10 Reasons to Love the Loudoun County Public Library

Today I brought the kids to the library for a class; a totally free, educational, age-appropriate class. There were only a few kids in the class, perfect for my daughter who does best in small groups. They had a story read to them, discussed the theme, and then worked on a project.

The library, in my opinion, is one of the least utilized resources in Loudoun County. In addition to books, libraries have lots to borrow, free programs for adults and children, and access to online databases that you’d otherwise have to pay for.

Why the Library is Great

Borrow instead of buy.

The library loans out books, DVDs, music CDs, audiobooks, video games, magazines, video players for children, and even eBooks and eAudiobooks. If you do want to buy books, check out some of the great sales in our area.

Get it & keep it free.

  • Did you know that you can download free MP3s with your library card? The download service is Freegal and limits you to 5 downloads per week.
  • The library has free Wifi. You can sit there all day if you want without paying for internet or feeling like you need to keep buying lattes and muffins as you would at some Wifi hot spots.

Access to lots of databases.

I counted over 50 different databases when I wrote this. The database section is worth perusing when you have time. While some might seem geared toward students, there is lots more, too. Many of the sites would cost you money to use, but you can use them for free with your library card. Sites include: Value Line Research Center for investment guides, Small Business Resource Center, Mango Languages (there is actually a pirate language class,) Legal Forms, Consumer Checkbook, Chilton Library for DIY car repair.

Maker Spaces.

Four of Loudoun’s libraries have maker spaces outfitted with equipment such as sewing machines, sergers and embroidery machines. There are electronics to tinker with like Arduino and Raspberry Pi. Create hard to find pieces yourself using Tynkercad and bringing the file to print on one of their 3D printers (pay by weight – and it really is totally affordable.)

Classes for Children.

Kids can pick up social skills while learning, and it doesn’t cost you a penny. From drop-in story times for babies to classes for older elementary students, theres lots to choose from. Pick up a copy of PAGES at your local branch or check their online calendar.

Programs for adults.

There are fewer of these, but there is usually something each week geared towards teen and adults. Subjects range from book clubs, historical lectures series, to computer classes and writing workshops. Pick up a copy of PAGES at your local branch or check their online calendar.

Teen Centers.

A couple libraries in Loudoun County feature teen centers. These are safe gathering places for teens where they can just hang out, play games, be creative, study, and even sign up for volunteer hours in other parts of the library. Pick up a copy of PAGES at your local branch or check their online calendar.

Free Shows.

This is especially true in the summer. Libraries around Loudoun County have hosted live shows including: Reptiles Alive, The Great Zucchini, Wildlife Ambassadors, Rocknoceros Band, Wizard of Oz by the Hamstead Stage Company, Life in Space by the Franklin Institute of Science. Pick up a copy of PAGES at your local branch or check their online calendar.

Volunteer Opportunities.

Loudoun County Public Libraries provide opportunities for volunteering for teens as young as 12. The variety of tasks and flexibility in scheduling means there is something for most ability levels and interests.



Well, really, they are the ones that make it all happen, They are a great resource. Hats off to the librarians!




3 Pick-Your-Own Strawberry Patches, 1 Great Deal

  • Historic Oatlands, Little Oatlands Lane, Leesburg
  • Wegmeyer Homestead, 38299 Hugesville Rd., Hamilton
  • Gilbert’s Corner, Intersection of Route 15 & Route 50, Aldie
  • Ask your cashier for the Loudoun Mom Discount Deals price, get 25% off!

Wegmeyer Farms Strawberry Picking

Family Picking – 25% Off for Our Readers!

Loudoun Mom Discounts and Deals has teamed up with Wegmeyer Farms again this year to offer you a 25% discount on pick-your-own (PYO) strawberries this spring. Every weekday (Monday-Friday) at Wegmeyer Farms will be Family Picking Day for our readers. You must tell the cashier that you are using the Loudoun Mom Discounts and Deals 25% off discount. This great deal is good through the end of the season.

No strawberries taste better, or fresher, than the ones you pick yourself. Picking your own berries has several benefits. 

  • Fresh berries have better flavor.
  • Fresh berries retain more nutrients.
  • You control the quality of what you buy when you PYO
  • PYO supports local farms.
  • You will feel more connected to the Earth. This is a great activity to do with kids, while teaching them where food really comes from.

It’s always good to check field conditions before you leave. The best way to do that is to either check their Facebook Page, or web page.  

Where to Pick

Wegmeyer Homestead, 38299 Hughesville Road, Hamilton, VA

If you’ve done picking at Wegmeyer in past years, you know that their field is located next their house in Lincoln (between Leesburg and Purcellville) off a long, gravel road. This site provides the most scenic view of Loudoun’s rolling, rural hills. With this backdrop, you can bring along a picnic lunch or enjoy some of the refreshments that are offered for sale. Children are invited to play on the John Deere tractor slide and playground.

