Why should shopping for great antique and collectible bargains, chatting with dealers and munching on local snacks be limited to summer and fall months? Here are 7 favorite indoor flea markets that are worth a trip. Each is renowned for its scale, variety of items, negotiable prices and popularity among both locals and tourists. Best of all, they are opportunities to have fun and learn something new.
1. The Portland Expo Antique & Collectible Show
2060 N. Marine Dr., Portland, Oregon
Friday, Mar. 1 (Early Buyer’s Day – 10 a.m. – 6 p.m., $30 good all weekend)
Saturday, Mar. 2 (9 a.m. – 6 p.m.) and Sunday, Mar. 3, 2019 (10 a.m. – 4 p.m.)
With close to 1,000 vendors and collectibles from quirky to chic, the Portland Expo bills itself as “America’s largest antique and collectible show.” Merchandise has to be at least 30 years old, and they advertise “cool” things for the collector who remembers G.I. Joe, Star Trek and Fisher Price as well as the baby boomer who wants to connect to the things that were around when they were in their teens. Other categories include vintage clothing; glassware; silverware; kitchenware; antique radios; movie memorabilia; collectible toys from the 1880s to the 1970s; dolls; pop collectibles like Star Wars, sci-fi books and comics; and much more! For those who want to have an item appraised, accredited appraisers will be at the show during all public hours, providing verbal market evaluations for $7 per object with proceeds going to a local charity. Admission: $8, good for both days; children 12 – 17: $3; under 12: free. Parking: $10. For more information: expocenter.org/events/america’s-largest-antique-and-collectible-show-11
2. Scott’s Antique Market
Atlanta Expo Center, Atlanta, Georgia
Thursday, Feb. 7 – Sunday Feb. 10, 2019
Thursday, Mar. 7 – Sunday, Mar. 10, 2019
Thursday, Apr. 11 – Sunday, Apr. 14, 2019
Scott’s advertises itself “America’s favorite treasure hunt.” It’s one of America’s largest antiques shows, with over 2,000 booths in two buildings as well as outdoors, with a shuttle that runs back and forth. Browse through furniture, rugs, architectural elements, silver, copper, jewelry, pottery, glass, paper, and housewares for hard-to-find antiques from a variety of eras and regions. Plenty of bargains. Thursday 10:45 a.m. – 6 p.m.; Friday and Saturday 9 a.m. – 6 p.m.; Sunday 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. Admission $5, parking is free. Other Scott shows are held at the Columbus Expo Center in Columbus, Ohio: February 23 – 24 and March 23 – 24, 2019, and the Fayette County Fairgrounds (outdoors) in Washington Courthouse, Ohio: April 26 – 27, 2019. For more information: www.scottantiquemarket.com
3. The D.C. Big Flea Antiques Market
Dulles Expo Center, Chantilly, Virginia
Saturday, March 2 – Sunday, March 3, 2019
Saturday, May 4 – Sunday, May 5, 2019
Sat. 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., Sun. 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.
The D.C. Flea invites you to “decorate your life” at the Mid-Atlantic’s largest indoor flea market. Shop for unique and affordable antiques, 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. Note the “antiques trifecta” happening the weekend of May 4 & 5, 2019: the 2019 Washington Modernism Show will be held in the North Hall of the Dulles Expo Center, as well as the American Art Pottery Association's annual show, while the DC Big Flea takes place in the South Hall. One admission will be good for all three shows and for both days. For more information: www.thebigfleamarket.com/dc-show.
4. Nashville Flea Market
Nashville Expo Center at the Tennessee State Fairgrounds, 625 Smith Avenue, Nashville, Tennessee
License to Chill: February 22 – 24, 2019
In Bloom: March 22 to 24, 2019
April Bash: April 26 to 28, 2019
A Day in the Sun: May 24 to 26, 2019
Friday 8 a.m. – 5p.m., Saturday 7 a.m. – 6 p.m., Sunday 7 a.m. – 4 p.m.
The Nashville Flea Market is considered to be one of the top 10 flea markets in the country and the No. 1 flea market in Tennessee, operating for more than 50 years. With 800 to 1,200 dealers and vendors from 30 states offering items monthly, the market advertises a huge and unique selection of antique furniture, dishware, clothing, rugs, jewelry, leather goods, art and 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. For more information: www.thefairgrounds.com/fleamarket/
5. Randolph Street Market
Chicago’s Plumbers Hall, 1341 W. Randolph St., Chicago, Illinois
Saturday, February 23 – Sunday, 24, 2019
Saturday, March 30 – Sunday, 31, 2019
Saturday, April 27 – Sunday, 28, 2019
10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Downtown Chicago’s Randolph Street Market, located west of the Loop, features vintage, antique, and global goods that provide a mix of merchandise for all price ranges, from thrifty to extravagant. Open one weekend during most months throughout the year, professional pickers and deal seekers descend on the three-level market for its storied variety of vintage fashion and apparel, ceramics, glass, jewelry, and paintings. Booths are separated into categories within the market: Chicago Antique Market, Indie Designer Market and Modern Vintage. For those looking for just about anything retro or vintage, this is a great place to go. Items range from embroidered hankies and estate jewelry to vintage and indie fashion, household and kitchen items, midcentury furniture, industrial design, memorabilia, and art. Admission is $10 pre-paid, $12 at the gate. There are also packages for multiple admissions, admission with a tote, admission plus drinks and snacks, even season’s passes. For more information: www.randolphstreetmarket.com
6. The Factory Antique Mall
50 Lodge Lane, Verona, Virginia
Monday through Thursday 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.; Friday and Saturday 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.; Sunday: 1:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m.
Nestled in the Shenandoah Valley, with 130,000 square feet of antiques, furniture and collectibles (and still growing), the Factory Antique Mall claims to be the largest mall in the country. The flea market is not only famous for its size, but also, thanks to its wide and well-respected collection of rare pieces, it has also been used for set dressing in period films and TV series, including “Lincoln” and “Turn.” Items are sourced from all over the world, so shoppers who are looking for a rare antique or a particular piece for a collection, will find plenty to keep them browsing all day. For more information: factoryantiquemall.com/
7. Gathering of Friends Antiques Market
Bachman’s Garden Center, 6010 Lyndale Ave. S., Minneapolis, Minnesota
March 28 – 31, 2019
Thursday & Friday 9 a.m. – 7:30 p.m.
Saturday 9 a.m. – 5:30 p.m.
Sunday 10 a.m. – 3 p.m.
Free Admission & Free Parking
A Gathering of Friends Antiques Market is a twice-a-year antique and vintage show held at Bachman’s flagship Store in Minneapolis. The show features juried dealers that bring a mixture of looks for home and garden. Design included is industrial, primitive, cottage, vintage lodge, midcentury and European, as well as re-purposed and up-cycled goods. The market began when a group of friends decided to combine their talents and create a show. They’ve been together since 2002 and have grown as more dealers were added and the variety of goods expanded. The dealers shop all over the U.S. and Europe to bring thousands of unique vintage and antique items to sell, all under one roof, providing good design, unique pieces and a fun experience. Fall show: October 17 – 20, 2019. For more information: www.agatheringoffriends.net/