This post was written in 2013, and while it should still give you a good overview of the experience, we encourage you to visit the South Windsor Farmers’ Market website for the most up-to-date details, especially about things like dates and times. Thank you!
Even though I’ve been on “maternity leave” for the past several weeks, I’ve still been keeping up with all of Mandy’s blog posts. And boy, does it look like she has been having some serious fun! I couldn’t help but be a little jealous that she and her crew are out there visiting fun new places while my recently expanded family is still trying to figure out how to get everyone out the door. After over two years of exploring at least one and sometimes two new places every week or so, I was going a bit stir-crazy sticking so close to home.
So I was thrilled when the weather last weekend was so beautiful that we could get everyone out of the house for a few hours on Saturday morning. Our destination you ask? The family-friendly South Windsor Farmers’ Market.
Now that I have a newborn again, I am having flashbacks to those early weeks with Boo when I was simultaneously terrified of leaving the house and horrified at the idea of being stuck at home all day. So as I document my new adventures as a mommy of two, I hope to be able to give some extra special insight to all the new mommies out there who are feeling much the way I did three years ago when I welcomed my baby Boo. I will be on the lookout for activities that are especially great for getting out with an infant in tow…and the South Windsor Farmers’ Market fits the bill!
Of course, as you will see, the South Windsor Farmers’ Market is a fun family outing for kids (and their grown-ups) of all ages. It runs every Saturday from (approximately) late June to mid October (for the 2013 season the exact dates are Saturdays from June 29th to October 19th;10am to 1pm, rain or shine), and is now located right next to the South Windsor Community Center near My Friend’s Place Boundless Playground (read Mandy’s post about that playground here). I was especially excited to hear about this new location for the market. An amazing Boundless Playground just steps away??? It doesn’t get much more family-friendly than that!
The Community Center has a big parking lot, but for this event there is plenty of parking available in the field right next to where all the vendor tents are set up. Just follow the signs and park in a reasonable way. (There were parking attendants there, but they didn’t really direct us to park anywhere in particular.)
I didn’t yet have a wearable baby carrier (Mandy was nice enough to offer to let me borrow hers, but I hadn’t had a chance to see her since the little guy arrived), so I was a little worried about how we were going to get around. We couldn’t very well lug the car seat carrier by itself, so I figured we’d give it a try with our trusty snap-and-go stroller (one of the best products ever, by the way; I have the Graco one to go with my Graco car seat, but you can also get a universal one that will work with any car seat). Guess what? It was perfect! It was very easy to roll the stroller around the relatively flat field and with the sun shade up, my new little man just snoozed the whole time. Even if I had the BabyBjorn, I might still recommend using a stroller–especially on a warm day with lots of sun. Plus, a stroller comes with some added benefits 🙂
You can enter the market from either end.
There were tons of wonderful things to choose from, so I knew we’d have to take a lap around before we started making any purchases. I wasn’t sure what the payment situation would be, so we brought a lot of cash. Turns out some of the vendors do take credit cards. But to be safe, I’d bring a decent amount of cash with you too. There was everything from handmade soaps to fresh baked goods to fruits and veggies to meat (yes, meat!) and cheeses to infused oils and homemade salsas. Even jewelry and accessories! Here’s just a quick glimpse at some of the offerings. (Side note: after conversations with a few of the vendors, it appears that the vendor mix seems to change slightly from week to week. So you might see all of these folks, or you might see some different folks on your visit–but that’s part of the fun!)
The market has a couple covered seating areas in the center–one with just chairs and one with tables–where you can enjoy a snack or just chill out.
We took a break from all that purchasing so Boo could enjoy his muffin. I think he liked it 🙂
Down one end of the market, we found some musical entertainment. This week it was a children’s singer and she had instruments for the kids to play. After three sessions of Music Together, Boo really loooooves to play those instruments!
At the other end of the market (near the far end of the parking area) we found FREE pony rides.
