Road Trips: Famers markets that produce loyal followings

By Kevin Beese Staff Reporter

An assortment of mushrooms sits on a table at the Woodstock Farmers Market. The market is offered Tuesdays and Saturdays in Woodstock Square. (WFM photo)

When you have a craving for corn, hankering for honey or appetite for apples, a farmers market may be just the place for you.

This week’s Road Trips page provides a look at some of the markets that are worth the drive.

Check out each market’s COVID-19 rules so you know what to expect when you arrive.



Woodstock Farmers Market

Through October

Woodstock Square

8 a.m. to 1 p.m.


The market has vendors on all four sides of Woodstock Square, as well as through the park in the center of the square. It is a producers-only market, meaning everything you buy is grown or produced by the vendor.



Riverside Farmers Market

Through Oct. 7

10 Pine Ave.

2:30-7 p.m.


Located in Centennial Park near the town’s water tower, the market is in its 11th year and offers produce, meats, flowers, baked goods, confections, locally prepared food, and specialty goods and services. In 2019, the market featured 20 vendors offering locally grown and produced food. Vendors have designations, such as “Organic,” “Produced by Riverside residents,” and “Made with locally sourced ingredients.” Market features include a scavenger hunt, crafts, and kids’ activities. Blankets can be borrowed to sit and hang out at the market.



Old Schaumburg Centre Farmers Market

Through October

Trickster Gallery, 190 S. Roselle Road, Schaumburg

7 a.m. to 1 p.m.


The market offers locally grown fruits and vegetables, seafood, meats, flowers, plants, and gourmet cheeses sold by the farmers who produce them. It also offers baked goods, olives, preserves, hot sauces, coffee, tea, and knife-sharpening services. From 7-7:30 a.m. is designated for shoppers over age 65. No change given for cash transactions.


Downtown Elgin Farmers Market

Through Oct. 2

Spring Street

3-7 p.m.


The market, in its 20th year, has been relocated to Spring Street in downtown Elgin to allow for more space between vendors. The market drew more than 1,000 visitors each week last year.


Rockford City Market

Through Sept. 25

Water and Market streets

3:30-8:30 p.m. until Labor Day; 3:30-7:30 p.m. after Labor Day


Add craft beer and local musicians to a farmers market and you have the Rockford City Market. The event has become a ritual in downtown Rockford and features local makers, crafters, dreamers, and artisans. In its 11th year, the market features more than 70 vendors and draws 100,000 visitors per season. There is also an indoor market, which runs from 10:30-7 p.m. Tuesday through Thursday, 10:30 a.m. to 8 p.m. Friday, and 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday.

A vendor at the Riverside Farmers Market offers some bagged bok choy to a customer. (RFM photo)

East Peoria Farmers Market

Through Sept. 25

The Levee District

4-7 p.m.


Located on the Pedestrian Promenade in the Levee District between Target and Gordmans, the market offers vegetables, fruit, plants, meats, and handcrafted items.



Green City Market – Lincoln Park

Through October

North Clark Street & North Lincoln Avenue, Chicago

7 a.m. to 1 p.m.


A quaint market offering fruits, vegetables, and flowers right by Lincoln Park Zoo. Shoppers can pre-order items via the WhatsGood! App to limit contact with vendors. Pre-orders can be made from 8 a.m. Tuesday to 5 p.m. Thursday. Green City matches LINK cards dollar for dollar up to $15 per card, per market day. Discount parking is available for $12 for two hours, with validation, in the Chicago Historical Society.

Visitors to Carbondale’s farmers market adhere to CDC safety guidelines. (Photo courtesy of Carbondale Farmers Market)

Market at the Square

Through October

Illinois & Vine streets, Urbana

7 a.m. to noon


Since 1979, Market at the Square has been a mainstay for Urbana and the surrounding area, connecting the community with local growers and artisans. Made- and grown-in-Illinois products include produce, meat, dairy, honey, beer and wine, flowers, and arts and crafts. It has become one of the city’s signature institutions.


Naperville Farmers Market

Through November

200 E. Fifth St.

7 a.m. to noon


More than 40 vendors are available at the weekly market near the Fifth Avenue train station. Farm-to-table meals are possible with a plethora of locally grown food. There is also an array of products, performances, and events.

A musician performs at the Downtown Elgin Farmers Market. (Downtown Neighborhood Association of Elgin photo)

Downtown Bloomington Farmers Market

Through October

Museum Square

7:30 a.m. to noon


Located on Museum Square, the Downton Bloomington Farmers Market is a producer-only market, offering farm products, including vegetables, fruits, cheeses, pork, beef, free-range poultry and eggs, flowers, plants, and herbs grown and produced by the individual sellers.


Homewood Farmers Market

Through Oct. 10

Martin Avenue between Ridge and Chestnut roads

8 a.m. to 1 p.m.


One of Illinois’ oldest farmers market in continuous operation, the Homewood market provides fruit, vegetables, dairy, honey, prepared food, and other products. Pre-payment, credit/debit, or exact cash (no change given).


Aurora Farmers Market

Through Oct. 17

65 Water St.

8 a.m. to noon


The Aurora market on Water Street Square — directly across from City Hall and the Water Street Mall — is in its 108th season. Every week, the market features locally grown fruit and vegetables, baked goods, local food trucks, and Aurora’s own Modest Coffee Roasters.

Fresh baked goods draw folks to the Carbondale Farmers Market. The market has a wide variety of items for sale. (Photo courtesy of Carbondale Farmers Market).

Carbondale Farmers Market

Through November

Westown Mall parking lot

8 a.m. to noon


The market features local produce, baked goods, and jewelry.


Land of Goshen Community Market

End date to be determined

100 St. Louis St., Edwardsville

8 a.m. to noon


Farmers and vendors provide meat, produce, baked goods, handcrafted jewelry, and furniture. The market draws more than 2,000 customers each week.


Kankakee Farmers Market

Through Oct. 31

South Schuyler Avenue and Merchant Street

8 a.m. to noon


The market has been a center for community gathering and offers produce, handmade goods and freshly made, ready-to-eat food. Shopping carts are offered for customers. Items can be pre-ordered. From 8-8:30 a.m. is dedicated to shopping for the elderly and high-risk customers.


Vine Street Market at O’Fallon Station

Through third week of October

212 E. First St., O’Fallon

8 a.m. to noon


More than a farmers market, Vine Street Market features local produce, meats, handmade goods, fresh-made food and drink, and musical performances. It features both local and regional vendors.


Princeton Farmers Market

Through October

439 S. Main St.

8:30 a.m. to 1 p.m.


An open-air market offering produce and homemade products.

Downtown Bloomington Farmers’ Market, which began in 1997, has moved online due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Online ordering was scheduled to begin on Sunday, May 3 through 5 p.m. May 5. Curbside Pickup for items ordered will be May 9. (Courtesy of the Downtown Bloomington Farmers’ Market)

61st Street Farmers Market

Through Oct. 31

61st Street and Dorchester, Chicago

9 a.m. to 2 p.m.


A market straddling Chicago’s Hyde Park and Woodlawn neighborhoods. It offers produce, meat, eggs, cheeses, and prepared food from local and regional farms. The market matches LINK purchases up to $25 per cardholder, per market day. Online ordering is available.



Cary Farmers Market

Through August

Metra lot, 100 W. Main St.

9 a.m. to 1 p.m.


Visitors can find fruits and veggies, as well as canned items and salad dressings. A free reusable bag is offered the first Sunday of the month.