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. Kovels has compiled a list of spring flea markets that are well worth a trip. Each of the 9 markets is renowned for its variety of items, negotiable prices, popularity among both vendors and shoppers across the U.S. and great food. Kovels’ Top 9 are listed below, with details on each flea market.
1. Elephant’s Trunk Country Flea Market
490 Danbury Rd. (Rte. 7 / 202), New Milford, Conn.
Every Sunday beginning March 25, 2018, through mid-December, including Sundays on all holiday weekends.
The Elephant’s Trunk Country Flea Market season opens their 2018 season on March 25. 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.
2. Original Round Top Antiques Fair – Spring Antique Week
4036 Texas Hwy., Round Top, Texas
Monday, April 2 through Saturday, April 7, 2018
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 2 through 7. 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 start March 22 and run through April 8 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.
3. Nashville Flea Market
Nashville Expo Center, Tennessee State Fairgrounds, 625 Smith Avenue, Nashville, Tennessee
Spring Fling: March 23 to 25, 2018
Spring Extravaganza: April 27 to 29, 2018
Spring Fest: May 25 to 27, 2018
Friday 8 a.m. to 5p.m., Saturday 7 a.m. to 6 p.m., Sunday 7 a.m. to 4 p.m.
The Nashville Flea Market is considered 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.
4. Rose Bowl Flea Market
THE Rose Bowl, Pasadena, California
Second Sunday of every month: April 8, May 13, and June 10, 2018
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.
5. Long Beach Antique Flea Market
Long Beach Veterans Stadium, 4901 E. Conant St., Long Beach, California
Third Sunday of every month: April 15, Special 5th Sunday Super Sale April 29, May 20, and June 17, 2018
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.
6. Renninger’s Kutztown Antique and Collector’s Extravaganza
740 Noble St., Kutztown, Pennsylvania
April 26 to 28, 2018 and June 28 to 30, 2018
8 a.m. to 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.
7. Springfield Antique Show & Flea Market
Clark County Fairgrounds, Springfield, Ohio
April 21 & 22, May 18, 19 & 20 Extravaganza, and June 16 & 17, 2018
Saturday 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Sunday 9 a.m. to 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, and artisanal goods.
8. D.C. Big Flea & Antiques Market
Dulles Expo Center, Chantilly, Virginia
April 28 & 29, 2018
Sat. 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., Sun. 11 a.m. to 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. Also, in the North Hall of the Expo Center, check out the Washington D.C. Modernism Show & Sale.
9. Brimfield Antiques and Collectibles Show
Brimfield Town Hall, 23 Main St., Brimfield, Massachusetts
May 8 to 13, 2018
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, stretching 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.