One of the best things to do over the weekend is to visit the farmers markets to buy high-quality, locally-grown produce and support local farmers. There are plenty of farmers markets in Des Moines, making it difficult to decide which ones are the best.
This article features some of the most popular farmers markets in and around the Des Moines area. However, this list is not comprehensive, and you should always make your own decision based on your family’s needs.
Farmers’ Markets are available almost every day of the week during the summertime. Whether you are looking for a Saturday morning market or a weekday afternoon market, you’ll be able to find something in the below list of 15 Des Moines Farmers markets.
Our Favorite Des Moines Farmers Markets
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1. Johnston Farmers Market
Where: Johnston Public Library parking lot, 6700 Merle Hay Road, Johnston
When: May 25 – October 12; Tuesdays, 3:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m.
The Johnston Farmers Market is about 20-30 minutes Northwest of Downtown Des Moines. This Tuesday market is an excellent option for middle-of-the-week shoppers. Every year the market raises money for the Johnston Residential Tree Program. They raise about $2,000-$2,500 each year.
This farmers market offers fruit and vegetable vendors, food trucks and food vendors, as well as craft vendors and live music. You can also find fresh-cut flowers, fresh baked goods, and organic foods. There are around 50 vendors that attend each week. This market is smaller as compared to other farmers’ markets in the Des Moines area, which allows you to get in and out faster.
It is one of the best farmers markets in Des Moines because it is in the early afternoon, so you can grab groceries on the way home from work. Some vendors at the market accept Farmers Market Nutrition Program Payments.
2. Beaverdale Farmers Market
Where: Franklin Junior High School, 48th Street and Franklin Avenue, Des Moines
When: June 1 – September 14; 4 p.m. to 7 p.m.
The Beaverdale Farmers Market is about 10-20 minutes Northwest of Downtown Des Moines. This Tuesday’s market has a small-town feel. This afternoon market is perfect for people looking to grab some fresh food mid-week. Some vendors at the market accept Farmers Market Nutrition Program Payments.
The Beaverdale Farmers Market prides itself on supporting local vendors in multiple categories. They have fruit, vegetable, and food vendors. You can also find some food stalls and food trucks for a grab-and-go meal. Local artisans and artists also attend the market. There are about 40 vendors available each week.
This farmers market in Des Moines has live music from local musicians. It is also kid and dog-friendly.
3. Capitol Complex Farmers Market
Where: East 13th Street between East Walnut Street and East Grand Avenue, Des Moines
When: June – September; Tuesdays 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.
The Capitol Complex Farmers Market is located within minutes of the Capitol Building. This market is popular amongst those living in and around Downtown Des Moines. This market is on Tuesdays during lunch, so it is also a popular stop for the local lunch crowd. You can grocery shop while also grabbing a delicious lunch. Parking is available in the Lucas Building between 12th and 13th Streets and Grand Avenue and Walnut Street.
4. Waukee Farmers Market
Where: Ashworth Dr & 6th Street, Waukee
When: June 2 – September 29; Wednesdays, 4 p.m. to 7 p.m.
This mid-week market is perfect for those who need to do some shopping on the way home from work. They offer about 30 vendors each week. The small size of this market makes it easy to get to know the vendors and get in and out quickly if you are in a hurry. They have Cajun, Jamaican, barbecue and more available for on-the-go meals.
There are also food vendors offering hot dogs and hamburgers. The market is about 20-30 minutes west of downtown Des Moines and is perfect for anyone traveling or living out that way. This Des Moines farmers market has fresh fruits, vegetables, meats, cheeses, and more. Some nights there is live entertainment or music.
5. Bondurant Farmers Market
Where: City Park, 201 Main Street SE, Bondurant
When: May – October; Wednesdays, 6 p.m. to 8 p.m.
The Bondurant Farmers Market is about 20-30 minutes northeast of Downtown Des Moines. This Mid-week Market is perfect for those who prefer to do their shopping after dinner. Grab dinner at the market from one of the food trucks or food vendors, or eat at home before you come.
This farmers market near Des Moines is family-friendly, with live music, entertainment, and fun activities. This market brings a bit of country joy to the suburbs. You’ll find fresh products, meats, cheese, and more. You will also find local arts and crafts sellers and artisans, such as soap makers. There are about 55 different vendors each week.
6. Valley Junction Farmers Market
Where: 100 & 200 Blocks of 5th Street, West Des Moines
When: May – September; Thursdays, 4 p.m. to 8 p.m.
The Valley Junction Farmers Market is just West of Downtown Des Moines. The drive takes about 15-20 minutes. This market is an excellent option for those looking for a mid-week market to stop at on the way home. They are also open late enough that you could drop in after dinner if it works better for you.
This farmers market is one of the most popular in the Des Moines area. It is located in Historic Valley Junction, so you can also explore the local shops while you shop at the market.
Some vendors at the market accept Farmers Market Nutrition Program Payments. Vendors selling fresh produce, organic foods, meats, dairy, eggs, and more are available. Food Trucks and Food vendors are also available to sell prepared foods for a quick on-the-go meal. Also available are locally made goods, artisanal goods, and baked goods.
Also Read: The Best Farmers Markets in the USA
7. Polk City Farmers Market
Where: Polk City Square, Polk City
When: May 27 – July 29; Thursdays, 4 p.m. to 7 p.m.
The Polk City Farmers Market is located about 30 minutes north of Downtown Des Moines. This is a small market selling farmers’ local produce, eggs, meat, and dairy. This market is a great stop for an afternoon or evening away from the city. You can grab some food and eat it there or along the shores of Saylorville Lake.
8. Grimes Farmers Market
Where: Grimes Public Library Parking Lot, 200 North James Street, Grimes
When: July 2 – August 27; Fridays, 4 p.m. to 7 p.m.
