The Traralgon Caterpillar Kids Market is one of the newest in a growing number of weekend markets specialising in children's and babies' goods and crafts. Similar to a Sunday market or farmer's market, but exclusively for children's and babies' items, the kids market is a hub for the buying and selling of new and used goods from the local area - everything from pre-loved baby furniture to handmade kids' craft.
The Traralgon Caterpillar Kids Market began only this year, but has already attracted significant interest and attendance at its launch in March and first major market day on Saturday July 30. Similar markets have already been established in city suburbs such as Camberwell, Malvern and Hawthorn, but the concept is now catching on in more regional areas such as Ballarat, Berwick and now Traralgon.
The July market in Traralgon boasted an impressive selection of quality handmade products, clothing and giftware. Walking into the market I was immediately welcomed by the smell of warm coffee and sizzling sausages together with a humming atmosphere of social activity. No two stalls were alike, indicating a controlled content process on behalf of the market organisers, and were all spaced generously enough to allow for two prams to pass by each other! My nieces were entertained for at least half an hour at the 'two for $5' section, but my personal favourite would have to have been the very chic kids' hairbands, clips and beanies from 'Little Munchkin Accessories'. Despite the Traralgon markets having a smaller number of stalls than its metropolitan counterparts, its handcrafted products are of a very good standard – many stallholders also trade at the larger, more exclusive markets. Secondhand goods were also plentiful on the day, with some especially substantial bargains to be had on larger items such as cots, highchairs and car seats. Many of these do get snapped up quickly, however, so I would recommend being there early for the 9am start.
Traralgon is about 168kms East of Melbourne; just over 2 hour drive from the CBD. Whilst the drive is a little lengthy, the scenery on the way is pleasant and Traralgon's mix of country and city living makes a great location for an enjoyable day trip. The market is also quite undiscovered by Melburnians, so is well worth visiting for its quality – increasingly equal to many metropolitan markets - without the crowds, traffic and sometimes-hefty prices.
The market is held in the hall at Grey Street Primary School in Traralgon; close to the Traralgon CBD, including several quality restaurants and cafes for a coffee or meal pre or post-shopping. If you arrive nice and early, there are limited free all-day car parks located across the road between Grey Street and Kay Street, or 3-hour parking at the adjacent Stockland shopping centre. Entry to the market for shoppers is just $2, and free for children under 16. Stalls are $25 for secondhand goods and $35 for businesses, and can be booked by emailing email@example.com. You can also find more information, including details of their successful SIDS and Kids Fundraiser, at the Caterpillar Kids Facebook page.