Family-Friendly Chicago Farmers Markets

We reached out to some of the many Chicago farmers markets to see why families should come out and visit in August through the end of the season! For those of you haven’t read the “About” section on my website, my family and I are fairly new to Chicago. There are so many farmers markets I’ve personally wanted to go check out but I wanted to get a little insider knowledge before heading over. Even if you aren’t new to Chicago, I’m sure there will be something new for you to discover in this post!

Andersonville Farmers Market

May 8 to August 28, 3:00 – 8:00pm
September 4 to October 16, 3:00 – 7:00pm

Located on Berwyn Ave. between Clark and Ashland

Family-friendly, Story times, Music, Entertainment, Food Samples!

Why you should go:
“We’re a great market and are very excited to be celebrating our 10th anniversary season! We’re very kid-friendly and have weekly musical entertainment during the market that’s always family-friendly. We also have entertainment and activities that are specifically tailored for the younger set (though they can be enjoyed by all ages) including:

  • Drag Queen story time with Ginger Forest (August 21)
  • Debbie Crosser Suzuki students (August 21)
  • Accordionist Heather Riordan (September 4)
  • Merry Music Makers (September 11)
  • Kid’s entertainer Mr. Ray (September 18)

Of course there are always lots of yummy samples to be had throughout the market, and we usually have an amazing balloon artist at our entrance on Clark St. The Puppet Bike can often be found nearby too!”

Joan Oberndorf, Farmers Market manager

Logan Square Farmers Market

Sundays, May 12 – October 27, 10:00am – 3:00pm (Outdoor Season)
Logan Blvd. between Milwaukee and Whipple

Supports Local Farmers, Cooking Demo, Live Entertainment, Family-friendly!

Why you should go:
“The LSFM is a great way for families to be introduced to their local agricultural
community. In addition to supporting local farmers, you can pick up some local flowers, enjoy tasty frozen treats, and listen to live music. On August 18th, we will also be hosting a cooking demo at 11am and are hoping to incorporate more later in the season!”

Rosie, LSFM Manager

Community Shoutout:

“Logan Square is our favorite. Music performances, great neighborhood feel, great food!” 


Wicker Park Farmers Market

Sundays, June 2 – October 27, 8:00am – 2:00pm
1425 N Damen Ave.

Family-friendly, Book Swaps, Hands-on Demos with the Kids Table, Playground and Bike Meets!

Why you should go:
“We have free yoga every Sunday at 9am that is family/kid friendly. We also offer a scavenger hunt for children. Our market is within Wicker Park which has a great children’s playground with a splash pad. Every 3rd Sunday we host a book swap with Volumes Bookcafe that features children’s books – you may bring books and take a few, or just take books if you didn’t bring any to swap! On the 3rd Sunday we also have the Kids Table with us offering hands on demos featuring produce found at the market that day! There is also a family friendly bike ride that meets and ends at our market”

Alice, Wicker Park Farmers Market

Community Shoutout:

I LOVE the Wicker Park Farmer’s Market. A huge part of that is having lived 2 blocks away for 13 years and going pretty much every week it’s open, but also it’s just such a great manageable size while still having everything I could need. I love all the community add-ons too like string quartets, yoga, crafts for kids, etc. Plus, being in the park next to the playground is great. So much so that even though I now live 2 blocks from the amazing Logan Square market I still make my way down to the Wicker Park Market. I missed the vendors and my kid missed the playground enough to make the quick journey worth it! Plus it opens 2 hours earlier than the Logan market so sometimes we still do both.” 

Kristy, Logan Square

Ward 47 Fresh Market

Saturdays, 8:30am – 1:30pm
August 3, 10, 17, 24
September 7, 14, 21, 28
October 5

West Lakeview, 3300–3326 N Marshfield Avenue

Community-focused, Free Family Programming, Yoga Classes, Locally-sourced Produce!

Why you should go:
“What makes the Ward 47 Fresh Market unique is our emphasis on community and family engagement in the neighborhood. Every week we have a different local organization or business provide free family programming at the market. Some examples coming up are Mindful Family Time, taught by Birthways on August 3rd, and Mommy & Me Baby Carrier Class, taught by Prenatal Fit on August 10th. In addition to our family programming, CorePower – Roscoe Village hosts a 10:00 am yoga class every week! 

Families are always welcome to enjoy the activities and buy their locally-sourced produce before and after. During the late summer/fall market season we will feature fresh peaches and apples from YOCO family orchards out of Yuba, Michigan as well as Illinois regional fall vegetables.”

