Sunshine and temperatures (almost!) in the 40's made for a nice outdoor afternoon. It's the first day of the kids' Spring Break so the Wheaton Popcorn Shop seemed like the perfect way to celebrate. Walking around the downtown reminded me that it's almost time for Farmer's Markets to begin!
Someday I'll live somewhere warm where there are weekly outdoor markets for local fresh fruits & veggies, flowers, cheeses, and bakery treats. Until then, I have to take advantage of the few months of outdoor markets here.
Before the weekends get too crazy during the summer, take advantage of two of my favorites; one starts really soon!
If you want to stay relatively local, the French Market in Wheaton (the owners of this market have several other locations) starts in April, but I haven't found a specific 2013 date. It runs on Saturdays, though, and has a great following. Plenty of fresh produce and flowers, a great cheese monger, coffee, a few food carts, and several vendors with original art & jewelry.
Of course, after you're done walk across the street to the Popcorn Shop or Tate's homemade ice cream!
My favorite market takes a little planning since it's a full day affair. The Madison Danes County Farmer's Market is a great day trip. Yes, it's in Wisconsin. You can even throw in a little history lesson for the kids since the market wraps around the Capitol building. This market is listed as the nation's largest producer-only market: everything is made/grown by the person selling it. The market takes place rain or shine; bring the kids, but the pets have to stay home.
If you still have energy after walking around the square, there's a great children's museum. Since this is a college town, there are pedestrian-only streets with coffee shops & indie stores plus outdoor cafes. It's a little "hippie-chick" area, so you'll most likely see street musicians & artists too.
Want something a little different? Drive 16 miles southwest of Madison to the mini-Norwegian "Troll Capital," Mount Horeb. Spot the trolls throughout this adorable town, and check out two of my favorite unique spots: National Mustard Museum (more interesting than you think!) and the Grumpy Troll Brew Pub. *The National Mustard Museum recently moved to a nearby (bigger) location in Middleton. You can even get a degree there at the Poupon U!
I know how crazy weekends get during spring & summer, so get your calendars out now to schedule your Madison Farmer's Market day!
Which farmer's market is your favorite?
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