Historic Oatlands, Little Oatlands Lane, Leesburg, VA

The strawberry field at Oatlands, along with era-themed attire and historic mansion for a back drop will whisk you back to the 1800’s. Parking is right next to the field off of scenic route 15. While visiting the patch is free, you may choose to make a day of it by driving slightly north on route 15 and entering Oatland’s main entrance and purchasing passes for the historical garden and/or mansion tour.

Gilbert’s Corner, Intersection of Route 15 and Route 50, Aldie, VA

Strawberry picking at Gilbert’s Corner is for those not looking for anything more than the PYO experience. This no-fuss location is perfect for a simple outing. Parking is available right at the site. On weekends, looks for fresh donuts as well as other vendors on the corner selling such things as BBQ and produce.


This is a sponsored post.

Getting Books at Deep Discounts

As a mother of young children, I think that it is important to give them lots of exposure to reading. The local library is great place to get started. But you might want to own books, rather than always borrowing them. I have filled the shelves of my home with children’s books. Of the the hundreds of books that we have, only a handful were purchased at full price. Most were purchased at discount sales. And, here’s the good part, those sales almost always have fiction, non-fiction, and media for adults also.

Library Book Sales

These are sales put on by the advisory boards of libraries across the county. Each sale is different and not every library has one. They are selling donated books to benefit their library. Note: these sales are usually not selling discarded library books. Here are the 2018 sales in Loudoun County. Unless noted, they are held within the library.


Ashburn Donations of books (all formats), CDs, and DVDs will be collected Jan. 4-23 during regular library hours. Pre-sale ($15 admission) Thursday, Jan. 24:
6-8:30 p.m.
Friday, Jan. 25: 10 a.m.-7 p.m.
Saturday, Jan. 26: 10 a.m.-5 p.m.
Sunday, Jan. 27: 10 a.m.-5 p.m.
 Brambleton Donations are not currently accepted but will be at some future date when the Friends of Brambleton Library have formalized plans.  Pre-sale ($10 admission) Thursday, May 2: 6-8:00 p.m.
Friday, May 3: 10 a.m.-5 p.m.
Saturday, May 4: 10 a.m.-5 p.m.
Sunday, May 5: 1-4 p.m.
Cascades Donations accepted through May 2.  TBD
Gum Spring
Donations accepted late winter thru March 13, 2019
Friday, March 15: 10 a.m.-7 p.m.
Saturday, March 16: 10 a.m.-5 p.m.
Sunday, March 17: 1 p.m.-3 p.m.
Lovettsville Donations are no longer accepted. They will resume summer 2019. Oktoberfest in September
Middleburg Donations are no longer accepted at this branch.  
Purcellville Donations of books, CDs and DVDs accepted beginning May 3. No magazines, outdated textbooks, encyclopedias or videos. Pre-sale ($15 admission) Friday, May 3: 5:30-8 p.m.
Saturday, May 4: 10 a.m.-5 p.m.
Sunday, May 5: 1-3 p.m.
Rust Gently used books, DVDs, CDs and video games  will be accepted in November. Dates TBD. TBD
Sterling Donations are no longer accepted at this branch.  

In addition to the sales put on by individual libraries, there is one mega sale held every summer by The Loudoun Library Foundation, Inc. The 2019 sale, held June 23rd will be their 30th annual event. The 2012 sale brought in over $40,000 with an estimated 3,100 shoppers!



Once a month there is an online auction for surplus items and often there are entire pallets of books being sold for just a few dollars. I like books, but not enough to dig through all kinds of random books that I have to bring home in the back of my pick-up truck.

Thrift Stores

Books are cheep at thrift stores. Most books sell at about 5-10% of their new cover price. There’s lots of thrift stores in Loudoun and some are better than others for finding a good selection of books. For a list of stores, click here.

The Ladies Board of Inova Loudoun Hospital, which runs the Twice is Nice Thrift Shop, holds an annual rummage sale at Morven Park in October. There is an entire barn dedicated to used books of all kinds. This rummage sale is so great. It has been named the BEST CHARITY EVENT IN NORTHERN VIRGINIA for three years in a row by Virginia Living Magazine.

Book Swaps

Ok. This one won’t really increase your collection. But, as your kids grow, so do their interests in books. Why not find someone who’s also bored with their books to do a swap. I usually do this at least once a year with my mother’s group and end up bringing home a few good books that I didn’t have before.  If you have a group of adult friends with similar interests, you may want to do this sometime. If you’re the coordinator, you can offer to collect any unwanted books (how sad) at the end of the swap and donate them.

