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Can't-Miss Midwest Flea Markets

It's flea-market season. Whether you're a browser, a buyer or a bargainer—or all three—here's our list of must-attend Midwest flea markets, each filled with quality antique, vintage and art finds.  

Illinois

Sunday at Sandwich Antiques Show Sandwich, Illinois; July 12, August 9, October 11. Admission: $5.

After watching attendance drop at their city’s flea market, a team of seasoned antiques dealers took over the Sandwich Antiques Show in 2012. Today, their monthly market—known as Sunday at Sandwich—has established the northern Illinois city as a destination for quality antiques. Go for the valuable collectibles, but stay to browse the creatively repurposed goods. sundayatsandwichantiques.com

Photo courtesy of Sunday at Sandwich Antiques Show.

Third Sunday Market Bloomington, Illinois; June 21, July 19, August 16, September 20, October 18. Admission: $6.

More than 450 vendors fill the McLean County Fairgrounds with both indoor and outdoor displays of items like antique furniture, vintage clothing and sports memorabilia. thirdsundaymarket.com

Indiana

Shipshewana Flea Market Shipshewana, Indiana; every Tuesday and Wednesday May 5 through October 3. Admission: Free.

Farmers market meets antique fair at Shipshewana’s semiweekly event, which draws 900 vendors. Look for handcrafted furniture, garden art and antique pottery. When you need a break from haggling, dine on Amish cooking at the Auction Restaurant. tradingplaceamerica.com

Iowa

What Cheer’s Collectors’ Paradise Flea Market What Cheer, Iowa; July 31–August 2 and October 2–4. Admission: $2 on Friday and Saturday, free on Sunday.

Shoppers circle the fairgrounds’ gravel track, browsing the exhibits of hundreds of vendors. Stamps, coins, baseball cards and old tools make this show—as the name suggests—a collector’s paradise. After hours of walking, treat yourself to a deep-fried peanut butter and jelly sandwich from the funnel cake stand. whatcheerfleamarket.com

Photo by Danyell Klein.

Kansas

Sparks Flea Market Sparks, Kansas; September 3–6. Admission: Free.

Sparks (population: 9), near the Missouri-Kansas border, is quiet most days. But twice a year, the town welcomes 500 dealers and thousands of collectors for a flea market where shoppers can find the likes of top-condition advertising signs and salvaged fixtures. sparksantiquesandcollectibles.com

Michigan

Allegan Antiques Market Allegan, Michigan; June 28, July 26, August 30, September 27. Admission: $4.

Find well-curated collections of Depression glass, costume jewelry and home furnishings at the southwestern Michigan market, which hosts more than 400 vendors (half inside and half outside) at the Allegan County Fairgrounds. alleganantiques.com

Minnesota

Junk Bonanza Shakopee, Minnesota; September 24–26. Admission: $10.

What started as one woman’s garage sale quickly grew into a junk extravaganza. Since 2006, founder Ki Nassauer and her Junk Bonanza team have hand-picked vendors, assuring shoppers quality wares. Not quite sure what to do with your finds? Workshops teach techniques such as creating a centerpiece with vintage flair. junkbonanza.com

Photo courtesy of Junk Bonanza.

Downtown Oronoco Gold Rush Days Oronoco, Minnesota; August 14–16. Admission: Free.

In the 1850s a short-lived gold rush brought prospectors to Oronoco; today, visitors come for the flea market with more than 1,000 booths. Volunteers manage the event and donate after-expense proceeds to community groups. goldrushmn.com

Nebraska

JunkStock West Omaha, Nebraska; October 9–11. Admission: $6/day; $15/3-day pass.

A peace sign made of reclaimed tires hangs on the side of a barn at an old dairy farm to mark the entrance to the ’60s-inspired event. Drop the little ones off at the kids’ village, then browse the charmingly styled booths full of repurposed pieces, vintage clothing and more. Local musicians provide entertainment. junkstockomaha.com

Photos by Karyn Spencer.

Ohio

Springfield Antique Show and Flea Market Springfield, Ohio; August 15-16, September 18–20, October 17-18, November 21-22, December 12-13. Admission: $7.

Folk art and period furniture are a few of the treasures at the huge western Ohio market, where more than 2,000 vendors cover the Clark County Fairgrounds. springfieldantiqueshow.com

See the "Flea Bitten" story from Midwest Living's July/August 2015 issue.

Watch a short video with tips on flea market shopping from Tereasa Surratt, author of Found, Free & Flea.

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