Spring is a busy time for flea markets. It’s the best time to find antiques and collectibles that dealers discovered during the winter. And it’s a great time to get out and enjoy the bustling hunt for vintage furniture, clothing and jewelry. Each of the markets is renowned for its variety of items, negotiable prices, popularity among both vendors and shoppers across the U.S. and great food. Thirteen of Kovels’ perennial favorites are listed below, with details on each. Happy to add more – let us know what your favorites are!
1. Original Round Top Antiques Fair – Spring Antique Week
Monday, April 1 through Saturday, April 6, 2019
4036 Texas Hwy., Round Top, Texas 18954
Hurry to Round Top (50 Years of Fabulous!) and you can still get in on some of the fun that is underway! Everything is bigger in Texas and its premier flea market is no exception. Spring and Fall Antiques Fairs are held during the week that ends on the first Saturdays of April and October each year. This year it runs from April 1 through 6. It’s a giant marketplace with 100 percent antique and vintage merchandise, attracting thousands of dealers and tens of thousands of buyers from around the world. There are four locations in Round Top – the Big Red Barn, Big Red Barn Tent, Continental Tent and Carmine Dance Hall. Admission is $10, $20 for a VIP early shopping pass. Parking is free. Find American and European antiques, vintage decorator items and collectibles, all kinds of art, glass, signs, toys, clothes, jewelry, architectural and repurposed items, and much more. There are also more than 50 other shows that run at the same time in neighboring communities (like Warrenton, Carmine and Shelby) within about 15 miles of Round Top, mostly along Highway 237. Interested? Contact the Round Top Chamber of Commerce or the City of Warrenton.
2. Kane County Flea Market
April 6 & 7, May 4 & 5, and June 1 & 2, 2019
525 S. Randall Road, St. Charles, Illinois
Saturday 12 p.m. – 5 p.m., Sunday 7 a.m. – 4 p.m.
A great place to shop in Chicagoland, Kane County Flea Market is held on the first Sunday of each month and the Saturday before from March to December about an hour west of Chicago. With 600+ dealers inside, outside and under sheds, antiques, refurbished furniture, vinyl records, sports collectibles, shoppers love Kane. Admission is $5, children under 12 are free. Parking is free, too.
3. Elephant’s Trunk Country Flea Market
Every Sunday beginning April 7, 2019, through mid-December, including the Sundays on holiday weekends.
490 Danbury Rd. (Rte. 7 / 202), New Milford, Conn.
The Elephant’s Trunk Country Flea Market season opens their 2019 season on April 7. Treasure hunters, antiques collectors, up-cyclers, farmers and foodies have been flocking to “The Trunk” since 1976. The early years found dealers set up on the lawn in front of the 19th century Victorian house, which faces Route 7. More than 40 years later, it has become a popular New England tradition. Typical Sundays feature over 500 vendors and an ever-changing mixture of food trucks from all over the east coast. Visitors love its Americana treasures, art, vintage furnishings and cold watermelon sold by the slice. “Regular buyers” are admitted at 7:00 a.m. for a $2 admission fee, “early buyers” at 5:45 a.m. for $20, and super-early buyers at 4:45 a.m. for $40. Many treasures await on the field but leave Fido at home – no pets are allowed.
4. Alameda Point Antiques Faire
2900 Navy Way (at Main St.), Alameda, California
April 7, May 5, June 2 and July 7, 2019
California’s largest antique show, the show is called the “Brimfield of the West.” This is the place to shop for vintage, retro and antique home decorations, clothing, furniture, jewelry, art, pottery, books and collectibles. All items are 20 years old or older. Open 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., admission $5; early buyer admission 6 a.m. to 9 a.m., $10. There is free parking and a shuttle.
5. Springfield Antique Show & Flea Market
April 13 & 14, May 17, 18 & 19 Extravaganza, and June 15 & 16, 2019
Clark County Fairgrounds, Springfield, Ohio
Saturday 8 a.m. – 5 p.m., Sunday 9 a.m. – 4 p.m.
The Springfield Antiques Show and Flea Market has been called “One of America’s Best” by CNN and some top publications. Held 9 times a year at the Clark County Fairgrounds in Springfield, Ohio, it is known for a vast selection of antique and vintage items, as well as midcentury modern pieces. In addition to the regular shows, there are Extravaganza weekends in May and September that feature over 2,000 vendors, 20,000 customers and lots and lots of food. They pride themselves on a unique mix, saying to “expect the unexpected” vintage, antique, re- & up-cycled, artisanal goods and locally sourced producers.
6. Nashville Flea Market
Nashville Expo Center, Tennessee State Fairgrounds, 625 Smith Avenue, Nashville, Tennessee
April Bash: April 26 to 28, 2019
A Day in the Sun: May 24 to 26, 2019
Summer Vibe: June 21 to 23, 2019
Friday 8 a.m. – 5 p.m., Saturday 7 a.m. – 6 p.m., Sunday 7 a.m. – 4 p.m.
The Nashville Flea Market is considered by many to be one of the top ten flea markets in the country. It’s been operating for almost 60 years. With an average of 2,000 booths, dealers and vendors from 30 states offer items every month. It advertises a huge and unique selection of antique furniture, dishware, clothing, rugs, jewelry, leather goods, more, as well as specialty foods. One thing that sets the Nashville Flea Market apart from other flea markets is its monthly themes. Past themes have included things like retro revival, romance junkies, down memory lane, vintage galore, Americana cool and old-school rules. Admission is free.
