I love walking among the stalls at a farmer’s market. There is just something about the simplicity of strolling around looking for the best strawberries, rubbing elbows with growers and those who directly import goods. These people know about their products and even in the chaos of a busy Saturday afternoon they are generally friendly and ready to answer any questions you may have. I always feel like I am vacationing on some remote Island or visiting a quaint Italian village when I go to the market that feeling is a wonderful departure from the fluorescent lighting and pushy cashiers at supermarkets. Farmer’s markets are a way to invest in your community and get a firsthand look at exactly where your food is coming from.
We recently visited the City Market in Kansas City. It was a great experience. There were stalls of every kind, Italian and Middle Eastern food, sizzling meat on the grill, surrounded by a cornucopia of garden fresh fruit and vegetables. Booth after booth of spices filled the market with the aroma of an exotic paradise. Are you a tea lover? Well then you are in luck, sellers showcase canister full teas in every flavor and herb possible. It was a beautiful sight to see so many cultures melting together to create the bounty of the City Market.
There isn’t just amazing food at the market; there are also craft booths and performers at every turn. Even if you aren’t interested in purchasing local groceries, take your kids to the market. My son was delighted by the balloon animals and musicians that filled the square with a nearly carnival atmosphere. Grab some lunch while you are there. The market has both covered eating areas as well as tree shaded park settings, and with a multitude of culinary choices you are sure to find something to tickle your taste buds.
If you do decide to go to the market, I would highly recommend babywearing. The market is packed on Saturday and pushing a stroller through the throng of people would not be my first choice. I did see many parents navigating gigantic strollers through the crowds, so don’t let not having a carrier stop you, but if you have the option I would advise against the stroller. Bring along a friend or spouse to help carry reusable bags (they are easier to carry than plastic) or push a small cart if you are buying a lot.
The farmer’s market is a great experience for children and can be an awesome teaching experience for little minds. There are many products that you won’t see on supermarket shelves, and the best part is that most of it is unpackaged. I really enjoy going to markets, when we lived in Hawaii I went to the market every Saturday even if there was nothing I needed to buy, it was just a fun thing to do. So if next weekend you are looking for something to do think about giving your local farmer’s market a try.
If you are looking for fresh and local produce delivered right to your door, Fresh Connect may be an option that will work for your family.
City Market Schedule:MARCH – OCTOBER : SATURDAY 6:00 am – 3:00 pm SUNDAY 8:00 am- 3:00 pm
FROM THE NORTH:From I-29 and I-35, follow the signs for I-35 South. Take the Exit 2F Oak/Grand/Walnut on the right side. Continue on Exit to Walnut Street, turn right (north). Continue driving north on Walnut Street, and you will drive right into the City Market.
FROM THE EAST: HeadWest on I-70 toward Kansas City. Just before entering downtown, follow US
highway 24 West about a mile to take Exit 2F-Oak/Grand/Walnut on the right. Continue on the exit ramp to Walnut Street, turn right (north) on Walnut Street, and you will drive right into the City Market.
FROM THE SOUTH:VIA I-35:Head North on I-35, toward Des Moines. Take the Main Street Exit, 2D.
Continue east on 6th Street to Walnut Street. Turn left (north) on Walnut Street, go over the bridge and you will drive right into the City Market.
VIA 71 Highway:Head North on 71 Highway, toward downtown Kansas City. As you approach downtown, continue north. Highway 71 will merge with 40 Highway. Follow the exits for Highway 24 & 40 west. Take exit 2F-Oak/Grand/Walnut on the right. Continue on the exit ramp to Walnut Street,
turn right (north) on Walnut Street, and you will drive right into the City Market.
FROM THE WEST:Head East on I-70 into Kansas City. Take the Main Street, Exit 2D. Continue east on 6th Street to Walnut Street. Turn left (north) on Walnut Street, go over the bridge and you will drive right into the City Market.
The market does have the ability to accept credit, debit, and EBT, but I would recommend getting some cash before you go, if you do decide to use the ATM at the market, it is located over by the craft stalls, it took us a little while to find it, but there is a map when you first walk in.