Unfortunately, the line was pretty long by the time we got over there, and even though Boo said he wanted to ride the pony, I was really skeptical that he would actually do it. It didn’t seem worth it to wait 20+ minutes to take that gamble. Luckily, as I mentioned before, there is a great Boundless Playground just across the field. And Boo was more than happy to forgo the pony ride for the slides. (Side note: the FREE pony rides will be offered again this Saturday, August 31st from 10:30 am-12:30 pm; check their website to see what events and activities will be available each week.) These pictures don’t even do it justice. You have to check out Mandy’s post to really see all the awesome things this playground has to offer.
While hubby chased Boo around the playground, I took the little guy (sorry, blog name is still TBD 🙂 ) for a stroll over to the Community Center to see if the restrooms were open.
The building was open, and it didn’t appear to be a problem to go in and use the restrooms (head down the hall to your right). This is great news because they are well-equipped with a changing area and even a stall big enough to fit a stroller inside. Yes, I tested it 🙂
When I got back to the playground, Boo was still having a grand ol’ time, but I didn’t want to push our luck. It had been such a successful outing, I thought we should quit while we were ahead. But you could certainly bring a picnic lunch with you and hang out into the afternoon. Or you could try out the nearby Nevers Park Walking Trails.
On the way home, the baby fell asleep in the car (yay!) and Boo managed to stay awake until we could get him home and put him to bed for his nap (double yay!). But not before he helped showcase all our purchases:
Just to give you an idea of how much money to bring, in total, we spent about $40 on the above merchandise (plus the peach muffin Boo polished off while we were there). Not terrible for such high quality products. Plus, hubby and I had treats to keep us going all weekend. If you have to be sleep-deprived (oh, how I did NOT miss you, 2:00 am feeding), it helps to be well-fed 🙂
What’s your favorite farmers’ market?
South Windsor Farmers’ Market
150 Nevers Road, South Windsor, Connecticut (Next to the Community Center)
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UPDATE September 2015: For the 2015 season, the South Windsor Farmers’ Market will run from 10am-1pm every Saturday through October 17th. This post is from 2013, and while it will give you a great overview of this experience, it may contain some outdated information. Please be sure to check the South Windsor Farmer’s Market website for details before you go!
Tips & Things to Bring:
- Plenty of free, convenient parking.
- VERY family-friendly; we saw lots of little kids running around or riding in strollers.
- Dog-friendly too 🙂
- We found the market to be very stroller-accessible, but you could also use a wearable baby carrier to tote a little one if you like to travel light.
- Bring cash. Some vendors do accept credit cards, but not all of them.
- Click here for a complete list of vendors (although, not all of them will necessarily be there every week).
- You may want to bring a reusable shopping bag to use for stashing your purchases.
- Ready-to-eat options available at the market included (on the day we visited): hot and iced coffee; hot dogs and sausages; muffins and pastries. There are also some vending machines in the Community Center with snacks and drinks.
- There are two covered seating areas, but the rest of the market is very much in the sun, so dress accordingly and bring sunblock.
- Check out their website for a complete list of weekly events and activities.
- Be sure to check their Facebook page for the latest updates on vendors and the (mostly) FREE entertainment and activities.
- Build in time to check out the nearby Boundless Playground and/or walking trails.
- Restroom facilities with changing areas (in both the men’s and women’s rooms) located in the nearby Community Center.
Meet Our Sponsors!
- The Independent Day School – Located on a rural campus in Middlefield, CT is a private pre-school, elementary and middle school, serving families from over 20 communities.
- Jessica’s Garden – This Marlborough destination is a gardening center and family-friendly eatery rolled into one. A great place to take the kids, relax and enjoy the beautiful grounds, and check out their ice cream and lobster shack.
- Kathryn Deane Photography – Kathryn is a natural light photographer specializing in maternity, newborn, child, family, and senior portrait photography.
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