For the last 21 years, the Farmer’s Market in Springfield IL has dominated the intersection of 4th and Adams on Wednesdays and Saturdays. Over the course of 25 weeks each year, dozens of independent vendors set up shop downtown. It’s a bustling and friendly opportunity to pick up fresh produce and mingle with a lovely crowd.
Our family goes to the Farmer’s Market every year and we wouldn’t miss it. The atmosphere of community and inclusivity is probably the greatest part, attracting people from all walks of life. If you’re in town on a Wednesday or Saturday morning, you need to see what it’s all about.
When is the Farmer’s Market open in Springfield IL?
The Farmer’s Market is open seasonally, usually starting the second week of May and running through the end of October, from 8:00 am-12:30 pm. It occurs each Wednesday and Saturday for a total of 50 events during the season.
It’s worth noting that the market is open regardless of weather, although severe storms may cause early closing.
What’s for sale at a Farmer’s Market?
There are dozens of vendors at the Old Capitol Farmer’s Market, with new ones being added every year. Many farms and co-op growers are represented, with all manner of local, Midwestern produce available, much of which is organic. From asparagus to fresh herbs, gooseberries to squash, you’ll find it here.
Other offerings include (but are not limited to):
- Freshly baked items, including vegan and gluten-free options
- Delicious, locally roasted coffee
- Olive oil from a family olive grove in Greece
- CBD products
- Soaps and beeswax goods
- Baskets and other local art
- Family-farmed, organic meat
These are just some of the things you can buy at the Farmer’s Market. The sheer popularity of the Market has kept the majority of these vendors coming back yearly.
Food trucks at the Farmer’s Market
With all of the hungry people milling about, it’s no wonder delicious food trucks make their way to the Market. Though there’s no set schedule to what trucks are present, there are usually at least 3 on Saturdays. In our experience, these range from breakfast food, Mexican cuisine, or coffee and artisan baked goods.
Though not a food truck, Cafe Moxo is nearby on Adams serving up the best pot pie you’ll ever eat. If you’re not into pot pie, their menu has salads, sandwiches, mac and cheese and variety of baked goods. They’re about a minute walk up Adams from the Farmer’s Market and they open at 6:30 am every day.
Is there alcohol at the Farmer’s Market in Springfield IL?
If you fancy having a drink near the Farmer’s Market, there are a few options available to you.
JP Kellys at the corner of Adams and 3rd hosts a Bloody Mary bar every Saturday morning from 10 am – 2 pm. You should definitely check out this iconic fixture of downtown Springfield Saturday mornings.
Buzz Bomb Brewery started as a vendor at the Farmer’s Market and opened up a permanent location at Adams and 4th. They open at 10 am on Saturdays for a boozy brunch with a Bloody Mary bar and mimosas. With fresh food offerings from Cafe Moxo, it’s truly a great way to start your weekend.
Is it pet friendly?
Yes! The Farmer’s Market loves to see friendly dogs of all varieties. One of our kids’ favorite parts of the Market is seeing all the happy pups prancing around. Leashes are required, but you can definitely bring your 4-legged friends with you.
There are several vendors who sell handmade pet goodies as well, so bring your good boy or girl and get them a treat while you shop for yourself.
Who runs the Farmer’s Market?
The Old Capitol Farmer’s Market is organized by Downtown Springfield Inc, a non-profit collective of business people in Springfield. They represent many downtown businesses, as well as cornerstone companies like Memorial Medical Center and HSHS St. John’s Hospital. They’re supported by donations and volunteers, as well as proceeds from the Market and other events.
The goal of DSI is to help small businesses downtown thrive while beautifying the area and drawing in commerce. From rehabbing historic storefronts to hosting seasonal events, downtown Springfield is thriving in large part to DSI.
Halloween at the Farmers Market
Halloween at the Farmers Market partners with the Kidzeum to provide a host of spooky fun. Costume contests for kids, pets, and families with prizes are one of the most beloved parts of this annual tradition. Vendors sell Halloween-themed items, there are games and prizes for kids, and even a photo booth to snap some memories.
Our family loves Halloween, so this is easily our favorite time of year downtown. Dress your family (and your dog) in your spookiest costumes, grab some fresh apple cider, and enjoy the festivities. This event happens on the last Saturday of the Market, so the dates do vary year to year.
Typically starting mid-June, the Saturday Farmers Market offers a variety of events for kids. These range from games and face paint to opportunities to learn a new skill or craft. While the events change each year, the Market itself is a great experience for kids to learn about where their food comes from.
When the art vendor area is open, there have been booths full of crafts and pieces made by kids. We always give our children some cash to pick up art they really love, and it’s great to see budding artists sell their wares.
Parking at the Farmers Market
There is metered parking all around the Market during the week, and street parking is free on the weekend. Monroe between 2nd and 3rd is a few minutes walk from the Market, as is Washington between 2nd and 3rd.
There’s a parking garage at 4th and Washington as well – it’s .75c an hour or $5.00 for the day. Further down at the corner of 4th and Washington there’s a lot with the same pricing. Both of these parking areas are a few minute’s walk from the Market.
Paying at the Farmers Market
All of the vendors at the Springfield Farmers Market accept cash, of course, and most accept credit/debit cards. There is an ATM on Adams near Adams and 5th if you prefer using cash only.
SNAP/Healthy Ways card
For people who have SNAP benefits, you can definitely use them at the Farmers Market, though you have to do a little extra work. The information booth at Adams and 4th can put EBT funds onto a Healthy Ways card, which does work at all of the booths in the Market.
One of the best reasons to convert some SNAP benefits onto a Healthy Ways card is that the Market matches up to $25 in funds each time. This means for every $25 in SNAP you use at the Market, you end up with $50 of buying power. You’ll be issued twenty-five $1 Market money coupons to use as cash, and you can use it for fresh fruits and vegetables.
Visit the Springfield Farmers Market
Whether you’re a native or you’re visiting Springfield, Illinois for a bit, you should check out the Old Capitol Farmers Market. The produce and products are vibrant, fresh, and incredible. Just the atmosphere of happy people bustling about is infections and enough to start your day on the right foot.
You can cap off your morning with a meal at any of the nearby downtown Springfield restaurants or food trucks. Or start your morning with a mimosa (or three, we won’t tell) and a boozy brunch courtesy of JP Kellys or Buzz Bomb Brewery.
Bring your friends, your kids, your friends’ kids, and all of your dogs – the Farmers Market is a summer tradition you cannot miss.