7. Rose Bowl Flea Market
Yep, THE Rose Bowl, Pasadena, California
Second Sunday of every month: April 14, May 12, and June 9, 2019
This gathering on the second Sunday of every month is considered one of the best on the West Coast. It attracts as many as 2,500 vendors and 20,000 shoppers. Find clothes, shoes, jewelry, sunglasses, ceramics, glass, furniture, pictures, crafts, keepsakes, art, fabric, bikes, costumes, music — every imaginable type of merchandise. It’s open rain or shine. Admission: Special preview VIP admission from 5:00am - 7:00am at $20.00 per person; early admission from 7:00am - 8:00am at $15.00; and regular admission at 9:00 is $9.00. Children under 12 are free with an adult. No credit cards. There’s no admission after 3 p.m., plenty of free parking, lots of food from cheeseburgers to sushi, and even celebrity sightings.
8. Long Beach Antique Flea Market
Long Beach Veterans Stadium, 4901 E. Conant St., Long Beach, California
Third Sunday of every month: April 21, May 12, and June 9, 2019
The Long Beach Antique Market calls itself “The Flea Market with Style.” Over 800 sellers feature a huge selection of antiques, collectibles and everything chic, cheap, unique and vintage, all at bargain prices. Find collectibles, home decor, jewelry, furniture, vintage clothing and more. The sale is spread out over 20 acres at the Veterans Stadium in Long Beach. Come rain or shine. Admission 6:30 until 2:30 is $6.00; early admission from 5:30 to 6:30 a.m., $12; children under 12 are free. There’s food and free parking, too.
9. Renninger’s Kutztown Antique and Collector’s Extravaganza
April 25, 26 & 27, 2018 and June 27, 28 & 29, 2019
740 Noble St., Kutztown, Pennsylvania
8 a.m. – 4 p.m.
Renninger’s Kutztown hosts a flea market extravaganza three times a year, April, June and September. The extravaganza is set up behind Renninger’s Antique & Farmer’s Market, with exhibitors outside, under tents and in two 350-foot long pavilions. The Indoor Antique Market and the Indoor Farmer's Market are also open during the Extravaganza. Admission is $10 on Thursday, $6 on Friday and $4 on Saturday. Dress for all weather; the show runs rain or shine.
10. 43rd Annual Spring Antique Collectors Sale
Spokane Fair Expo Center, 404 N. Havana St. Spokane, Washington
April 26 to 28, 2019
Friday 4 p.m. – 9 p.m.; Saturday 10 a.m. – 6 p.m.; Sunday 10 a.m. – 4 p.m.
This event is the largest indoor antique and collectors’ sale of its kind in the Inland Northwest with 200 dealers participating from all over the west coast. Shop among thousands of vintage treasures rare to retro, including kitchenware, industrial, estate and costume jewelry, furniture, primitives, rustic garden, elegant glass, shabby chic, prints, and more. Find antiques in all price ranges for the discriminating collector to the treasure hunter.
11. D.C. Big Flea & Antiques Market
May 4 & 5, 2019
Dulles Expo Center, Chantilly, Virginia
Sat. 9 a.m. – 6 p.m., Sun. 11 a.m. – 5 p.m.
The D.C. Flea is the mid-Atlantic’s largest indoor antiques and collectibles flea market. Shop for anything from fine antiques to vintage clothing and accessories at over 700 booths in two huge halls. Dealers showcase a wide variety of merchandise including porcelain, glass, silver, jewelry, collectibles from all eras, art and lots of midcentury modern. Admission, $10, is valid for the whole weekend.
12. Rocky Mountain Antique Festival
Douglas County Fairgrounds, 500 Fairgrounds Dr., Castle Rock, Colorado
April 26, 27 & 28, 2019
Enjoy quality authentic antique and vintage shopping featuring dealers from 15 states. There will be dealers selling jewelry, postcards, primitives, 1950s dinettes, furniture, western, art pottery, art glass, comic books, Native American, vintage clothing, toys, lighting, cameras and much more. Early Buyer’s Day is Friday, April 26, 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. Admission is $10 for adults and it includes admission all weekend. Regular festival days are Saturday 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. and Sunday 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. Admission is $6 for adults; $3 for children ages 9-12; ages 8 and under are free. Free parking. (Hint: purchase Friday tickets online for half price.) And look for other Rocky Mountain Antique Festivals in Loveland, Colorado, July 13 and 14, 2019; and in Colorado Springs, Colorado, July 21 and 22, 2018.
13. Brimfield Antiques and Collectibles Show
May 14 to 19, 2019
Brimfield Town Hall, 23 Main St., Brimfield, Massachusetts
Hours vary but most are from early morning to late afternoon
Make your way to central Massachusetts to visit the market that attracts over 50,000 people three times a year. The six-day Brimfield Flea Market hosts Tuesday-through-Sunday shows each year in May, July, and September. Over twenty independent fields of dealers make up the market, and they have a staggered opening and closing schedule. Some fields have an admission fee of about $5 but most are free. This large market, stretched along a mile on both sides of Route 20, is an exciting tradition that attracts visitors from many states and countries.
Spring flea markets await thousands of antique enthusiasts and collectors – be sure to plan your visit soon. Kovels.com has more information and tips on navigating flea markets, negotiating smart deals and identifying original objects. Kovels’ booklet, Flea Market Strategies: How to Shop, Buy, and Bargain the 21st-Century Way, has tips on what to wear, what to bring along and how to negotiate. Also included, tips on spotting fakes, advice on how to pay for purchases, and a list of the latest smartphone apps to help buyers shop, share and ship. Available at KovelsOnlineStore.com.
Photo credit: Petticoat Junktion