Seattle's Child

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Best Seattle area farmers markets for a family excursion

Day out at the market: Fresh food, music and community

Going to a Seattle area farmers market is the most fun you can have with your kids and still end up coming home with groceries.

Here are three reasons to visit your neighborhood farmers market:

The Food

Not only are there tables piled high with fresh crops from local farmers, but there are also great street food vendors, so you can grab lunch or a snack while you are there. And that’s not counting the fruits and vegetables that are consumed on the way home. Watch your kid get a sudden appetite for donut peaches, snap peas or some other seasonal treat. Even though you might have had plans to have some to eat later, it’s hard to argue with your child eating too many fresh fruits or vegetables. And if you are in a recipe rut, a spontaneous buy at a farmer’s market table is a great way to liven your routine and discover new tastes.

Vendors tend to work several markets, so you are likely to run into your favorite people in a variety of places. Nash’s Organics or Sidhu Farms has delicious berries and jam. And the frozen treats at Seattle Pops are wonderful on a hot day.

The Folks

In an era where far too much of our social interaction takes place via glowing screens, it is refreshing to have an event that causes random groups of people to gather. Not only will your kids have the chance to chat with the people who grew their food, but they will also run into neighbors, former classmates, sports teammates or old friends they don’t see often enough. There is usually a puppy or two to greet and an array of strangers dressed in extraordinary ways.

There are also formal community-building things going on. University of Washington Cooperative Extension has master gardeners at tables at many farmer’s markets, where they can answer your gardening questions. There are earnest public servants spreading the word about the latest housing, transit or environmental policy.

The Culture

Every busy Seattle area farmers market has buskers playing acoustic tunes spanning all manner of genres.  Alongside the farmers, there are artisans selling their colorful creations. And there are sometimes kids’ activities. For example, in August several farmers markets host “zucchini races,” in which kids race cars they make by attaching wooden wheels to summer squash, provided by farmers.

Here’s a list of Seattle’s farmers markets that you can enjoy all year long or seasonally:

Year-round Seattle area farmers markets

 

Ballard Farmers Market

9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Sundays (year-round)

Location: 22nd Ave NW and NW Market St

Setting: A couple of closed-off city streets.

Convenient to: Ballard, Northwest Seattle

Unless it is raining, this big Sunday street market is crowded. People sit on curbs to eat lunch if they can find a spot between the many buskers. It is open rain or shine.

 

University District

9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturdays (year-round)

Location: University Way NE between 50th & 52nd

Setting: A closed-off city street.

Convenient to: University of Washington, Northeast Seattle

Like the Ballard market, this is a big market, but it has more space and a calmer vibe.

 

West Seattle

10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Sundays (year-round)

Location: California Ave SW & SW Alaska

Setting: Closed-off streets.

Convenient to: West Seattle

Another big, bustling, neighborhood market. West Seattle regulates busking a little more tightly than Ballard does, keeping performers to designated spots, for example, and so while you can expect musical accompaniment on a nice day, it won’t be quite the free-for-all you’d find going on in the other market.

 

Capitol Hill

11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sundays (year-round)

3 p.m. to 7 p.m. Tuesdays (June 4 to Sept 24): Summer Tuesdays Farmers Market

Location: E Barbara Bailey Way (E Denny Way between Broadway & 10th Ave E)

Setting: The brick plaza and sidewalk near Seattle Central College

Convenient to: Capitol Hill, Cal Anderson Park, light rail

Some neighborhood farmers markets are temporary landmarks, dropping a nugget of activity and color in an otherwise tranquil neighborhood. Capitol Hill Farmers Market is more like some activity and color to match all the other activities and color in its vibrant surroundings. As a shopping experience, it’s mellow—plenty of produce and treats, but not a lot of crowds and buskers. It is now offering evening hours on Tuesdays.

 

Columbia City Farmers Market

3 p.m. to 7 p.m. Wednesdays, May 1 through Oct. 9.

10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Second Saturdays, November through April.

Location: 37th Ave S & S Edmunds St

Setting: Closed-off city street.

Convenient to: Light rail, Columbia City, Southeast Seattle

This medium-sized market has buskers and kid’s activities and is a packed neighborhood hub through the summer. There will be seasonal tastings and demonstrations at the markets over the summer and Applelooza in the fall. Don’t forget their zucchini races in August.

 

Seasonal Seattle area farmers markets

 

Auburn Farmers Market 

10 a.m. – 3 p.m. Sundays, June 2nd through September 15.

Location: Les Gove Park, 910 9th St SE, Auburn, WA 98002

Setting: Park

Convenient to: White River Valley Museum, Auburn Library

They will have farm fresh produce, fresh cut flowers, meat, cheese, honey, wine, coffee beans, handmade crafts and body care products, prepared food, and more! Check out all upcoming Farmers Market dates and special events here.

