8 Midwest Flea Markets to Add to Your Must-Visit List
If salvaged corbels from old farmhouses, wooden bottle crates and plaid thermoses make your heart go pitter-patter, you're among the many Midwesterners eager to welcome flea market season. Most Midwest fleas open their doors (and parking lots) in late spring, ushering in avid collectors and casual thrifters alike. Some markets also continue through the winter months, moving indoors to showcase holiday treasures and special seasonal offerings. No matter what time of year you visit, these Midwest markets are worth a look.
Randolph Street Market, Chicago, Illinois
Now this is where you go to source the on-trend pieces you see in your favorite influencers' homes, like vintage Turkish rugs and cocktail-ready bar carts. Reminiscent of Parisian open-air markets, Chicago's famous Randolph Street Market is one of the best urban flea markets in the country. Many of its booths look like polished, expertly-curated rooms, and it's half the fun of browsing. Add this market to your must-visit list the next time you're in the Windy City.
When to go: July, September, November and December
Shipshewana Auction and Flea Market: Shipshewana, Indiana
Shipshewana Flea Market is not to be missed, and not just because it spans over 30 football fields. The Midwest's largest outdoor flea market is also big on variety. Old-school globes, antique wooden furniture, books, blue Mason jars and architectural salvage are just a few examples of popular vintage decor items you'll find at this market in the heart of Amish country. Booths are stocked with potted plants, fresh-picked local produce and handmade goods too.
When to go: Every Tuesday and Wednesday, May through September
Jenkins + Co. Springfield Antique Show & Flea Market, Springfield, Ohio
Just outside of Dayton, you'll discover a 40-year-old flea market at the Clark County Fairgrounds that's been named one of the best in the nation by publications like Martha Stewart Living time and again. Trend-setters, artisans and collectors converge at this market that occurs nine times throughout the year; its semi-annual "Extravaganza" events feature more than 2,000 vendors and are especially spectacular.
When to go: January, March, April, May, June, August, September, October and November
Kane County Flea Market, St. Charles, Illinois
Since 1967, the family-operated Kane County Flea Market has been a local and beloved mainstay at the Kane County Fairgrounds in Saint Charles. If you're hunting for collectible vinyl records and radios, original oil paintings or hand-turned wooden chairs, you're in luck: at least one of the show's 600 dealers is sure to deliver. After the market, scout out St. Charles' many antique shops for more one-of-a-kind finds.
When to go: March through December
Junkstock, Waterloo, Nebraska
Peace, love and community is the vibe at this funky vintage and artisan festival at Sycamore Farms in Waterloo—and contrary to its name, Junkstock is a lot more than just "junk." Beyond the chippy, rusted, well-loved treasures, food vendors serve up açai bowl and egg rolls, live music plays from a stage decked out in farmhouse decor and kids stay entertained with face-painting and balloon animals.
When to go: Late April/early May, late September/early October
Elkhorn Antique Flea Market, Elkhorn, Wisconsin
Where can you find a Victorian pie safe, a necklace from the Roaring '20s and a groovy midcentury lamp? Answer: the Elkhorn Antique Flea Market at the Walworth County Fairgrounds. Showcasing over 500 vendors indoors and out, the small-town market has an impressive selection of antiques spanning many styles and eras. Another perk: kettle corn, grilled porkchops and cheese curds are available to nosh on while you shop.
When to go: May, June, August and September
Junk Jubilee, Des Moines, Iowa
Fall for Bakelite bangles, vintage gardening tools and salvaged signs all over again when you visit the Junk Jubilee in the Varied Industries Building at the Iowa State Fairgrounds. In November, the market returns with a holiday twist (Junk Jubilee Jingles) to keep gifting spirits bright. Don't miss these other Des Moines attractions during your visit.
When to go: April and November
Duluth Junk Hunt, Duluth, Minnesota
Reclaimed railroad crossing signs. Retro patio chairs. Wooden trunks. One man's junk is another man's treasure at this cherished indoor market in Minnesota, where more than 100 purveyors from all over the state gather to sell vintage, repurposed and handmade goods. After you've scored at the market, explore more of Duluth's maritime marvels along Minnesota's North Shore.
When to go: April and November