thorough the first freeze. (And bonus: They are also open for pumpkin picking in the Fall!)

Only in its second year, owner Kacy was more than happy to show us girls around and talk us through the layout of the very beautiful, organized, and blossoming gardens. Obviously green thumbed, Kacy sure knows her stuff. She was happy to answer questions, help out when needed, and was great about giving everyone space to just enjoy. Their family is kind and gracious and I love a good “follow your dreams” story. Oh, and they let my nephew-dog come too – dogs are allowed so long as they stay on the paths.

Lakeside Farm and Flowers was only a 35 minute drive for us from Minneapolis. We pulled into the long dirt road and parked alongside a small hill that took us down into the garden area. A white tent sat in the grass and underneath sat Kacy and her two sweet children, along with buckets in varying sizes, some scavenger hunt papers, and a tree frog caught by her son. Our kids were already captivated. After chatting a bit and learning how and where to cut the flowers for the best results, we selected our bucket size, armed ourselves with shears and headed off to enjoy the rows of flowers, the smells of eucalyptus and thyme, and the quiet of the countryside.

The buckets came in three size – small ($20), medium ($30), and large ($40). For payment, they accept cash and Venmo, so come prepared. Our crew purchased the large and planned to divvy it up between the three families after all was said and done. We were all shocked by how much we could cram into that bucket and left super happy with our selections.

Lakeside Farm and Flowers

What was the best part? The kids got to just do their thing – they cut their own flowers, designed mini bouquets, caught small bugs, chased dragonflies, made their own beauty – whatever that might be for them. The best part was seeing what they created and how it 100% suited their personalities. I picked one sunflower the whole time and spent the rest of the evening watching them all flourish in nature, turn towards the light, and make beauty.

Things to know before you go about Lakeside Farm and Flowers:

U-pick Flower Farm open hours are Tuesday and Thursday: 9am-12pm and 5pm-8pm or Saturday: 9am-1pm

  • Close-toed shoes are a good idea since the paths are mulch
  • Kids can do a short scavenger hunt for a candy or sticker reward
  • Payments accepted are Venmo and cash only
  • Gift certificates are available and would make for an awesome experience gift
  • Buckets come home with you and have water at the bottom, so flowers easily survive the drive home
  • Dogs are allowed if they are leashed and stay on the paths
  • Port-a-potties are on-site
  • They have a couple rows of eucalyptus and lemon thyme, but most of the other flowers are actually not scented. They are just straight-up beautiful! Oh, and my mom (the flower expert) said to “be sure to mention that the eucalyptus grows here” because apparently that’s rare and difficult in Minnesota. Thanks, mom.
  • There’s lots of chair and bench seating throughout the garden
  • A small play area sits back by the trees with play houses, hammocks, small wheelbarrows, yard games, frisbees, and toys
  • Butterflies and frogs are aplenty for catching (and releasing)
  • Pumpkin picking is available here in the Fall, so plan a return visit for your Halloween goodies
  • Bring your camera – the photo opps here are out of this world!

U-pick flowers are available until the first frost. Be sure to call ahead (612-799-8796) or message Kacy/Lakeside Farm on Facebook or Instagram to make sure they are open when you plan on visiting.

If you’re like me, you love to keep the adventure going. That’s why we headed over to Waconia after flower picking for some food truck appetizers and beverages from Waconia Brewing Company (outdoor seating was great, games for the kids, and dogs were allowed). Other fun activities in the area your kids might enjoy include: swimming at Lake Waconia Regional Park Beach, walking llamas at Carlson’s Llovable Llama Farm, experience the shrub maze at the Minnesota Landscape Arboretum, see if there’s live music at Parlay Lake Winery, Schram Vineyards, or Sovereign Estates, or paddleboat, fish, or swim at Firemen’s Park.

Lakeside Farm & Flowers is located at 10405 MN 25 in Cologne, MN 55322

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