The Winter Park Farmer’s Market: The Best Weekend Stroll in Orlando
This last time that my mama came to visit, we had a Saturday morning free and I knew I wanted to do something different. Orlando has so many amazing activity options that are thrifty and fun. But, I had heard so much about the Winter Park Farmer’s Market, that I decided that we should consider taking a jaunt down there to check it out.
The Farmer’s Market is located near and in a historic train depot nestled on the end of New England Avenue. It is a popular gathering spot on Saturday mornings for tourists, locals and college students from nearby Rollins. You can check out the exact location here.
Farmer’s Markets were not a big thing where I grew up. I remember purchasing fruit from a nearby fruit stand, but that was about as close as I came. So, I pretty only much-expected fruits and vegetables. Not much else.
Boy, was I wrong!
Parking is limited, so prepare to walk a bit. You can generally find street parking on Park Avenue or in a nearby public lot. Just make sure to watch for signs. Once you hit Park Avenue, you can smell the kettle corn from blocks away.
But, enjoy the walk to the market.
As you stroll towards the market, make sure to take in Park Avenue. Park Ave. runs through this area and, depending on where you park, you will more than likely cross it as you head to the foot of Atlantic Street. This cute and classy area is full of unique shops and restaurants that will kill a Saturday in itself.
Follow the kettle corn smell (love my precise directions?) until you find vendors lining the area selling everything from homemade soaps, to vegan health drinks, to orchids….oh, and fresh produce. Duh. You won’t be able to miss it.
The stroll among the vendors is nice, easy and relaxed. It is fairly compact and manageable, but the selection and size make it worth the visit. Many vendors provide free samples. ( I tried my first Prickly Pear here. I didn’t love it.)
The market is a a wonderful, cheap and family-friendly option if you are looking for a Saturday morning excursion.
When I visited with my Mom, I purchased a butterfly from Nature’s Way Butterfly Gardens and entomologist, Lorenzo Zayas. ( I wasn’t kidding about the variety of vendors).
Mr. Zayas was incredibly professional and the little caterpillar was $12 for the set. When the caterpillar was inactive for a couple of weeks, we returned to the market and Mr. Zayas checked on the caterpillar and explained the process a bit more in depth. The kids loved the booth, and the lesson. A few short days later, “Butty” (named by Josiah), turned in a gorgeous Black Swallowtail Butterfly. We can return to the market to get a new caterpillar at a discount.
Of course, we also purchased vegetables.
Seriously, they were beautiful. We roasted them for dinner that evening and it was Ah-maze-ing! I have happily provided you the down recipe below!
Needless to say, if you find yourself on a Saturday morning in the Orlando area wanting something to do, you won’t be disappointed checking out the Winter Park area, especially the Farmer’s Market. It is open every Saturday from 7:00 a.m.-1:00 p.m., though vendor are subject to change. Full details can be found here.
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