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Welcome to Dupage Mamas! This blog is a place for Mamas to connect, share their experiences, and recommend great finds and ideas (or let us learn from your mistakes!) If you are raising kids in Dupage County, then we'd love to have you along for the adventure!

Saturday, April 25, 2009

French Markets: A Sign of Spring

This year, spring has been a long time coming. We have had a long, brutal winter. But a sure sign that spring is here... outdoor market season!
This weekend is the inaugural weekend for most of the french markets in the Chicagoland area. The term "french market" refers to the style of market- outdoor booths with canopy coverings- and not the type of goods sold there. The aisles are packed with dozens and dozens of vendors of all varieties. The number of vendors at each market continues to grow and the variety of items is amazing: fresh cut flowers, annuals and perennials, fruit and vegetable vendors, handmade clothing, baked goods, soaps, jewelry, the list goes on and on. I love to browse the booths, smelling all the freshness and seeing all the creative products people have brought to share. The produce and plants are all from local growers ensuring the highest quality veges and flowers for your family. With going-green being all the rage these days and the economy being less than stellar, there is no better way to support local farmers and merchants and reduce your carbon footprint.
With markets in the city and many different suburbs, the chance is good that there is a market right around the corner.
Wheaton boasts one of the largest traditional French Markets in the country in terms of number of vendors and number of attenders. To walk the aisle-ways at the Wheaton market on a Saturday morning is to literally bump shoulders with hundreds of your closest friends (and their strollers). But the atmosphere is fun and people are in a good spirits (mostly). There is something about the smell of fresh flowers and PadThai that puts everyone in a friendly mood.
Other Dupage County markets include Glen Ellyn, Lombard, Lisle, Villa Park, Geneva, and more (most starting this Saturday or Sunday). Outside Dupage, there is the Chicago Green City Market which is outdoors in Lincoln Park during the summers. They move to their summer location on May 6th. Up for an little excursion? You could also try the markets in Wilmette (one of the largest in the state), Wicker Park, or Oak Park. There is also a traditional market in the city at the Nettelhorst Elementary School parking lot on Broadway on Saturdays from 8a-2p if you are really in the mood for an adventure. Check your village/town website to see if there is one in your area and what the hours are.

Making a trip to the French Market is not just a shopping trip. It is a fun outing for the whole family. It is family friendly, earth-friendly, and just plain fun! So, it is time to brush off those produce baskets and get out there and shop!

Want something else to do today? Here are some other ideas!
Wheaton: Native Plant Sale, Prarie path Clean-Up, Paper Shredding, Cosley Zoo's Party for the Planet

Naperville: Tree sale, Bike and Sport Goods Sale, Operation Safe Kid, International Children's Day

French Market post adapted from Farrah's post over at Chicagonista: Movers, Shakers, and Baby-Makers!

If you have information about an upcoming event in your area that you think other Dupage Mamas would like to know about, please let us know. And if you have pics or thoughts to share about an event you recently attended, we would love to hear about that too!!


Heather April 25, 2009 at 7:56 PM  

....and mmmmm the kettle corn!!!

Jen r. April 25, 2009 at 10:38 PM  

HI ! I just found you! I am a Dupage mom who is excited to see your blog! Jen

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