Flower & Garden Festival in downtown Leesburg on April 27 and 28, 2019

The 29th annual Flower & Garden Festival will take place Saturday, April 27 and Sunday, April 28 in historic downtown Leesburg. More than 150 vendors will fill the streets with seasonal blooms, herbs, gardening supplies, outdoor furniture, and more.

In addition to the exhibits, festival goers can enjoy live music, which will kick off Saturday with local performer Gary Smallwood, at 10 a.m. The beer garden, located on the Town Green, will feature eight of the region’s best brews while a children’s area on Cornwall Street will provide live entertainment and crafts for the kids.

Guests will also have the opportunity to vote for their favorite landscape display in the People’s Choice Landscape Competition. Ballots can be picked up at the entrance booths or at the Gazebo. Completed ballots should be placed in the birdhouse at the Gazebo by noon on Sunday so that the winner can be announced that afternoon.   

Portions of King, Market, and Cornwall streets will be closed for the event, however parking will be available in the Town parking garage using the Loudoun Street entrance. Additional parking will be available throughout the downtown and a free shuttle service, from Ida Lee Park, will run continuously throughout the day. Please note, visitors are asked to leave pets at home during the festival.

The Flower & Garden Festival runs from 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. on Saturday and 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. on Sunday, rain or shine. A $3 donation, per person, is suggested at the festival entrance booths. For more information, call Ida Lee Park Recreation Center at 703-777-1368 or visit www.flowerandgarden.org.

There will also be a community forum offered at Douglass from 9 to 10 a.m. featuring a dialogue between youth and elders.

Tax Day Deals

Tax Day Deals

Paying taxes stinks, but at least you can get a few good deals on Tax Day. Here are some really good FREEbies and deals that you can get on April 15, 2019. There are a lot of other lists out there, but you’ll have to sort out the businesses that aren’t in northern Virginia. I’ve done that for you. The FREEbies on this list are LOCAL DEALS or can be accessed online from home. I will update as I find more.

Boston Market

Get a Half Chicken Individual Meal & drink for just $10.40.  Join the e-CLUB and get $3 off when you spend $10 or more.

California Tortilla

Say “1040” when ordering and get a FREE chips and queso on April 15th only. Also, get a regular sized burrito and spin the Burrito Wheel to reveal your tasty prize, after 5pm.

Coal Fire Pizza

Kids eat FREE with purchase of an adult meal.

Dunkin’ Donuts

DD Perks members can get a $1 Medium Hot or Iced Coffee at Dunkin’ Donuts on Monday, April 15, 2019.

Firehouse Subs (Regal Shopping Center in Sterling, One Loudoun in Ashburn)

April 14-17, get a FREE medium sub with purchase of a medium or large sub, chips, and drink with printable coupon.

Noodles and Company (Leesburg)

Join Noodles Rewards [enter code HEATHERCH3936] to earn freebies and exclusive offers. Members of the Noodles Rewards Program will get $4 off online and mobile orders over $10 from April 10-15. You must sign up for the reward program by April 9 to get this offer.

Best Shopping Deals for April

Tax Day Deals

Paying taxes stinks, but at least you can get a few good deals on Tax Day. 

Earth Day

Earth Day is April 22nd. Look for products that claim to be earth-friendly to be on sale in the weeks leading up to Earth Day. Now might be a great time to stock up on LED and CFL bulbs, products made from recycled materials, and items made my manufacturers such as Seventh Generation. Don’t forget to check for coupons before you go!

Also, don’t forget that the best way to both help mother Earth and save money, is to shop used when possible. Check out the complete list of Loudoun County’s Consignment Stores and Thrift Stores. Late spring is also a good time to shop used because so many people have been doing their spring cleaning and donating thrift stores get re-stocked with lots of great stuff.

DIY Rain barrel workshops run April 22 – May 15, 2019. Leesburg residents can save $25 off the project costs.

National Parks

April 20, 2019 is the first day of National Parks Week. To kick off the week, admission to all National Parks is absolutely FREE! For a list of all the National Park Service’s free admission days, read our earlier blog post.

Clearance Easter Candy & Gifts

Even if you don’t celebrate Easter, you can still take advantage of post-holiday clearance offers, especially chocolates and candies.

Winter Items

If this last winter convinced you to be better prepared for next year, you may want to get a head start in April. Now is the time to shop for snow blowers, plows, and shovels. Don’t forget smaller items such as ice scrapers and snow melt.


Rain Barrel Workshops Scheduled April-May, 2019

Leesburg Residents can Save $25 on barrel purchase

The Loudoun Soil and Water Conservation District, in partnership with the Leesburg Environmental Advisory Commission (EAC), will offer rain barrel workshops in Leesburg during April and May 2019. While the workshops are open to all, Leesburg residents receive a discount on rain barrel purchases, through a Town of Leesburg program sponsored by the EAC.

