Farmers markets great for families

Whether you are trying to engage a picky eater, support local farmers or simply find something fun to do outdoors, visiting a farmers market needs to be on your family’s summer bucket list. So grab your favorite tote bag and some cash (leave the credit cards and pets at home), and head out to these “can’t miss” spots.

City of Evanston Farmers Market

Located at the intersection of University Place and Oak Avenue, the bustling market is the perfect way to kick off your Saturday morning. Grab a croissant or elote to enjoy while strolling the aisles of traditional and unique produce and artisanal goods from Midwestern businesses. It’s impossible to leave without blooms from the many garden booths!

7:30 a.m.-1 p.m. Saturdays 

Dane County Farmers Market 

While Dane County might not be in the Chicagoland area, it is worth crossing the border for. Stationed in front of the majestic Wisconsin State Capitol building, “Saturdays on the Square” are a Madison tradition. Whether you are looking for produce, handmade goods or food trucks, you can find a little bit of everything at the largest producer-only farmers market in the country.

Capitol Square (6:15 a.m.-1:45 p.m. Saturdays) and the 200 block of MLK Drive (8:30 a.m.-1:45 p.m. Wednesdays)

European Market

Combine shopping and a beach day with a quick jaunt over the state line to Indiana. The European Market fills a chunk of its quaint downtown with artists, chefs and merchants from Indiana, Michigan and Illinois. Highlights include artisan breads, cheeses, ethnic foods, rare books jewelry and fresh-from-the-farm produce and flowers.It is only two miles from the Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore.

Thomas Centennial Park, Broadway and Third Street, Chesterton, Ind., 8 a.m.-2 p.m. Saturdays

Oak Park Farmers Market

This lively market is celebrating its 44th season of connecting the Oak Park community with local farmers. In addition to fresh produce, you can find dairy and meat products as well as handcrafted items. Make visiting the “donut booth” a priority since local businesses and groups take turns hosting the stand and then donate the profits. Shimmy off the sugar with the local folk musicians.Pilgrim Church Parking Lot, 7 a.m.-1 p.m. SaturdaysGreen City MarketThe big kahuna of farmers markets (it even has an app), with three locations throughout the city. Green City provides a great atmosphere and healthy environment for families to come together to shop, eat and play! Check out the Club Sprouts table for seasonal tastings, crafts and other kid-friendly activities, and catch the chef demonstrations for cooking tips.

South End of Lincoln Park (7 a.m.-1 p.m. Wednesdays and Saturdays), Mary Bartelme Park (8 a.m.-1 p.m. Saturdays) and Gallagher Way (most Thursday evenings)

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