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TIPS

The Downtown Farmers’ Market has something for all ages. If you’ve never attended or have questions about The Market, here are a few tips:

When To Go

It pays to get up early. Get to The Market when it opens to find the best selection and the freshest produce. The Market is open May – October, 7 a.m. to Noon May – Sept. and 8 a.m. to Noon in October.

Join us at 7 a.m. (8 a.m. in October) for the traditional bell ringing to officially open The Market on Saturday mornings! Follow us on Twitter, Facebook or Instagram for more information.

Where To Go

The Market takes place in Historic Court District in Downtown Des Moines, Iowa. For navigation purposes, use 300 Court Ave. when routing to The Market using GPS. The Market is located along Court Ave., between Water Street and 5th Street.

Where To Park

Visitors have numerous options available adjacent to The Market. Several free and paid parking meters, lots and garages are available on streets surrounding The Market. Patrons are also encouraged to use a free bike valet service or park along the Downtown Farmers' Market DART D-Line route and take the free D-Line shuttle bus to The Market. Read more about parking options.

What To Bring

Bring Your Own Bag

Some vendors have plastic bags, but it’s best to bring your own canvas shopping bag or basket from home. It’s much better than having all your items bagged separately. The Market sells the ever-popular jute shopping bags, cooling bags and reusable bags at the Information Booth, located at Third Street and Court Avenue.

Bring a Cooler

Storing a cooler in your car helps keep food items cool, especially if you don’t go home right away.

Plan Your Trip

Each Saturday has special programming and a different lineup of vendors. Some vendors are at each Saturday Market, while others are only there on certain Saturdays. Check out the Vendor page and Programming page for more information. (Note that this information is updated frequently throughout The Market season. You can also find up-to-date information on The Market's social media accounts, including Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.)

Ask Questions

Ask vendors questions when you see unfamiliar produce. Vendors and farmers love to share their knowledge and can even give you recipes and cooking tips.

Dress Comfortably

Wear walking shoes and dress appropriately for the weather. The Market is open rain or shine, so dress accordingly. Learn more about The Market's weather policy

Pets

Be kind to your pups and leave them at home, as the environment can be overwhelming for many dogs. If patrons do choose to bring their pets, they are expected to act in a responsible manner and adhere to these rules to make everyone’s Market experience pleasant.

  • Dogs must be under control on a short leash (maximum three-foot leash), and by the owner’s side at all times.
  • Dogs need to be kept away from produce, plants and prepared food products.
  • Dogs need to be courteous and able to socialize with people and other dogs.
  • Be understanding. Not everyone loves dogs, and some fear dogs.
  • The Market operates under the City of Des Moines’ laws regarding pets, which include a leash law, cleanup of droppings, current tags and a current rabies certificate. 
  • Plan in advance to bring doggy cleanup bags or use bags provided around The Market located in dispensers on various light poles.