At our preschool in Allen, Texas, we believe it’s important for children to develop healthy habits. Our education centers serve your child’s physical and emotional well-being with education, physical activity, and healthy food. Your family can promote healthy eating habits at home by offering plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables to your kids. Luckily, we have some nearby terrific farmers markets where you can find fresh and seasonal produce and much more. Here are a few places to check out.

Celina Friday Night Market

A basket of peaches at the farmers market in Allen, TX

2011 07 16 Farmers Market” licensed under CC BY 2.0 via Flickr by gmtbillings

On Friday nights in Celina, Texas, a variety of vendors gather to offer their wares. Founded in 2014, Michelle Baggett described her mission this way: “My dream is that we can provide local residents with opportunities to purchase locally grown produce and handmade products from local artisans. Farmers can educate consumers on the health benefits of buying fresh and nutritious ingredients and offer delicious and hopefully different ways to prepare these foods.”

Every first Friday of the month from March to November, the downtown area is transformed into an open-air market where visitors can pick up some fresh produce, baked goods, gifts, and dinner for the family from local restaurants while enjoying live music and community hospitality. The market is open from 6 p.m. until 9 p.m.

McKinney Farmer’s Market at Chestnut Square

The year-round farmers market in McKinney, Texas, operates at Chestnut Square Historic Village, a collection of six historic homes from the nineteenth century. The area has been historically preserved and reimagined into a thriving community center, of which the farmers market is a centerpiece. 

The market is open every Saturday in April to November from 8 a.m. to 12 p.m., and the first and third Saturdays from December until March, from 9 a.m. until 1 p.m. It’s been consistently ranked as one of the best farmers markets in Texas, offering local grass-fed beef, free-range chicken and eggs, local seasonal produce, and a variety of food items lovingly crafted by the vendors. Peruse the stalls for beef jerky, tamales, tea blends, pastries, and so much more. 

In addition to food items, you can also shop for gifts like homemade soap, jewelry, wood crafts, and fresh flowers. Kids will love the pony rides and face painting, and live music adds to the welcoming and lively atmosphere.

Frisco Rotary Farmers Market

The Rotary Club of Frisco started the farmers market in 2007 to foster community interaction and involvement while celebrating the agricultural heritage of the area. The market gives local farmers, producers, and artisans a welcoming place to sell their products directly to the community. Visitors can peruse the stalls from 8 a.m. until 12 p.m. every Saturday. 

The market’s website offers lots of information about the vendors coming to each week’s market, the variety of produce that’s available during each month of the year, and a calendar of special events, including live music performances, and family activities. In addition to fresh fruits and vegetables, eggs, and meat, vendors offer local honey, baked goods, artisan olive oil, coffee, and fresh flowers. Watch out for restaurant vendors if seeing all the food makes you hungry for something delicious and handmade.

Lucas Farmers Market

Saturdays at the Lucas Farmers Market feature dozens of vendors selling farm-fresh produce, specialty artisan foods, and home goods. It’s generally held on the second and fourth Saturday of the month from April until December, and open from 8 a.m. until 12 p.m. You can check the website for the year’s specific dates. The market aims to be a pleasant social gathering for the community while showcasing some of the area’s finest farms and producers.

The market is held at the Lucas Community Park located next to City Hall. There’s plenty of parking, and attendants will help direct you to a spot. Whether you’re looking for Texas beef, local honey, artisan popcorn, homemade salsa, or a hand-poured candle, Lucas Farmers Market vendors offer the finest products. 

To give back to the community, the Farmers Market committee chooses a shelter or food pantry as its market share partner each month. Visit the market’s website to learn about the month’s share partner and discover its greatest needs. Most organizations need non-perishable food, paper products, or toiletries that you can bring to donate as part of your Saturday shopping excursion.

Railcar Farmers Market of Van Alstyne

Though this one might be a little bit more of a drive, the Railcar Famers Market in Van Alstyne, Texas, is a weeknight farmers market for those whose schedules may not allow for weekend shopping. It’s located at the corner of Main Street and East Marshall and open on Tuesdays from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. From the end of April to the end of October you can enjoy the lovely Texas twilight as you peruse the many local vendors and artisans.

Vendors at the Railcar Market grow, raise, or make the products for sale, so you can be assured of loving care and quality in the items you buy. Vendors include local farmers with the freshest fruits and vegetables, pasture-raised chicken and eggs, grass-fed beef, pickles and jams, treats for your pets, fresh salsa, and even artisan s’mores. If you find a product you love, some vendors have online stores for easy delivery to your home in between visits to the market. The market limits vendors of a type to just two, so you can expect a wide variety of products.So there you have our list of five farmers markets to try in our area. We feel confident that when kids are exposed to lots of different foods at a young age they can develop a taste for many different healthy options. Farmers markets are a great family activity, especially if you can let your kids help choose the food they think looks good to them. Did we miss any of your favorite spots? We’d love to hear from you. Let us know where to find the freshest produce and most interesting locally produced food around.