Passionate About Des Moines
and the Moms Who Live Here

Guide to Des Moines Farmers Markets and Farmers Market Tips for Families

Des Moines Farmers Markets guide for families

Des Moines boasts a bounty of farmers markets that feature local produce, freshly-picked flowers, Iowa-raised meats, handmade art, farm-fresh eggs and cheese, and fresh-from-the-oven baked goods.

Our Des Moines Area Farmers Market Guide is divided by day of the week, featuring farmers markets in Des Moines and local suburbs. No matter where your summer schedules take you and your family, our farmers market guide will make your planning a snap!

Before You Go: 10 Farmers Market Tips for Families

  1. Beat the crowds. The guide below will help you plan your schedule. Arrive early to nab the best produce picks.
  2. Remember the sunscreen. Enjoy the open spaces and sunshine, but remember to take care of your kiddos’ skin. (And slather it on yourself, too, mama!) Sunglasses, hats, and breaks in the shade help for those hot and humid Iowa days.
  3. Leave Fido at home. The hustle and bustle of farmers markets are exciting and fun, but can also get pretty crowded and be overstimulating for pets. The Downtown Des Moines Farmers Market has this to say, “Be kind to your pups and leave them at home, as the environment can be overwhelming for many dogs.”
  4. Opt for a smaller stroller. Navigate the crowds with a stash-and-go umbrella stroller. Instead of your purse, stay hands-free with a backpack full of diapers, wipes, sunscreen, and water. If your babe is tiny, babywearing will free up your hands to tote bags of all the yummy goods you’ll be going home with.
  5. BYOB. Bring your own reusable, sturdy bags for your fresh produce. Or, consider stashing a small cooler in your kids’ wagon to help keep everything (especially meat or milk!) fresh.
  6. Make a list. And check it twice! Meal planning before you shop will help you create a game plan and know what you’re looking for once you get to the farmers market.
  7. Know your limits (and your kids’ limits, too). Depending on your kids’ ages and energy levels, you may not get to leisurely stroll the entire length of the farmers market. Make a list of the top three items you’d like to eat or purchase but give yourself and your kids grace if you don’t even get to those. Enjoy the sights, sounds, and family time, and if you see a fellow mama with a tantruming toddler, give her a fist-bump.
  8. Stay local. Pick a farmers market close to you. Neighborhood markets are smaller and can be less overwhelming. Plus, attending it fosters community. Maybe you can even walk there, burning calories to free you up for a locally-made cupcake!
  9. Engage your kids. Get them involved in the process. Encourage your little ones to ask questions of farmers, makers, and creatives (if they’re not busy!). Many farmers offer samples to children, which fosters adventurous eating.
  10. Compare prices. Tomatoes at one stand might be $2 less than the vendor down the road. Know what you’re willing to pay, and remember what factors into the price, including if your produce is organic or vine-ripened. (If your family is eligible, SNAP, EBT & Farmers Market Nutrition Program Vouchers are accepted by many participating vendors.)

Shop Local: Des Moines Area Farmers Markets

Monday

What: Pleasant Hill Farmers Market

Where: Berean Church, 5299 E. University Ave., Pleasant Hill

When: June 4 – September 24; 4 p.m to 7 p.m.

Why we love it: Support local farmers, crafters, organizations, and companies by visiting the Pleasant Hill Farmers Market. (As the farmers market grows, expect to see increased vendors throughout the season.)

Tuesday

What: Johnston Farmers Market

Where: 6221 Merle Hay Road, Johnston

When: May 22 – October 9; 3:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m.

Why we love it: This neighborhood market features a variety of vendors without being too big or overwhelming. (Check their calendar: Sometimes the Johnston Farmers Market features kid-friendly events, like face painting or book readings.) 

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What: Beaverdale Farmers Market

Where: Urbandale Ave., between Beaver Ave. & 42nd Street, Des Moines

When: June 5 – September 11; 4 p.m. to 7 p.m.

Why we love it: Looking for a small-town vibe in the middle of the city? The Beaverdale Farmers Market is where it’s at! This low-key farmers market has the staples you love, and you might just see a neighbor or two. Around 40 Iowa vendors sell produce, meats, eggs, honey, plants, and personal items. Live music is also a highlight.

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What: Capitol Complex Farmers Market

Where: E. 13th St. between E. Walnut St. and E. Grand Ave. (Parking is available in Visitor Lot 15 just north of the Lucas Building.)

