Updated November 1, 2018.
Farmers’ Markets present great opportunities for supporting local farmers and buying foods you can feel good about giving to your kids. The markets are also wonderful for cultivating a sense of community, finding unique gifts, enjoying live music, and learning something new. Even though it’s winter, your family shouldn’t be deprived of the farmers’ market experience! You can get your farm stand fix at the Downtown Winter Farmers’ Market.
Know Before You Go
- Dates: Friday and Saturday November 16-17 AND December 14-15, 2018.
- Hours of Operation: 8:00 am to 2:00 pm.
- Location: Kaleidoscope at the Hub and Capital Square – Fifth and Walnut streets, downtown Des Moines.
- Cost of General Admission: FREE.
- Parking: FREE parking is available in nearby parking ramps at Fifth Ave. and Walnut St., Fourth St. and Grand Ave. Metered parking is also available around the perimeter of the Market.
- Food: The best part of a farmers’ market is eating your way through it! There are several vendors that sell prepared foods and restaurants in the Kaleidoscope and Capital Square will also be open.
- Restrooms: Public restrooms are located in both the Kaleidoscope and the Hub.
- Prior to your visit check out the Downtown Farmers’ Market website where you’ll find everything you need to know.
While You’re There
With the holidays just around the corner this is a great time to stock up on locally grown foods and find some unique gifts. Make sure to create a list of all the things you will need for all of your holiday entertaining.
Many of your favorite summer market vendors are also in attendance at the Winter Market, but feature more seasonal produce such as kale, chard, sweet potatoes, carrots, and onions. You will also find meat, eggs, local jams, salsa, baked goods and other items.
Bringing your children to the Winter Market is a great way to educate them about where their food comes from and how everyone is part of the local agricultural community. A few tips for navigating the Downtown Winter Market with kids:
- Be prepared to walk a lot. If you have small children, you may want to bring a stroller. The aisles aren’t quite as wide as the outdoor market, so a wagon would be hard to maneuver.
- Go early or late. You can avoid the crowds and long lines. If you go in the morning you’ll get first dibs on the best stuff. If you go late you may be able to score some bargains.
- Go hungry. Just like the summer market, we eat our way through the winter market. Several vendors offer up prepared foods for an instant foodstuff fix.
- Talk to the farmers and vendors. Kids will enjoy eating food from a farmer they know. It’s a great way to make that connection of where their food is coming from.
- Give the kids choices. Let them pick some of the produce, a gift for a family member or a treat for the day. It gives them an opportunity to have a little control and they are far more likely to eat the veggies they helped pick out.
- Bring bags. A lot of vendors provide them, but they’re usually flimsy plastic ones. You may prefer to bring your sturdy reusable ones.
- Bring cash. Some vendors accept cards and checks, but many do not. It’s also a great opportunity to let the kids pay and practice their money skills.
Are you a Winter Farmers’ Market shopper? What are your tips for taking kids?