Central Park
Only March to October
Wednesday 4:30PM-8:30PM
In 2012, March 21 through October 24
Web site

Picnic in the Park is the name of the Wednesday evening Farmers Market from March to October (in the winter, the hours shift, and the restaurant and alcohol concessions hibernate). Now with compostable plates and utensils, as well as compost bins. Woo-hoo! See "Zero Waste" section below.

For adults, the Picnic offers a variety of international cuisines from Thai to Indian to Mexican, as well as performances by local music artists. The Soroptimist/Venture beer booth is operated by service clubs with net proceeds being given to local charities. Kids, on the other hand, can enjoy such activities as magicians and jugglers, the pedal-powered carousel, pony rides, bounce houses, face painting and Rocknasium's portable climbing wall. But it's not just for families and kids — Picnic in the Park is a great place to include on a Wednesday night date.

Restaurants offering food for sale at the Picnic currently include: Buckhorn, El Mariachi, The Hotdogger, Kathmandu, Monticello, Mustard Seed, Original Steve's, Raja's, and Thai Recipes. Sometimes they will offer things different from their regular menus, e.g., corn on the cob and ice cream from Hotdogger, or delicious mamosas (similar to dumplings or potstickers — and yes, they have veggie ones) from Raja's.

After dinner, shop for certified organic produce at the Farmers Market or join Davis Skate for an evening ride around town. Or have some dessert: Fruit pops from local Aisu Pop or ice cream from the Davis Creamery make for a refreshing treat, particularly during hot Davis weather.

There is also a beer garden (run as a fundraiser by Soroptimist International of Davis) which features a small selection from Brew-It-Up.

Look for the The Unofficial Davis Scrabble Club, often with a green table, and join them! Sue Greenwald is a frequent Scrabbler.

Zero Waste (or darn close)

The Farmer's Market Zero Waste program started in March 2010 with Picnic in the Park every Wednesday. Three sorting categories are available for customers to add to: Landfill, Compost, and Recycling. All of the dishware provided by the Market Food Vendors is compostable (includes containers, plates, cups, utensils, straws, even that plastic looking sandwich wrap offered by Raja's and the little sauce containers at Kathmandu). That means if you buy something from a market vendor and have items left in your hand after eating your meal, you can just add the materials to the compost bin. All the compost is taken the next day to Jepson Prairie Compost Facility in Dixon where it is mixed with greenwaste and food scraps from San Francisco, composted aerobically, and turned into a high quality fertilizer used on farms and vineyards in the area. So far, the market has achieved the following diversion rates based on waste audits performed at the conclusion of every Wednesday market (note: a waste audit is not performed every single week):

Diversion Rate (% composted or recycled): 4/7/10 71.3% 4/14/10 82.8% 4/21/10 79.4% 4/28/10 91.1% 5/5/10 85.4% 5/12/10 93.4% 5/26/10 89.1% 6/9/10 89.0% 6/23/10 85.9%

Also see the Davis Farmer's Market.