Afternoon Activities | Boston's Top 10 Outdoor Markets For Summer
Long defined by its historical significance and lively bar culture, Boston is home to a fantastic selection of restaurants, boutiques and events that demonstrate the multifaceted nature of this city. As summer approaches, outdoor markets will line the streets, offering a wide variety of food, unique trinkets and hand-made clothing. We’ve compiled a list of ten outdoor markets to visit in some of greater Boston’s best neighborhoods.
On Tuesdays and Fridays from mid-March until the 24th of November you can catch the Copley Square Farmers Market. Ideally located next to two monumental Boston buildings – the Boston Public Library and Trinity Church – this market allows you to sample cuisines from all over the world with the beauty of Boston as your background. The sheer size of this farmers market is enough to draw anyone who loves fresh, wholesome food. There are the typical farmers market stands with vegetables, meet, cheese and baked goods, but there are also a number of stands from restaurants and bakeries around greater Boston. Buy groceries while getting to know some of the city’s hidden restaurant gems.
A massive market in Boston’s South End, SoWa is a popular local and tourist attraction every Sunday from early May to late October. SoWa incorporates a farmers market with a crafts market, vintage market, and food trucks. SoWa offers everything a leisurely weekend shopper could ask for, from free food samples to 1920s flapper dresses. It’s a great way to spend a Sunday afternoon and get to know this vibrant part of the city.
Only a few steps away from the Davis Square T stop, this small market provides a wealth of treasures without the crowds. If you are looking to explore some of the areas outside of Boston Proper, this easily accessible market is a good excuse. Though it is not as big as some of the others, it boasts a diversity of unique finds, from antique tables to modern hand-made jewelry, Pac-Man machines, fresh vegetables and more. The Davis Square Flea Market is a laid-back option where you can take your time sifting through the knick-knacks and talking to the vendors without feeling rushed or overwhelmed by the crowds. The market is open from 10am to 4pm every Sunday.
Just two miles away from Harvard University and three miles from downtown Boston, Union Square is accessible by foot, car, bike, or the MBTA buses 86,87, and 91. This small farmers market sells some of the best fruits and vegetables in the city, while providing customers with live music and a relaxed atmosphere. The Union Square Farmers Market is open every Saturday from 9am to 1pm from mid-May through Thanksgiving. Go early as produce may sell out by noon. After shopping, explore some of the neighborhood’s delicious breakfast places and cafés.
This stylish new addition has already made a name for itself. The events change daily so be sure to check its schedule, but The Lawn on D is always fun to visit. During the daytime, the lawn is often filled with young children on the solar-powered swings or playing Ping-Pong, while adults listen to live music and eat from their favorite food trucks. At night you can catch films, beer tastings and concerts. No matter what time you go, the Lawn on D will be sure to provide the ideal summer atmosphere.
Located right next to the beautiful and vibrant Boston Harbor is The Greenway Open Market. Held every Saturday from 11am to 5pm through September, this market is filled with stands selling local art and crafts; peruse jewelry from Afghanistan, hand-knitted scarves and leather bags. This market is particularly child-friendly, with an on-site carousel and a fountain to run through during Boston’s hot summer days. Additionally, the market’s proximity to the North End, Faneuil Hall, and the aquarium means that a day’s worth of excitement is all within walking distance. This market is a great way to explore Boston while supporting local artists.
This is the one exception to the list. If it’s one of the those rainy Boston summer days go visit this indoor market. Composed of 150 dealers spread across five floors, the Cambridge Antique Market is every vintage lover’s dream. The space is undeniably overwhelming, but you can find everything from 16th-century Ming Dynasty sculptures to Lionel Richie albums. Everything is reasonably priced and this market doesn’t get very crowded. The best aspect of this market, however, is that you can explore the booths without feeling pressured to buy. The Cambridge Antique Market is open Tuesday through Sunday from 11am to 6pm.
The MIT Flea Market is exactly what you might expect – it’s filled with old computers, printers and electronic objects. The MIT Market only occurs on the third Sunday of every month from April to October. Though its infrequency makes it harder to attend, there is no denying that you’ll see some remarkable things. Even if you are not particularly interested in technology or engineering, it’s a unique market experience.
The farmers market in Harvard Square is wonderful, in part, because of its practicality. It is opened on Sundays from 10am to 3pm, and Fridays from noon to 6pm. Meat, cheese, nuts, baked goods, and fresh vegetables are all sold at this small market along with various herbs and plants. The Harvard Square Market is easily accessible, and although it is located in a tourist section of Harvard, it maintains the small community feel.
Although some may try to avoid it, if you are visiting Boston, you have to visit Faneuil Hall’s Quincy Market. Just from walking around you will hear the long A’s that define the Boston accent and see the bustling center that was constructed before the revolutionary war. It is touristy and crowded but full of music, beer, shops and food. You can buy all the Boston paraphernalia you please while touring historic monuments and seeing the oldest parts of the city.