There is a lot to love in a farmers market, from the fresh produce to the sense of community. Something about spring and summer always make me feel like it’s time to hit up the market. I mean there is so much to do this summer but we still need to get fruit and veggies, right?
Many farmers markets offer educational and fun activities for kids. My little ones love digging in the mulch at our local farmers market. Some markets feature food trucks, local artwork and handmade wares, in addition to the produce and food items you would expect at a farmers market. I love markets for summer outings. We are able to stock up on fresh food, get outdoors, visit with neighbors and learn – all while supporting local growers and makers.
Here are three ways to make the most of your farmers market experience.
- Bring small tote bags they can fill with their selections. My kiddos love carrying their own bags and helping to bring them in whenever we go shopping. Bring some of your smaller reusable totes so that your kids can carry some of the produce and other purchases. They will feel very grown up. And if you have a picky eater, like I do, this is a great way to get them interested in and comfortable with new and different food. Maybe it’s something about being outside, but my picky eater is always so much more inquisitive about the food we see at the farmers markets than the food we see in the grocery store. Pro tip: Also bring a larger tote to put the smaller ones in when your kids decide they want you to carry all the bags for them.
- Let them pay (and practice their math). I always try to bring lots of smaller denominations to pay for our purchases. I know many sellers now accept credit or debit cards but I like for my kids, especially my soon-to-be kindergartener to learn a bit about math and budgeting in real life. Farmers markets are great places for kids to practice math and to see a budget in action. The pace is typically much more relaxed than in a grocery store. So if you’re buying a basket of berries for $4, you can let your kid count out the dollar bills without worrying the person in line behind you is in a big rush.
- Find the fun. We love the new Twilight Hours at the Farmers Branch Market. Morning farmers markets usually mean we have to rush on a weekend morning when we would rather lounge around the house. But the evening hours are perfect. We can get the kids outside for a couple hours and when we get home, they’re worn out and ready to go to bed.
We like to visit the Dallas Farmers Market but it’s not always practical for us from the suburbs. You can also hit up the Four Seasons Markets, the Coppell Farmers Market, and Highland Park Village Local or visit your city’s website and search for a farmers market in your community.