The Bellingham Farmers Market isn’t just for adults as Caprice Teske, director of the popular downtown market, will tell you.
It’s a great venue for kids, said Teske, who compiled a list of 10 things children, and likely some adults, too, can do at the market.
1. Listen to live music. Each Saturday a variety of roving buskers entertain customers. Entertainment includes everything from vocalists to violinists, a hurdy-gurdy player to a banjo trio. Entertainment is often dependent on weather, since buskers depend on tips to earn their keep.
Each Wednesday evening at the Fairhaven Village Green, the market hosts live entertainment starting at 4 p.m. Scheduled acts can be found at bellinghamfarmers.org.
2. Enjoy a family Veggie Scavenger Hunt around the market. Game cards can be picked up at the information booth. Once kids have completed their game card, it can be turned into the information booth for a special Bellingham Farmers Market bookmark.
3. Stop by the Demo Days booth to see what items are growing in Whatcom County. You can also pick up recipes and ask staff how to select, store and prepare your fresh picks. Demo Days takes place the second Saturday of each month, April through October.
4. Help your family pick out ingredients for dinner. Stop by the information booth for the market’s Stone Soup recipe and shop the market for your favorite picks to add to the pot.
5. Shop at Kids Vending Day where young entrepreneurs try their hand at making or growing items to sell. Kid vendors create an amazing array of wares, including duct tape wallets, jewelry, magnets, dolls, soaps and note cards. Kids can get inspiration for their own projects or find something inexpensive to purchase with their own money. Kids Vending Day takes place the last Saturday of each month, April through October.
6. Have lunch with your family. After shopping the market, take a healthy break with lunch from one of the market’s prepared food vendors. With so many choices, this is a great time for everyone in the family to pick out their favorites or try something new. Picnic tables are available at the Saturday Market, and the Wednesday Market offers the Fairhaven Village Green, which is perfect for spreading out a picnic blanket.
7. Shop local for a special occasion. Let your child help pick out that perfect item for a birthday party, Mothers’ or Fathers’ Day, or for their own birthday. There are more than 50 local crafters that offer loads of original gifts you can’t find in big-box stores.
8. Spend the day as someone else. The market boasts one of the best face painters in town, Chelle Beautiful. For a reasonable fee, kids can become any character they want. Challenge them to play that character while they shop the market.
9. Go on a food adventure. Ask your kiddo to find something they’ve never tried before. Ask the farmer to tell you about it and ask them their favorite way to simply prepare it. Bring it home and let your child help you prepare it. You may find you have a more adventurous eater than you thought.
10. Give your kid some independence. Parents can give their children a small budget ($5) and let them shop for fruits and vegetables of their choice while they watch them closely.