Lauren White, Market Manager

Low-Line Market

Thursday evenings, June 6 – October 10, 3:30pm – 7:30pm
Southport CTA Station

Family-friendly, Live Music, Ready-made Food Vendors

Why you should go:
“Farmers markets are great for families, as they are a fun experience to teach your kids about food, where it comes from and how shopping local helps them have a more sustainable lifestyle. We have music at every market this month for families to enjoy. We also have a few ready-made food vendors so families can grab a snack so they aren’t shopping on an empty stomach! Plus, Corridor Brewery will be at the market selling beer on August 8th!”

Carisa Marconet

Lincoln Square Farmers Market

Tuesdays, 7:00am – 1:00pm
Thursdays, 4:00 – 8:00pm
June through October

Adjacent to the CTA Western Brown Line Station

Family-friendly, Weekly Activities for Kids, Free Concert Series!

Why you should go:
“The Lincoln Square Farmers Market is the place for kids and families on Tuesday mornings and Thursday Nights. Getting your kids to immerse themselves in where their food comes from is a hallmark of good nutrition. Our farmers love to teach kids and parents alike about unique and different produce, meats and dairy. As an added bonus, our Tuesdays include Kids in the Market, a weekly series of different activities sponsored by Timeless Toys, June – August. Kids get to do fun stuff while Mom and Dad shop for seasonal fruits and vegetables. Thursday nights, families come out in droves to shop the market and then head to Giddings Plaza for our free concert series.”

Nicole Benjamin, Lincoln Square Ravenswood Chamber of Commerce

Upcoming Events:
Tuesday’s Kids at the Market 11:00am – 12:00pm, With Timeless Toys

  • August 13 – Build with Plus Plus! Build something to put in the Timeless Toys window.
  • August 20 – Drag Queen Story Time 
  • August 27 – Splish Splash, let’s play in the bath! Test out some of our awesome bath toys with some awesome water play to cool down!

Thursday Concerts in the Square:  6:30 – 9:00pm Giddings Plaza

Green City Market

2 Locations:
Lincoln Park: Wednesdays, May – October, 7:00am – 1:00pm
1817 N Clark, South end of Lincoln Park
West Loop: Saturdays, May – October, 8:00am – 1:00pm
Mary Bartelme Park, 115 S. Sangamon St.

Live Music, Edible Education, Kids Programs

Why you should go:
“Edible Education at the market, in our garden, and in the classroom is teaching critical skills to students so that they may be able to effectively nourish themselves for a lifetime. The students light up in class, asking great questions and possessing a willingness to try things they just told me they did not like. The students work together to create delicious food and it fills them with a sense of accomplishment and pride. We are very excited for the 2019/2020 school year.” 

Melissa Flynn, executive director Green City Market

Kids programs at Green City Market:

Club Sprouts:

Green City Market encourages young people to try new, locally grown sustainable foods with Club Sprouts. At every market, children are given the opportunity to taste an in-season market item. Those who sample one of the tastes receives a stamp on their Club Sprouts membership card. Once the card is filled with 5 tastes, the child takes home a certificate of accomplishment and a special prize. The Club Sprouts table also offers fun, seasonal activities and lessons, from produce inspired arts and crafts to scavenger hunts, to hands-on recipes, so children can learn the benefits of eating fresh, healthy ingredients and supporting local farms. Tastings and activities are available at the Club Sprouts tent outdoors every Wednesday and Saturday from 8am – 12pm at GCM Lincoln Park from May – October, Saturdays from 8am – 12pm at West Loop from June – October, and indoors at the Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum on select Saturdays from 8am – 12pm from November – April.

Edible Gardens: 
Stop by Green City Market’s Edible Gardens at the Lincoln Park Farm in the Zoo every Wednesday, Thursday and Saturday from 9:30am – 12:30pm. The Edible Gardens are demonstration gardens for people of all ages. Its mission is to connect children and adults with their food hands-on, and to ensure that families have the knowledge, experience, and inspiration to help support a sustainable food system. Jeanne Pins of Nolan created and planted the Edible Gardens at Lincoln Park Zoo’s Farm-in-the-Zoo in the spring of 2005 at the request of Green City Market founder Abby Mandel, who envisioned an environment where children could learn what it takes to grow the food people eat – and how delicious the results can be. The Edible Gardens have been described as the perfect springboard for introducing the Midwest to what Alice Waters, locavore extraordinaire, calls “edible education.”

Green City Market in the Classroom: 
Starting in 2017, Green City Market has expanded their education programs from the market into Chicago classrooms. For the 2019/2020 school year, Green City Market will be teaching STEM curriculum to over 400 3rd -12th graders through hands-on cooking practicals and food system activities to get students engaged in local food, cooking, agriculture, sustainability and more. This program is inspired by Alice Waters’ Edible Schoolyard. The goal of this program is to teach students where their food comes from, how to gain important life skills, and to improve critical thinking skills that can be used in the classroom and beyond.

