KC Activity #7 – City Market
20 E. 5th Street, Kansas City, MO 64105
Atmosphere: Energetic, busy
Good for: Families, locals, tourists
Pro Tip: Don’t forget your reusable bags!
The City Market began in 1857 as a location for commerce, horse trading, political rallies, shows and circuses. In the late 1980s and 1990s, it was restored, becoming the open square market it is today. The square is surrounded by buildings that house restaurants, shops and produce stands, including Dutch Flowers, City Market Coffee House and Beignet. The Arabia Steamboat Museum (another thing on my list of 100 things to do) is also a tenet in the City Market.
Though the City Market is open daily, Wednesdays and Saturdays are the best times to visit for the Farmer’s Market. The Farmer’s Market is a year round event, but it really booms during the spring and summer, while produce is in season. There are rows and rows of vendors throughout the square of the City Market selling fresh produce, cut flowers, baked goods, crafts and more. There are also usually musicians playing around the square and a kid zone with crafts, bounce houses and face painting.
I love to start my trip to the Farmer’s Market with a coffee (and maybe a breakfast burrito or egg sandwich) from City Market Coffee House. There’s typically a line, but it goes quick. Plus, coffee is a necessity when it’s morning and there are crowds. If you’re a sweet breakfast person, stop next door at Beignet. They have regular powdered sugar-covered beignets or specialty ones that can be filled with chocolate, nutella, brie, etc.
As you traverse the vendor stands, keep your eye out for samples. A lot of vendors will cut up their peaches, tomatoes and breads so you can try them before you buy them. Everyone is super friendly and quick to answer questions about unfamiliar produce. When I visited, a lot of vendors had squash blossoms. I had never seen that before, and a vendor told me that you can deep fry them and eat them. Who knew?
And if you get a little overzealous in your produce and flower-buying, the City Market volunteers and their bright yellow wagons will help pull your haul to your car. xx, Libbie.