Here in the Northwest, even our family activities involve multitasking. On a given day you can head to a park where you can watch trains, go beachcombing and take a run down a salmon slide; or go to a farmers market, where you can pick up 10 kinds of berries, listen to folk music and pet a few goats; or visit a bookstore that doubles as an indoor play area and cafe. And half the fun of taking the kids to a new favorite family activity is sharing it with others. So thanks for sharing your top picks for 2012!
Winner: Ballard Farmers Market
A huge, year-round Sunday event in the heart of this historic neighborhood, Ballard Farmers Market offers far more than produce. There are dozens of hot-food (and cold!) vendors; artists selling crafts and jewelry; terrific window shopping; and more entertaining folk musicians and street performers than any other market around. “All farmers markets are great, but Ballard is the most entertaining.”
Redmond Saturday Market, a seasonal market at Redmond Town Center, is also beloved for its excellent produce selection, “shady trees for hot days” and overall vibe.
Columbia City Farmers Market, a Wednesday market, wins kudos for its “big but not too big and friendly neighborhood feel” and its location across from a park.
The Phinney Farmers Market, a Friday-night market in Seattle, is known for its great live music and small, “not too overwhelming” feel.
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Illustrations by Alli Arnold