Shopping for produce may not be kind of outing your kids typically jump for joy over, but with face painting, pony rides, live music, and so much more, your tots will be clamoring for a trip to the Farmer’s Market. With stunning fruits and veggies year round, LA has some of the best Farmers Markets in the country and these are our favorites to visit with the kids.
photo: Shahrzad Warkentin
This Sunday morning Farmers Market handily wins the award for most kid-centric in LA. In addition to all the usual staples, like fresh produce and tasty local eats, the Studio City Farmer’s Market features a massive kid zone with pony rides, a petting zoo, multiple bounce houses, a rock climbing wall, face painting, and even a miniature train ride. Hit the kid’s activities first, then you can feed your hungry little shoppers from the dozens of hot food stands with options like hot dogs, wood-fired pizza, pupusas, rice balls, and of course, snow cones. Table and chair space is limited, but there is a small grassy patch if you can’t find a spot. Free parking is available at the CBS parking structure around the corner.
Sundays from 8 a.m.-2 p.m.
Ventura Place, between Laurel Canyon Blvd. and Radford Ave.
photo: Shahrzad Warkentin
Santa Monica – Main Street
Weekly live music with local bands will have your mini music lovers grooving while you picnic on the wide lawn. The produce section isn’t huge, but you can always stock up on kids pleasers like strawberries and carrots and there are tons of delicious hot food vendors to choose from, like giant pancakes, sweet and savory crepes, burgers, and breakfast burritos. Hit up the Books and Cookies booth where the kids can check out some crafts and story time. There’s also a face-painter and balloon artist to keep your tots entertained. Metered street parking is available but tough to come by, so expect to walk a bit from your spot. If you live close enough, you can bike there and park your wheels at the bike valet out front. Make a day of it and cruise down to the beach bike path, just two blocks away, after your shop and eat.
Sundays from 9:30 a.m.-1 p.m.
2640 Main Street
photo: John L. via Yelp
The Kid Zone at the Beverly Hills Farmers Market features story time hosted by the Beverly Hills Public Library, a petting zoo, and horse back rides. These are no ordinary trot-in-a-circle ponies, however, your little gallopers will get a real ride up and down the street. The Market also hosts a monthly Cookin’ Kids program where your little cooks can get creative with farm fresh ingredients. There are also several specially themed events with crafts and activities, like a pie eating contest, a pickle festival and performing arts groups throughout the year. Check the Facebook page for more info. Parking is free for two hours at the Civic Center parking structure, which also happens to serve as parking for one of the best libraries for kids in town.
Sundays from 9 a.m.-1 p.m.
9300 block of Civic Center Drive, between Third Street and Santa Monica
photo: Jinky T. via Yelp
With a solid selection of produce, specialty foods (like a fresh hummus stand) and hot vendors selling everything from kettle corn and chocolate, and Belgian fries to dumplings, there is tons for your little foodies to nosh on. To keep everyone entertained while snacking and stocking up, every week the market features a different DJ, spinning a mix of tunes to bop to while you shop along with a free kids craft workshop, with a different project each week. Mini chefs can try a cooking lesson on the 4th Sunday of the month, where they’ll use the fresh market foods to make a tasty dish. And STEM-inspired tots will love checking out the Rube Goldberg water fountain. Metered street parking is available along Venice Blvd.
Sundays from 9 a.m. – 2 p.m.
Grand View at Venice Blvd.
photo: Patty S. via Yelp
The Hollywood Farmers Market is the perfect spot to take your adventurous eaters. With an eclectic mix of hot food vendors selling everything from Middle Eastern kabobs to Thai coconut cakes, this is the perfect place to expand your little one’s palates. Plus, the fresh produce offers a one of the largest assortments of items of any Farmers Market in town, including unique finds like Bitter Melon, Dragonfruit, and Buddha’s Hands, so you can continue the eating adventure at home. Kids can jam out to live music while you shop, but the highlight of the trip by far will be a visit to the Soledad Goat Rescue booth. Your animal lovers can snuggle up with the adorable baby goats and pigs, while you sample some of the best vegan cheese (and buy some to bring home and support the care of these adorable little non-human kids). Parking is available at the Sunset and Vine parking structure for $5.
Sundays from 8 a.m.-1 p.m.
Hollywood Blvd. and Ivar Street
photo: K.A. C. via Yelp
What’s your family’s favorite Farmer’s Market? Share your favorite spot in the comments!