Eastern Market is DC's Oldest Continually Operated Fresh Food Public Market. Come on a weekend morning to experience the farmers line of indoor and outdoor stalls with local produce, prepared foods (including the famous "blue bucks" buckwheat pancakes), and shop at the crafts and flea markets.
I visited the Eastern Market with my sister, my 6-year-old daughter, and the baby. Parking was tricky on Saturday morning, but I managed to find a spot on the street. My sister rode the metro in. We had a fun time navigating the market, tasting samples, and buying locally grown tomatoes, cucumbers, peaches, peppers, corn, and cherries. I packed the baby on my back, only because I don't like trying to navigate a stroller through crowds. My daughter (who's a total foodie) loved the farmer's tables, as well as the arts and crafts displays and street performers.
We went here a lot during the summer we lived in DC. My 6-yr-old niece loved looking at all of the cool items being sold by vendors, while the younger kids weren't quite as interested, but could play in the park-like areas surrounding the Eastern Market. We got a ton of fresh produce from Eastern Market that summer (gotta love WIC checks for farmer's market produce!) There are also live plants for sale, clothing, art work, meat and seafood, you name it. It really is a unique and vibrant farmer's market. I just wish I had more money to buy the local vendor's items!
But be prepared to wait in long lines for the worth-the-wait blueberry pancakes at the "Market Lunch" stall in the South Hall. On weekends, Eastern Market turns into D.C. biggest flea market and is a ton of fun for parents and tweens to browse around. Independent artists, food vendors, musicians and street performers converge here every weekend. HEADS-UP: in order to partake of Market Lunch's pancakes and other yummy breakfast fare, you must go on a Saturday - on Sundays, Market Lunch serves only lunch. Also, they do not serve coffee, so parents who need to be caffienated (including yours truly), be sure to pick up your fix BEFORE getting in line. BTW, our strategy with the lines is to check out the menu ahead of time (online) and send one parent to wait in the line with the newspaper and hot coffee while the other parent peruses the flea market stalls with the kiddos. Lines can be up to an hour, and while we don't do this every weekend, it's a great meal and experience that we do do a few times a year.