The Grimes Farmers Market is located about 25-30 minutes northwest of Downtown Des Moines. This market is one of the few in the area that is open on Fridays. This is a great place to grab a quick bite or some fresh produce on the way home. The Grimes Farmers Market is small, with about 12-15 vendors each week.
It is only available for a short time during the summer, so stop by while you can. This Des Moines farmers market is famous among local residents looking for a quick farmers market experience. You don’t have to be quick, though. You can take as much time as you want to make your choices.
9. Des Moines Downtown Farmers Market
Where: 300 Court Avenue, Des Moines
When: May 1 – October 30; Saturdays 7 a.m. – Noon (8 a.m. – Noon in October)
The Des Moines Downtown Farmers Market is one of the bigger markets in the area. Open all morning on Saturday, there is plenty of time to grab fresh produce, meats, and food staples. Some vendors at the market accept Farmers Market Nutrition Program Payments. This market is one of the longest-running, as it starts in May and goes through the end of October.
You can find plenty of vendors selling fresh fruits, vegetables, meats, eggs, cheese, and more. They also have live entertainment and music. Some food trucks and street food vendors are also available for anyone looking to grab lunch at the market.
10. Indianola Farmers Market
Where: 1400 West 2nd Avenue, Indianola
When: June 5 – October 30; Saturdays, 8 a.m. to Noon // July 7 – September 29th; Wednesdays, 2 p.m. to 6 p.m.
The Indianola Farmers Market is south of Downtown Des Moines in Indianola at the Warren County Fairgrounds. The drive from Downtown Des Moines takes about 30-40 minutes. This market is great for anyone living south of Des Moines.
This Des Moines area farmers market has local vendors selling everything from fresh produce, meats, and eggs to artisan crafts and specialty items. This market is great for people who want to buy fresh produce twice a week.
11. Perry Farmers Market
Where: Josh Davis Plaza and 2nd Street, Downtown Perry // Fall Market is at the Perry Public Library
When: Summer Season is June – September; Thursdays, 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. // Fall Season is October – December; 3rd Saturday each month, 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.
The Perry Farmers Market is an hour outside of town. It is located in Josh Davis Plaza in Perry, to the Northwest of Downtown Des Moines. If you’re in Perry on Thursday, stop by and wander around. This market offers a selection of vendors selling fresh produce, baked goods, artisanal items, and more.
On Thursday evenings, the local restaurants and stores near the market stay open later, so make an evening of it and take a break from the big city.
12. Heart of Des Moines Farmers Market
Where: Forest Avenue between 6th and 8th Streets, Des Moines
When: May – September; Saturdays, 2 p.m. to 4 p.m.
The Heart of Des Moines Farmers Market is also known as the Riverbend Farmers Market. It is located in the Riverbend neighborhood of Des Moines, only about 5 minutes North of Downtown. Some vendors at the market accept Farmers Market Nutrition Program Payments.
This is one of the best farmers markets in Des Moines, offering a variety of fresh produce stands, farm-fresh meats, cheeses, eggs, dairy, prepared foods, and more. This market is available on Saturday afternoon, so if you can’t make a morning market, this is your next best option.
13. Uptown Ankeny Farmers Market
Where: Ankeny Market and Public Park, 715 West 1st Street
When: May 22 – September 25; Saturdays, 9 a.m. to Noon
The Uptown Ankeny Farmers Market is 20-30 minutes directly North of Downtown Des Moines. This market offers a wide variety of local produce and locally made goods. Some vendors at the market accept Farmers Market Nutrition Program Payments.
One unique thing about this Des Moines Area Farmers Market is the train ride for kids available most Saturdays. This kid-friendly market is a must for families looking to make Market Day a family outing.
You will find fresh fruits, vegetables, meats, cheeses, dairy, and eggs at this market. They also have freshly baked bread and delicious prepared foods. Some vendors sell artisanal items or arts and crafts items.
14. LSI Global Greens Farmers’ Market
Where: 3200 University Avenue, Des Moines
When: June – October; Saturdays, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.
The LSI Global Greens Farmers’ Market is located about 10 minutes Northwest of Downtown Des Moines. Some vendors at the market accept Farmers Market Nutrition Program Payments. One unique thing about Global Greens is that it supports farmers who came to the area as refugees. It helps them sell their goods and keep their small farms or craft shops open.
At this farmers market in Des Moines, you will find fresh produce and food items sold by local farmers and refugees now living and working locally. You will find everything from potatoes to West African foodstuffs.
15. Dogpatch Urban Garden
Where: 5085 Meredith Drive, Des Moines
When: Open Year-Round. Opened on Monday (10 a.m. to 3 p.m.), Wednesday (10 a.m. to 6 p.m.), Saturday (9 a.m. to Noon)
The Dogpatch Urban Garden is located 15-20 minutes northwest of Downtown Des Moines. Their mission is to inspire the health of humans in the community and the land they use for growing. Fresh produce is sold at the Farm Store grown on the farm or from other local farmers. You can also find meats, cheeses, eggs, dairy, and more from other local farmers.
They also sell local arts and crafts as well as artisan items in the store. You can drop in and shop during their open hours or order online and pick it up. In addition, they sell products made from local ingredients, such as salad dressings, sauces, and more.
Hopefully, these 15 Des Moines farmers markets have given you a starting point for your farmers market adventures. Most of them are kid and dog-friendly. Be sure to check on Dog friendliness before bringing your pooch along.
By shopping at your local farmers’ markets, you can support local farmers, local artisans, local businesses, local artists, and the local economy. So go out and shop locally! Try something new or try something tried and true. Your farmers market adventure awaits!
Featured Image Credit: Flickr/Phil Roeder