I have a confession. I live for farmers markets. It’s the anticipation of savoring that fresh cup of coffee in the morning. It’s feasting my eyes upon the rainbow of fresh produce. It’s sampling all the local goods and soaking in the live music. Now that I have a kid, I’ve discovered even more ways to enjoy the bay area’s markets.
Thursdays 3-7pm, Friday & Saturday 11am-3pm
What I especially love about this market is their on site organic garden. My family and I spent a lovely afternoon picking the most delicious tomatoes I’ve had all season. It was pretty chilly that day so this Florida girl really appreciated their space heaters. It was great warming up around them as we chatted with vendors and munched on some butterscotch cookies.
A Simpler Place is tucked away in a canopy of oak trees just off of Boyette Road in Riverview. There’s plenty of room to run around with good sight lines for parents to keep an eye on their kiddos. They also have a fenced in children’s area with a huge coloring sheet and rotating kids crafts. Thursday is kids crafts day. Last time we were there, they had 3 craft options going on: pine cone bird feeders, decorate your own cookies and plant a seed in an eggshell to take home. There was even a face painter! You could spend all day here, people.
Each week, they have kid friendly activities and vendors such as a caricature artist and Henna artist. Your kids will love the weekly musical performers. There’s a great space for dancing in front of main stage. Here’s my daughter and I breaking it down. Looking for something a little more low key? You can hear a one man blues band or an accordion player in other corners of the market. Best of all, the second Saturday of each month is Kids Day. This includes storytime with singing at 11:30. There is also a kids activity booth. Plus, you and your kids can enjoy rotating events such as a Raptor program (e.g. hawks and owls), a Ninja obstacle course, face painting, and more. I’m not sure if adults can do the ninja obstacle course, but rest assured I’ll find out.
This place is the real deal. Sweetwater Organic Farm is located on 6 acres in the Town ‘n’ Country area. Sign up for their community supported agriculture (CSA) to enjoy their local produce all year long. They offer farm tours, volunteering opportunities, classes and more. What a great way to get your kid to eat their veggies!
You’re sure to get your hippie dippie fix at Sweetwater Organic Farm. Bring the whole family together for Sunday Yoga which starts an hour before the market from 11am-12pm. You’ll need your own mat and meet on the covered porch at the Education Center ($5 suggested donation). Enjoy their featured performers from 12:30-2:30pm. Think your kid’s got talent? Then encourage your kid to participate in the open mic from 2:30-4.
Tampa Bay Markets organizes markets all around the Tampa Bay area. Mark your calendars for one near you! Some of the kid friendly activities they offer are bounce houses and bungees. You can also find live music to groove to. Additionally, they offer a great guide for buying farm fresh. http://tampabaymarkets.com/market-shoppers-guide