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Poughkeepsie Waterfront Market
Adobe Stock / Kasto

Poughkeepsie Waterfront Market Is a Must-Visit for Affordable Produce

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Fresh vegetables and food vendors accompany Hudson River views at this farmers’ market, which focuses on promoting inexpensive goods for Poughkeepsie residents.

When the Mid-Hudson Discovery Museum opened the Poughkeepsie Waterfront Market in 2017, its main mission was to connect City of Poughkeepsie families and communities with fresh and affordable food that is locally sourced and produced. As this mission came to fruition, the children’s museum became the first of its kind in the country to combat urban food insecurity by operating a farmers’ market that fosters an environment for community health and wellness. Today, the Mid-Hudson Discovery Museum holds the international 2019 title for the Roy L. Shafer Leading Edge Award for Business Practice from the Association of Science-Technology Centers (ASTC) in recognition of the Poughkeepsie Waterfront Market.

The market is constantly evolving from year to year. In addition to featuring fresh and local fruits, vegetables, meat, eggs, poultry, baked goods, and maple products, this year it has expanded to include prepared food vendors and local artisans offering hand-crafted kitchenware items. These products are affordable for everyone thanks to a grant the market received in 2018 from MVP Healthcare that motivated the implementation of an electronic transfer system (EBT) to make it possible for customers to use government issued debit cards to receive SNAP benefits. Because of this grant, the Poughkeepsie Waterfront Market is SNAP certified. It also participates in WIC Farmers Market Nutrition Programs to bring food equality to lower-income families.

A few of the vendors featured at the 2023 market include Cooperstown Cheese Company, The Educated Chef, Hoffman Bread, and Lilly Bear Treats, to name a few. Each vendor specializes in unique categories to provide a diversity of goods, services, and experiences like coffees, sweets, dog treats, soaps, art, music, and even scholarship opportunities via Bard Baccalaureate. New vendors are popping up all the time, and the market is still accepting applications for the rest of the 2023 season.

Not only is the Poughkeepsie Waterfront Market rich in vendors, but also in programs. Drop in for a live cooking demonstration to learn about healthy cooking using fresh and local ingredients, hang around for live music from regional artists like Flash Company and Ghost Modern, or come learn about agriculture and help plant vegetables and herbs at the museum’s outdoor gardens.

As for the Mid-Hudson Discovery Museum itself, there is much to do for children, from educational activities to interesting exhibits. The museum prides itself on being a space for informal learning – a type of educating that is pressure-free, fun-filled, and self-motivating because it is unstructured in nature and allows for children to guide their own hand and gravitate towards their individual interests. By encouraging curiosity, intuitive thinking, and spontaneity, informal learning allows people to develop skills and knowledge organically. Featured exhibits at the museum incorporate traditional learning structures like math, science, literacy, and art in an enticing way that gets kids moving, exploring, and creating. The museum’s outdoor gardens are an example of one of the exhibits that teach kids about agricultural methods and growing food in an urban community.

Located just steps away from the Poughkeepsie Train Station, the Poughkeepsie Waterfront Market is in an ideal spot for visitors and city residents alike. Also near the market are two city parks with views of the Hudson, and the historic Walkway Over the Hudson elevator is within walking distance for easy access to the bridge. The market is hosted at The Pavilion at Mid-Hudson Discovery Museum and offers restrooms onsite as well as free parking during market hours, which is every Tuesday from May 2 through October 24 from 2-5:30 p.m. for afternoon fun.


Related: Your Guide to the Hudson Valley’s Summer Farmers Markets

Hudson Valley Restaurant Week is back this April 8-21!