The Downtown Des Moines Farmers’ Market is not your ordinary farmers’ market! In fact, it’s often ranked as one of the top farmers’ markets in the country.
You can’t beat the unique community atmosphere of fun, food, and festivity at the Downtown Farmers’ Market! Each Saturday from May through October, its popularity is evident when thousands flock downtown to the Historic Court District to experience excellent food, entertainment, and handmade products.
As you might guess, this is one farmers’ market you don’t want to miss! So, head downtown this Saturday for fresh, locally grown produce, prepared food items, and live music and entertainment. Read on for more details!
All About the Des Moines Downtown Farmers’ Market
In 1975, the Des Moines Downtown Farmers’ Market began providing space for local vendors to offer their goods for sale to the public. The first market had fifteen vendors and a few hundred visitors each week. It expanded over the years and experienced massive growth in the last 20+ years.
Today, the market spans nine city blocks, hosts up to 300 vendors and 70 performers, and has tens of thousands of patrons each week.
So, you can buy terrific products from hundreds of local farmers, growers, food artisans, and craftspersons—and see exceptional performers from all around Iowa.
Today, the Farmers’ Market is offered and managed by the Greater Des Moines Partnership’s Downtown Community Alliance. And they partner with local agencies, businesses, and volunteers for this fantastic weekly event.
The Saturday Market
This Saturday, head to Downtown Des Moines to shop hundreds of small local businesses, like growers, food trucks, farmers, and craftspersons. And, of course, experience the entertainment and lively atmosphere while there!
- Dates: The first Saturday in May through the last Saturday in October.
- Hours: 7:00 am to 12:00 pm, May through September. 8:00 am to 12:00 pm in October.
- Location: Historic Court Avenue District in Downtown Des Moines. Vendors are on Court Avenue from 5th Avenue on the west to Water Street on the east. It also extends north-south of Court Avenue on 2nd Avenue, 3rd Street, and 4th Street.
The market is usually open no matter what the weather. But there are occasional delays or closings for inclement weather. Keep up-to-date on market social media pages, like the Facebook page.
A winter market is held a couple of times during the late fall and winter months. Keep up to date on the website and social media pages.
Des Moines Farmers’ Market Vendors
Below are some items you’ll find at the market:
- Fresh & local produce, meat, and dairy products
- Fresh homemade baked goodies
- Packaged foods
- Plants and flowers
- Handmade art & crafts
- Prepared foods (Breakfast, anyone?!)
- Drinks (lemonade, coffee, and more)
Bring a bag, cart, wagon, or cooler!
To carry your goodies, of course! Although some vendors have plastic and paper bags available, reusable bags are encouraged. Also, reusable bags are sold at the information booth.
And if you plan to do a lot of shopping, we advise taking a cart or wagon or a cooler to save your arms and keep your items fresh. Also, wagons are often available at the information tent.
More market information
Be a Market Volunteer!
The success of the Downtown Farmers’ Market relies on volunteers! They provide directions to visitors, help set up and takedown, distribute information, etc. Plus, all volunteers get a market t-shirt! See the Des Moines Partnership webpage for more on volunteering at the market.
Apply to be a vendor
Applicants are considered based on the range and types of products they sell. Also, full season and occasional vendor spots are available.
The Downtown Community Alliance strives to provide a wide array of unique and creative products from small local businesses. For more details, see the vendor information guide.
Downtown Farmers’ Market Location & Parking
The Des Moines Downtown Farmers’ Market is on Court Avenue, between Water Street & 5th Street. It extends onto part of the north-south streets along Court Avenue too.
The Des Moines Partnership recommends 300 Court Ave. for GPS coordinates when driving.
DART D-Line Route (free)
The free D-Line DART shuttle has extended Market hours and makes stops every 15 minutes. Find stops for the D-LIne route on Locust and Grand Avenue between the Capitol building and Western Gateway Park.
Before hopping on board, check the DART bus windshield to make sure it’s the D-Line. And be sure to signal the driver a block before your drop-off point, between First Street and Fifth Avenue. Consider the MyDART app for approximate bus times.
Bike to the market
You can ride your bike and park it at the bike valet for safekeeping while exploring the market! The valet is by the Iowa Street Collective at the parking ramp at 2nd & Court Ave.
Visit the Des Moines Downtown Farmer’s Market this Saturday! You won’t regret it.
And while you’re in Downtown Des Moines, explore the bike trails, parks, and more! Here’s some recommended reading to get you started:
- Explore Des Moines
- A Weekend in Des Moines: The Perfect Spot For An Enjoyable Getaway
- A Guide to Gray’s Lake Park in Des Moines
- A Guide to Des Moines Water Works Park
- Des Moines Botanical Garden: Explore the Beauty of Nature Any Time of Year
- Pappajohn Sculpture Park: Tour An Amazing Outdoor Art Display
- Robert D. Ray Asian Gardens: A Symbol of Diversity, Peace, and Appreciation
- Principal Riverwalk: A Remarkable Trail in Downtown Des Moines
- Rotary Riverwalk Park: A Fun Stop On The Des Moines Riverwalk
- Des Moines Bike Trails: Your Guide To the Best Trails in Central Iowa
- Your Complete Guide to Nature Areas and Parks in Des Moines, Iowa