Community Shoutout:

“Green City Market in Lincoln Park is my favorite! I’m in Lakeview, but I love that Green City is two days a week! They do compost drop-off for a $3 donation which I utilize, so if my bucket isn’t quite full on one day, I don’t have to wait an entire week to take it again. It’s also really large with a great variety of vendors. I love taking my kids to grab breakfast and relax on the grass every week.”

Kristina, Lakeview

Ravenswood Farmers Market

Wednesdays, June 12 through November 16, 4:00 – 8:00pm
4900 N Damen Ave.

Community-focused, Free Kids Section with a Variety of Activities, Live Music, Misting Tent

Why you should go:
“This market was created with the hope of helping create a community among people in the city. The  Ravenswood Evangelical Covenant Church organizes the market so there is fresh food and good dinner options available; we organize and staff a kids section to the market that is free and just for fun. This section includes a baby sensory tent, science experiment tent, art tent, sand and water sensory bins, big bubble wands, bounce house, fairy garden tent with Waldorf like toys, and a vintage 80s and 90s tent where different toys from the 80s and 90s are available each week. 

For adults, we have live music, a misting tent to help keep people cool, and tons of chairs where people can eat food and chat. There are bathrooms available, changing tables, and nursing gliders available in the church. The playground at the church playground is opened up after 6pm when the daycare at the church closes. All are welcome to the market. This is the fourth year of our market, the Ravenswood Evangelical Covenant Church runs all the kid’s activities for free because we love to open up for the community. 

Ravenswood Farmers Market is a joint effort from the Greater Ravenswood Chamber of Commerce and the Ravenswood Evangelical Covenant Church to support the community and Arts.”

Janelle Hollingshead, Volunteer Market Manager, CPS Teacher and Member of Ravenswood Evangelical Covenant Church

Here is some info we know that families love: 

  • FREE Kids activities – Bounce house, art tent – great for toddlers with paint, stamps and a weekly feature of stamping with different veggies, baby sensory tent, vintage tent with toys from the 80s & 90s, amazing science experiments, sensory bins with sand, toys and water, big bubbles, nail and wood projects, fairy garden and lots of toys for free play.  
  • Free – Playground open from 6pm
  • Free – Live music by a rotating cast of artists including a dance party with Michael’s music machine
  • Free – For fur babies – free dog treats & tennis balls
  • Free bike valet run by a bike repair shop 
  • we are a rain or shine market  
  • Easy free parking at Winnemac Park

For sale:

  • Fresh produce of fruit and veggies from local farmers including honey, succulents and flowers!
  • Food vendors and a different food truck each week – for dinner & desserts!
  • Food trucks for dinner and dessert
  • A variety of local artists 
  • Run by volunteers – open to volunteers from the community
  • Info about the church and GRCC to bring the community together

Horner Park Farmers Market

Saturdays, June – October 6, 9:00am – 1:00pm
2741 W. Montrose

Family-friendly, Live Music, Free Yoga, Playground Nearby, Annual Kids Day

Why you should go:
“The Horner Park Farmers Market is in our exciting sixth season as a busy, community-supported market. We are very family friendly; kids love the varieties of berries, juicy fruits, cheese, baked goods, tamales, greens, and gelato (and coffee for the adults!). We have live music each week, and families enjoy sitting to listen while eating their purchases. There is free outdoor yoga at 10:00am every week led by McFetridge Yoga & Fitness Studio, and the Horner Park Playground is right around the corner! Our annual Kids Day is Saturday, Sept. 14 from 9:00am – 1:00pm, featuring even more kids’ musicians and activities, including art activities and face painting from our neighborhood school Bateman Elementary. Come join us any Saturday at the corner of Montrose and California!”

Portage Park Farmers Market

Select Sundays, 10am – 2pm
August 4 & 18
September 8 & 22
October 6
4100 N. Long Ave.

Family-friendly, Story Time

Why you should go:
“Portage Park is a great park for families and our market is no different! Families visit the market for the variety of vendor and live music. You often see lots of families on blankets in the middle of the market enjoying their purchases. Plus, we just added story time to our market lineup and it’s been a huge hit! We update our Instagram and Facebook pages leading up to and during each market and they are great ways to see what we’ve got going on.”

Community Shoutout:

“The Portage Park Farmers Market is a good one – a nice walk for our dogs. We come out for the food and music.”