Thought farmers markets went into hibernation for the winter? Think again. Come cold or snow, you can still shop for local, fresh goods and give your kids a taste of the green scene. Click through our album to find indoor farmstands that’ll leave you with the warm-fuzzies.
For foodies and chef fans: Green City Market
Chicago’s big-daddy farmers market draws large crowds year-round. For the colder months, the market moves indoors to the Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum, just a stone’s throw from its usual stomping ground in Lincoln Park. The market takes place every other Saturday through Apr. 28, when the outdoor market returns for spring. It’s a regular who’s-who of Midwestern vendors that come from near and far, so expect produce purveyors, cheese slingers, bakeries, pasta-makers, meat mavens, a honey co-op and lots more.
Kid Tip: Check out the Club Sprouts events, at which little connoisseurs are encouraged to take part in tastings and learn more about their local food.
Held every other Saturday, 8 a.m.-1 p.m.; Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum, 2430 N. Cannon Dr., Lincoln Park (773-880-1266) or greencitymarket.org).
For Locavores: Geneva Green Market
Going locavore? Everything at this ultra-green market is grown or produced within 200 miles of Geneva. From small batch preserves to baked goods to eggs, you’ll find all things fine and fresh at this friendly market.
Kid Tip: Snag a quick and easy lunch with soup and sandwiches from Ingelnook Pantry.
Held every Saturday through May, 9 a.m. – 1 p.m.; First Congregational Church of Geneva, 327 Hamilton St., Geneva (847-501-0430 or geneva-green-market.org).
For south side flavor: 61st Street Market
This South Side community keystone is a hit in the warmer months, and now it’s bringing its heartwarming flavor to the frosty season. Located inside the Experimental Station, it takes place monthly through April, at which point it returns to its 61st Street roots. All the hearty, wintry essentials are present and accounted for, from sturdy greens to freshly baked breads. You’ll also scoop up fresh flowers and made-to-order crêpes.
Kid Tip: Ice cream from Yoberri Gourmet is a hit with the tot crowd.
Held Feb. 10, Mar. 10 & Apr. 14, 9 a.m.-2 p.m.; Experimental Station, 6100 S. Blackstone Ave., Woodlawn (773-241-6044 or experimentalstation.org).
For shopping on the regular: Logan Square Farmers Market
One of the biggest and most family-friendly farmers markets in the city, this event is held indoors every Sunday through March 25 the Emporium Arcade Bar Logan Square. It’s a food heaven featuring fruits, meats and veggies, plus sweets like cream puffs, chocolate truffles and baked goods.
Kid Tip: Make a meal of it. Try a freshly made breakfast sandwich from Mint Creek Farm or soup from Karl’s Craft Soup.
Held every Sunday, 10 a.m.-3 p.m.; Emporium Arcade Bar, 2363 N. Milwaukee Ave., Logan Square (773-489-3222 or logansquarefarmersmarket.org).
For eco fun: Evanston Indoor Farmer and Artisan Market
Evanston’s monthly indoor farmers market gives the North Shore its fill of farm-to-tote sauces, pastries, veggies, meats and other delectables. Frozen blueberries and luscious fruit preserves are a nice, tasty preview of warmer months to come. You’ll find hot prepared foods such as crêpes and tamales, keeping customers warm on the coldest of days.
Kid Tip: The market is held on the grounds of the Ladd Arboretum, which just so happens to rent snowshoes. Go ahead and try a new winter sport with the family.
Held every Saturday through Apr. 28, 8 a.m.-noon; Ladd Arboretum, 2024 McCormick Blvd., Evanston (847-448-8045 or cityofevanston.org).
What is your favorite farmers market? Tell us in the Comments section below!
— Amy Bizzarri & Matt Kirouac