When: June 12 – September 25; 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Why we love it: Work or live downtown? The Capitol Complex Farmers Market is a perfect way to get some fresh air – and fresh produce! – on your lunch break. Vendors include Norton’s Greenhouse, Berry Patch, Penick’s Sweet Corn, and more!

Wednesday

What: Drake Neighborhood Farmers Market

Where: 24th St. between Cottage Grove & Drake Park Ave., Des Moines

When: June 6 – September 26; 4:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.

Why we love it: The Drake Neighborhood Farmers Market aims to promote and develop local production and healthy eating by providing access to fresh produce and foods. Expect produce, food trucks, live music, and demonstrations.

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What: Waukee Farmers Market

Where: Downtown Triangle on 6th St., Waukee

When: June 6 – September 26; 4 p.m. to 7 p.m.

Why we love it: This mid-week farmers market is convenient to western suburb-dwellers, offering fresh produce and local goods. Plus, there’s live music!

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What: Bondurant Farmers Market

Where: Main Street SE and Grain Street NE, Bondurant

When: 6 p.m. to 8 p.m (Sept. 26 and Oct 10 will be 5:30 p.m. to 7 p.m.); the second and fourth Wednesday, May through October

Why we love it: With the support of the Bondurant Farmer’s Cooperative (now known as Landus), this farmers market boasts a relaxed, country feel for the eastern suburbs.

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What: Indianola Farmers Market

Where: Highway 92 at the Fairground West Gate, Indianola

When: 2 p.m. to 6 p.m.

Why we love it: Looking for produce staples but not feeling like a drive to Des Moines? Indianola-dwellers will appreciate this fresh and friendly farmers market.

Thursday

What: Valley Junction Farmers Market

Where: Historic Valley Junction, West Des Moines

When: 4 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.

Why we love it: Does it get more charming than the history and whimsy of West Des Moines’ Historic Valley Junction? This farmers market is home to more than 100 weekly vendors selling fresh produce, baked goods, plants and flowers, arts and crafts, and prepared foods. Music in the Junction, a free live music series, is held from 5:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.

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What: Altoona Farmers Market

Where: Heritage Plaza, Downtown Altoona

When: 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Why we love it: Take your pick of fruits, vegetables, desserts, jams, pickles, sandwiches, and more!

Friday

What: Grimes Farmers Market

Where: Main Street, Grimes

When: June 1 – September 28; 4:30 p.m. to 7 p.m.

Why we love it: While it’s not managed by the city, this open-air market features farm-fresh fruits and vegetables, homemade items, flowers and plants, and more. (There’s no farmers market on June 8 – Grimes will be celebrating Governors Days.)

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What: Bondurant Farmers Market

Where: Main Street SE and Grain Street NE, Bondurant

When: 6 p.m. to 8 p.m (Sept. 26 and Oct 10 will be 5:30 p.m. to 7 p.m.); the second and fourth Wednesday, May through October

Why we love it: With the support of the Bondurant Farmer’s Cooperative (now known as Landus), this farmers market boasts a relaxed, country feel for the eastern suburbs.

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What: Dallas Center Farmers Market

Where: Raccoon River Valley Trailhead (14th and Walnut Streets), Dallas Center

When: 4 p.m. to 7 p.m.

Why we love it: The Dallas Center Farmers Market, which started in 2008, doesn’t charge Dallas Center-area produce-growers and vendors registration fees. Three cheers for small-town Iowa!

Saturday

What: Downtown Farmers Market

Where: Historic Court Ave., Downtown Des Moines (Download the official map and guide to make the most of your experience!)

When: 7 a.m. to noon

Why we love it: With nearly 300 entrepreneurial vendors from 50 Iowa counties, the Downtown Farmers Market is a definite must-visit at least once during the summer. This expansive farmers market was ranked one of America’s Best Farmers Markets by Midwest Living Magazine. Learn more about the 2018 vendors here!

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What: Ankeny Farmers Market

Where: Ankeny Market & Pavilion Park, 715 W 1st Street, Ankeny

When: 8 a.m. to noon

Why we love it: Ankeny keeps growing, and so does their farmers market! Visit for fresh seasonal produce, home-made baked goods, specialty food items, perennial plants, and handmade crafts.

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Send us an email if we missed your favorite farmers market, and we’ll add it to our comprehensive Des Moines Farmers Market Guide.


We work hard to ensure the accuracy of this information. However, you should always call ahead to confirm dates, times, location, and other information before heading to an event or activity, since it may change.

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