This Saturday your kids can learn about “What’s in Season? Cucurbits!” with The Great Pumpkin Patch. This free Sprouts at the Market program takes places from 9:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. and is geared for kids ages three through eight. Your little ones will learn all they want to know (and more, I’m sure) about pumpkins, squash, and gourds.
If you’re heading to the market for some breakfast, you might want to get there early. The lines for Pandamonium Doughnuts and the Cracked truck tend to be ridiculously long. Also, last time I tried to get some Cracked truck, the credit card situation was down, so you might want to err on the safe side and bring a little extra cash. The Ye Olde Donut Shoppe made its market debut two weeks ago and I’d say with some success. The lines were non-existent when I was there which meant doughnuts entering the mouth immediately. Updates on social media a couple weeks ago indicated that they sold out of the black forest and salted caramel pretty quickly. Their doughnuts are $1.25 for all but the black forest, which were $2 each.
I’ve been on the hunt for fresh figs lately, and managed to find some at Cary’s Garden of Eatin’ (second row, about half-way down the aisle; look for the Fighting Illini tent). They were $4 per container, but they were a nice little treat for the weekend. Those little figgies didn’t stand a chance of making through the week. In addition to my figs, I also picked up a loaf of bread from Pekara and some fresh Angel Food and chevre from Prairie Fruits Farm. My lunch and snacks over the weekend were delicious. If you’re looking to make fruit, bread, and cheese a little fancier, pick up some local honey.
This weekend you’ll be able to find leafy greens, garlic, some tomatoes, broccoli, green beans, and probably a few final melons. There are already some pumpkins, and some nice looking squash, including spaghetti squash and acorn squash. Danville Gardens has a nice variety of mums, ranging in price from $7 to $20.
Don’t forget about the market’s Instagram contest taking place this month. Post a photo of your favorite thing at the market and use #myurbanamarket to enter. You could win a prize pack of $100 worth of market goodies. For more information, check out the official rules and regulations.
Forms of payment: All vendors accept cash, and a few may take checks. There is an ATM in the Lincoln Square Mall. LINK tokens are still available.
Parking: Free parking is available in the parking lots surrounding Lincoln Square Mall and in the lot south of Illinois Street. Bike parking is also available at the entrances to the mall and at the bike corral area past the entrance to the market off of Illinois.
Information: The market provides a lot of ways to get information. You can follow the market on Facebook and Twitter, or sign up for market mail. Check out the map of the vendors, or search for produce. If you want more information you can email Market Director Natalie Kenny Marquez, or call her at 217-384-2319. Check out Flickr and Instagram for some great photos from the market each week.
Pets: The market doesn’t allow pets, so leave your furry friends at home.
The market runs from 7 a.m. to noon every Saturday through November 1st. All events are scheduled rain or shine.