“Rain barrels are a great way to conserve water and reduce storm water runoff,” explained Irish Grandfield, Senior Planner with the Town of Leesburg and liaison to the Environmental Advisory Commission. “A single rain barrel may seem too small to make a difference, but small efforts add up. Also, gardeners find the stored water very useful for keeping flower and vegetable beds watered in between infrequent summer rainfalls.”

Interested parties can either make a rain barrel to take home or purchase a pre-made barrel. Kits to make a rain barrel at a workshop cost $60 each; the pre-made barrels cost $80 each (all prices include tax). As a bonus, Leesburg residents will receive a $25 discount on the purchase of a rain barrel as an incentive to promote water conservation. There are a limited number of discounts that will be given on a first-come first-serve basis (limit two per household).

The rain barrel workshops will be held at Tuscarora Creek Park (425 Solitude Court SE) in Leesburg. The workshop dates are:

  • Monday, April 22
  • Tuesday, April 23
  • Tuesday, May 14
  • Wednesday, May 15 

    Each workshop runs from 6:00 p.m. to 7:30 pm. It takes about 20 minutes to make a rain barrel. Participants can arrive at any time up to 7:00 pm, if they are planning to make a barrel.

    Participants are reminded to dress appropriately if they will be constructing their own barrels. A registration form can be downloaded from the Loudoun Soil and Water Conservation District website at www.loudounsoilandwater.org. For more information and to register, please call Suzanne Brown, District Operations Manager for the Loudoun Soil and Water Conservation District, at 571-918-4530, ext. 105.

Academies of Loudoun 2019 Spring Plant Sale

The annual spring plant sale to support Loudoun students in plant science and biotechnology will be held at a new location this spring. Previously held at Monroe Technology Center, the sale is now at the new Academies of Loudoun school.

As in past sales, shoppers can expect to find part of the school transformed into a make-shift garden center, packed with annuals, perennials, herbs, vegetables plants, trees, shrubs, fruit trees, fruit plants, aquatic plants, fish, and over 500 hanging baskets.

*Accepts credit cards for small fee.
Academies of Loudoun

42075 Loudoun Academy Dr., Leesburg, VA 20175

April 24, 2019

10:00 am – 8:00 pm

April 25, 2019

10:00 am – 6:00 pm

April 26, 2019

10:00 am – 5:00 pm

Loudoun Spring Bucket List 2019

1. Get a great deal at Consignment Sale.

Grab a great deal at one of our area’s many children’s consignment sales. You can find their listing on the community calendar, or see them all listed together on last month’s blog post, Spring 2019 Consignment Sales.

2. Go on an egg hunt.


3. Leesburg Flower & Garden Festival.

2019 is Leesburg’s 29th year putting on this wonderful festival. Even if you don’t have a green thumb, you’ll enjoy all the beautiful displays. There’s something here for everyone in the family. This year’s festival is Saturday and Sunday, April 27 & 28, 2019. More info on this year’s festival.

Or, enjoy a nice drive west of Loudoun for the Blandy Farm Garden Fair in Boyce, Virginia, May 11 & 12, 2019 on Mother’s Day weekend.

Both events are rain or shine.

4. Fly a kite.

There’s lots of great places to fly a kite in Loudoun County. My favorite is the fields behind Ida Lee Recreation Center in Leesburg. You may want to take a field trip into DC to celebrate kites. The Cherry Blossom Kite Festival is held on March 30, 2019 on the Washington Monument grounds.

For a quieter event, bring the kids to the Gunston Hall Kite Festival, April 13, 2019.

5.Slash in puddles.

This one is for the kids. But, hey!, if you want to do it too . . .

6. Explore a formal garden.

Here in Loudoun County, we have lots of formal gardens to explore and photograph. Master Gardener Demonstration Gardens, Oatlands Plantation, and Morven Park are all great choices in Leesburg.

Venturing West, and I feel worth the drive, are the Glen Burnie Gardens at the Museum of the Shenandoah Valley in Winchester. You will want to make sure you have your camera for this one.


To the East of us, and also worth the drive, is Meadowlark Gardens in Vienna.

And, I always recommend that any museum trip into the district should include  time spent in any of the Smithsonian’s Gardens. My favorite in the spring is the Enid A. Haupt Garden located directly above the National Museum of African Art and Sackler Gallery. Of course, there’s always the National Arboretum, which has its own flowering cherry blossoms without the crowds. Visit the National Arboretum on April 27-28, 2019 for a garden fair, with things to interest the youngest and oldest gardeners in your family. 

7. Get Biking.

If you’ve never been biking on the W&OD trail, this spring might be the best time to try it out. The final section of trail between Leesburg and Purcellville is arguably the most beautiful, but is also the steepest and will give you quite a workout if you’re a novice.

8.Go for a Hike.