2015 will be the 12th and final season for the Coventry Regional Farmers Market so make sure you visit! They are open May 31st to October 25th and you can find their event schedule here.
I had heard that the Coventry Regional Farmers’ Market was one of the largest in our area, so I convinced my husband to play hooky from church (truth be told we play hooky waaay too much in the summer) and go check it out.
The summer market is held at the Nathan Hale Homestead in Coventry, Connecticut every Sunday from 11-2, June through October.
We attempted to arrive around 11 when the market opens, but were running late as usual. After making our way down the winding road that leads to the market grounds, we ran into a bit of traffic.
With two newbie potty training kids sitting in the back of our car, my husband and I started to get a little nervous. Apparently the mom a few cars in front of us had a similar challenge. We watched her run around her car, get her little one out of the back, and head a little ways into the woods for a potty break. Desperate times call for desperate measures. Right?
Fortunately we had one of those little travel potties in the back of our car (By the way, I think at some point in my life I swore I would never drive around with a travel potty in the back of my car. Guess I will just add that one to my ridiculously long list of things I thought I would never do when I became a parent. What did I know?)
The traffic didn’t keep us too long and before we knew it we were pulling into a parking area a little ways down from the market entrance.
There was no official charge for parking in this area, but there was a little donation bucket near the entrance where you could make a contribution.
There were a variety of other parking options available. There was space on the side of the road closer to the entrance and a very large lot right next to the grounds. The place was busy, though, and although finding parking wasn’t hard for us, it looked like it was filling up fast. I would definitely suggest getting to the market early if possible.
As we headed into the market, we had little Sweetheart in her stroller and let the twins walk on their own. In hindsight, I really wish I had brought our little wagon for the twins. They did fine for the first hour, but then they became distracted by everything at the market and kept wandering off.
The walk from the parking area to the market was short and easy. You did have to cross back over the main street, but traffic was moving so slowly it was easy to get to the other side (even with three little ones).
So the market is very large and when we arrived around 11:30, it was already very packed.
To start off, we did a quick walk-through to check out all the vendors and get the lay of the land. There was a lot to see and plenty to purchase.
Pretty much anything you could imagine was available for sale: fruits, vegetables, meat, organic coffee, baked goods, pasta dishes, ice cream, etc. They had artisans selling their goods and lots of food trucks and venues available where you could pick up some brunch or a sweet treat.
So I made another mistake on this little adventure. We will just add it to the list: 1. Got there late. Check. 2. Didn’t bring the twins’ wagon. Check. and now 3. Forgot to bring enough cash. Double check.
My husband did offer to stop and pick up some cash on our way there but I searched the web and found some random site that said credit cards were accepted at the market. I thought we would be fine. What was I thinking?
So let’s just say I didn’t get a whole lot of shopping done at the event, which was a bit disappointing. However, we did have enough cash on us to enjoy a little lunch while we were there. So it wasn’t all bad.
We picked up a pint of blueberries which the kids devoured and fish tacos and shrimp and grits from one of the food trucks. The kids enjoyed the shrimp and grits but the fish tacos were a bit too spicy for them.
We also stopped by to sample some pork and collards from a local chef and listened to the music playing nearby.
The kids really enjoyed the entertainment for the day which was a variety of Fife and Drum Corps from the area.
When it came time for a restroom break for our crew, that ended up being a little bit of a challenge. There were only a few port-a-potties (at least that I saw) and my kids have no ability to “hold it” right now. So we had to use the bathroom techniques of the mom we saw earlier and took the munchkins into the woods. Oh why did I ever complain about diapers?!? (side note: We are back to diapers for the time being. I couldn’t hang with the potty training and think the kiddos (and I) need a little more time. Just thought full disclosure was in order 🙂
Before we left, the kids ran around in the fields for a bit and I snuck off to get some apple cider donuts for me and hubby (shhhh. Don’t tell the kids.)
Around 1 we started to make our way back to the car. Everyone was tired, it was naptime and I have to admit that a meltdown did ensue (should have brought the wagon!)
Although I missed out on shopping, the good news is that there was plenty of yummy food and fun entertainment to keep my family happy for a few hours. It was a nice outing for a pretty Sunday in Connecticut. Hopefully you can learn from my “mistakes” and can make a trip to the market with your own family.
Nathan Hale Homestead
2299 South Street, Coventry, Connecticut
Hours & Admission:
Summer 2013 Market Schedule: Sundays from June to October, 11am – 2pm
Tips & Things to Bring:
- Sign up for their newsletter which provides the latest information on vendors and events and entertainment for each week’s market.
- Also check their Facebook page for the latest information.
- The summer market is very busy, so try to arrive early and think about bringing a stroller or wagon for your little ones (especially if they are like mine and entertained by running away from you!)
- Parking is available on the street, in the lot next to the grounds, and in a lot right down the street. All parking is FREE, though a donation box is available at one of the lots.
- We did hit traffic as we waited to park. Be prepared and I would suggest arriving early if you can.
- Bring CASH. I couldn’t find any places that accepted credit cards (not that I was really expecting that they would).
- Bring bags to carry home your purchases.
- Bring your normal outdoor accessories: suntan lotion, hats, bug spray, etc.
- Enjoy lunch while you are there. Either bring your own picnic or purchase food from the many vendors at the market.
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