Lancaster County Pennsylvania is full of many places to explore and enjoy. Nestled deep in the heart of Lancaster County is a place that truly encapsulates the essence of this farming community. I’m talking about the Green Dragon Farmers’ Market. It’s a massive market full of great food, great products, diverse cultures, and a lot of people. They are open every Friday year-round and it’s absolutely worth checking out.
The Green Dragon has all the sights and sounds of a typical farmers’ market, only bigger. This is Pennsylvania’s largest farmers’ market. They have numerous buildings, as well as a very large outdoor area full of all sorts of great little treasures. There are vendors who offer, almost, anything you can imagine. There’s freshly butchered meat, produce (local and not local), candy, food vendors, antiques, Amish-made furniture, and so much more. They even have a live animal auction and a very large standard auction. They also have all sorts of other items to go sifting through and a giant surplus store with aisles of random items that truly need to be explored. Because of the Green Dragon’s size, you can easily make a day of it. Rating: 5 out of 5
The food at the Green Dragon offers something for almost everyone and almost everything we have tried is great. Whether you’re looking for a snack or something more, there’s so much to try.
One of the foods we really enjoy are the soft pretzels. They have a giant one that you can easily feed a large group. They will even heat it up for you. The pretzels are hand-made and come in a variety of flavors, but the basic one is perfect for us. My son, Elias, knows that every time we come we are definitely going to get a pretzel. And what would a pretzel be without some fresh-squeezed lemonade? Green Dragon has you covered there as well.
Another one of our family’s favorites is the ice cream from Lapp’s Dairy. Lapp’s makes there own ice cream and it’s smooth and creamy with great flavors. This is one of Heather’s favorite ice cream places anywhere. If you’re looking for other yummy dessert places, there is a great little handheld pie place right near the pretzel place which is delicious as well.
There are plenty of other food vendors that offer fresh baked goods, delicious candies, nuts and a lot more. Plus a couple of wineries and they offer free tastings! There really is something for everyone here. If you plan on heading to the Green Dragon, just make sure you come hungry. Rating: 4 out of 5
I would say that the Green Dragon tends to be pretty kid-friendly. My son, Elias, is 3 and he enjoys going to see all the fun and interesting stuff to buy. There are toys, food, treats, and so on. It’s also nice because there are indoor and outdoor locations throughout the market, even in bad weather you can still make the trip with the kids.
The only real detractor for the Market is that the bathroom options are limited. They do have two clean bathroom facilities on the property, however, if you have smaller children, the locations can be a little farther of a walk depending on where you are when nature calls. It can get very crowded, we recommend a stroller for the smaller ones so they don’t get swept up in the crowd. It’s important to know the Green Dragon is only open on Fridays. If you have school-age kids, they will either need to go in the summer or have a day off from school that day. Rating: 4 out of 5
There are a lot of really well-priced things available at the Dragon. The most obvious find is the produce. Some of the produce is local and some are imported, but you can find some decent prices on both. If you aren’t picky and don’t have a specific list, we find it’s best to go toward the evening hours as the vendors are just looking to get rid of what they have and are usually willing to make some real aggressive deals.
There are plenty of other great deals to be had. One of my favorites is the “Sock Guy.” He has a booth outside in the back of the market where you can get 10 pairs of socks for just $5! There’s is a leather store that does custom fit belts that are very affordable considering the quality of the product. There are great deals on honey, candy, nuts, and baked goods. One of the baked good stands also has a “day old section” where, from time to time, you can find some real bargains. I will point out though, many of the vendors only take cash, so come prepared. Rating: 4 out of 5
The Green Dragon is one of our favorite places to go. It’s a fantastic farmers’ market and while we’ve been to many others, there really are none like it. Personally, I would tell anyone it’s worth the trip and we try to make it a destination at least a few times a year. This is a great place to spend the day with the family. Head out to the Green Dragon and make sure you come hungry and ready to shop. Overall: 4 out of 5
Have you been to The Green Dragon? Tell us in the comments below!