 

 

Delridge Farmers Market 

10 a.m. – 2 p.m. Saturdays, May 18 through October 26

Location: 9421 18th Ave SW, Seattle, WA 98106

Setting: Near Roxhill and West Crest Park, and Southgate Roller Rink

Convenient to: Southgate Roller Rink and Westwood Village

This vibrant community market prioritizes BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, and People of Color) entrepreneurship and access to fresh, healthy, and culturally relevant foods in Southwest Seattle. They give $5 youth bucks to all kids each week to practice healthy shopping habits and provide free diapers, hygiene, personal care, and other basic needs. This is a great place to bring your kids, families, and friends to celebrate the season’s harvests.

 

Lake City Farmers Market

3 p.m. to 7 p.m. Thursdays, June 13 to Oct. 3

Location: NE 125th & 28th NE, next to the Library off Lake City Way, 98125

Setting: In front of a community center, next door to a library and a park.

Convenient to: Lake City, Matthews Beach

This medium-sized market is well set to enhance the summer of neighborhood kids. Plus, kids can let off steam at the playground in next door Albert Davis Park.

 

Madrona Farmers Market

3 p.m. to 7 p.m. Fridays, May 17 through Oct. 25

Location: Martin Luther King, Jr. Way and E. Union St.

Setting: Parking lot of Madrona Grocery Outlet

Convenient to: Central District, Madrona

A medium-sized market and social hub for families on Friday evenings.

 

Magnolia Farmers Market

10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturdays, June 1 through Oct. 12

Location: W McGraw Street & 33rd Ave W in the Magnolia Village

Setting: Closed-off street

Convenient to: Discovery Park, Lowery  C. “Pop” Mounger Pool, Magnolia.

A small and mellow market with a devoted neighborhood following. Kid-friendly activities and events also take place on select Saturdays during the summer season. PLUS, their Fall Harvest Market in November.

 

Phinney Farmers Market

3 p.m. to 7 p.m. Fridays, June 7 through Sept. 27

Location: 6761 Phinney Ave N, Seattle, WA 98103, Upper PNA lot

Setting: Upper parking lot of Phinney Ridge Neighborhood Center

Convenient to: Phinney Ridge, Greenwood, Green Lake , Woodland Park Zoo, Ballard

If the weather is decent, this medium-sized market will be packed. The nearby Phinney Ridge Neighborhood Center has a fun playground. Kids can get their energy out at the next-door playground while parents shop or relax in the courtyard enjoying live music.

 

Queen Anne Farmers Market

3 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. Thursdays, May 30 through Oct. 10. Closed July 4.

Location: W Crockett St and Queen Anne Ave N

Setting: Closed-off street, parking lot of Queen Anne Pool.

Convenient to: Queen Anne

This busy, medium-sized market is the only farmers market in Seattle that is not part of one of three larger entities: Pike Place Market, the Seattle Farmers Market Association (which runs Ballard, Madrona and Wallingford markets) or Seattle Neighborhood Farmers Markets. Instead, this market is proudly independent and works with a board of people from the neighborhood. in addition to Thursday markets, they will host 4 select Saturday Markets (10 am to 3 pm), including Spring Preview Day (May 11), Halloween Harvest (Oct. 26), Thanksgiving Harvest (Nov. 23), and Winter Solstice (Dec. 14).

 

SeaTac Farmers Market 

3 p.m. – 7 p.m. on the first Wednesday of the month, July 3 through November 6.

Location: Matt Griffin YMCA, 3595 S 188 th St, SeaTac WA 98188

Setting: Parking lot of YMCA

Convenient to: Angle Lake, Lightrail Station, Westfield Southcenter Shopping Mall

The SeaTac Farmers Market had its grand opening on July 3, 2024. Building on the immense success of the Delridge Farmers Market, the SeaTac Farmers Market fosters a vibrant space that supports BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, and People of Color) business owners and ensures access to healthy, fresh food for the SeaTac community.

In alignment with their slogan, “center culture and cultivate community,” the market also provides free health and wellness resources such as diapers, personal care products, home cleaning products, and more.

 

Wallingford Farmers Market

3 p.m. to 7 p.m. Wednesdays, May 29 through Sept. 25

Location: Meridian Playground, Meridian Ave. N and N 50th St

Setting: Park

Convenient to: Wallingford, Green Lake

This medium-sized market is situated in a spacious park, featuring a fine playground, a gazebo, a thriving P-Patch, and an orchard dating from the beginning of the 20th century. It is very pleasant to eat market treats on the lawn, in the shade of a century-old fruit tree. Often accompanied by music from buskers.

Historic Wallingford is teaming up with Wallingford’s own Feliks Banel and community radio station SPACE 101.1 FM to do a once-a-month live radio broadcast at the neighborhood Farmers Market this summer. The show will feature an eclectic assortment of guests including musicians, spoken-word artists, historians, business owners, and others.

 

South Lake Union

Saturday Market:

11 a.m. to 4 p.m. every Saturday, May 4 to Sept. 28

Location: 139 9th Ave N

Setting: Near Denny Park

This is one of four small markets Pike Place Market holds in spots around the urban core. They will have handmade makers, food trucks, pop ups, vintage clothing and DJ in the Park.

 

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Fiona Cohen