7 of the Best Flea, Art and Farmers Markets to Explore This Spring
Leaves budding, daffodils blooming and birds chirping all signal the arrival of spring, as does the return of the springtime market. But these markets are more than mere shopping opportunities in Midwest cities and towns. They hopscotch between live entertainment, art and culture, all while celebrating local communities and traditions.
Chandelier Barn Market Spring Show, Montgomery, Indiana
Named for the chandelier soaring from the barn's rafters, the Chandelier Barn Market Spring Show is a scene of homespun elegance in Southern Indiana. A horse and wagon team conveys visitors from the parking lot to the barn, where you can while away the day shopping for antique and upcycled goods from 100 merchants. With its lake views and rambling 92 acres, the permanent antiques market (also on the grounds of Gasthof Amish Village) warrants exploration, too. Stop by the Amish bakery and restaurant to sample local delicacies. The market show returns in fall and Christmas for a holiday twist on the spring event.
When to go: May 5 and 6
Main Street in Bloom, St. Charles, Missouri
Just 30 minutes west of St. Louis' hustle and bustle, St. Charles is a charming town that hearkens back to colonial times. In spring, its historic Main Street bursts to life with an unmistakable flower theme. Ribbons and blooms adorn brick streets and photogenic buildings as attendees embark on a sunflower scavenger hunt through shops, dancers frolic around a maypole, and the kids' parade features the Lewis and Clark Fife and Drum Corps. This year's event will introduce crafting stations. "Children and adults will be able to work those creative muscles to make flower crowns and ribbon rings, or pick up a crayon and enjoy participating in one of the oversized floral coloring sheets," says Lydia Crespo, business owner and Main Street in Bloom Event Organizer.
When to go: May 6 and 7
Hen and Chicks Barn Market, Seymour, Indiana
Much of the appeal of Hen and Chick's Barn Market is its countryside setting. Soak in the pastoral beauty (and spring's ideal weather) while searching for vintage treasures. Live music is performed from a stage made from chippy chic doors, and the event's barn glows with string lights for a romantic, cozy feel. Grab a bite to eat from a silo that's been transformed into a food stand. Or buy a picnic from a food truck made from a classic mini trailer. A fall market is held in September.
When to go: May 19 and 20
Art Garage Spring Art Market, Green Bay, Wisconsin
If connecting with local artisans while shopping for your next treasure is right up your alley, the Art Garage's Spring Art Market is for you. Set in the heart of downtown Green Bay's Olde Main Street Arts District, visitors can meander through rows of handmade goods and chat with artists, or catch a crafting demonstration. Nearby, the Art Garage gallery houses permanent collections and displays.
When to go: June 3
Related: Top Things to Do in Green Bay
Elkhorn Antique Flea Market, Elkhorn, Wisconsin
If you're planning to hit up the Elkhorn Antique Flea Market, be sure to wear your comfiest walking shoes. With eight buildings and 500-plus dealers, there's a lot of ground to cover. "Plan on making a day of it and take your time to look carefully so as not to miss a hidden treasure," says owner Amy Nottestad. Elkhorn is a bucket-list market for collectors searching for that retro red dining set or chippy wagon, but antiques aren't the only draw—you'll also find plants and flowers, plus local produce stands. The market, now in its 41st season, repeats in June, August and September. Admission is $5.
When to go: May 21
Columbia Farmers Market, Columbia, Missouri
There are farmers markets, and there are farmers markets. On Saturdays from April through October, more than 5,000 visitors make their way to the Columbia Farmers Market, where 85 local farmer and artisans beckon with produce and goods like homemade apple butter, pies and BBQ brisket tacos. In 2021, it was named the People's Choice winner of the 13th annual America's Farmers Market Celebration co-sponsored by the Farmers Market Coalition and American Farmland Trust. Bottom line: Don't miss it. (Other destination farmers markets in the Midwest include Madison, Wisconsin's Dane County Farmers Market, the nation's largest producers-only farmers market; and the Downtown Farmers Market in Des Moines, which draws as many as 25,000 on Saturdays.)
When to go: April-October
Good Makers Market, Tipton, Iowa
Experience a tarot reading and pet a llama at Good Makers Market. Billed as eastern Iowa's hippest market, the vibe definitely leans eclectic. The main building, a handsome, high-ceilinged white barn, is a portal to curated goods from around the Midwest. Outside, stands featuring items like colorful, maximalist decor pieces and organic skincare products dot the grounds. Food trucks sling wood-fired pizzas, signature smoothies and acai bowls. Good Makers also holds a September show.
When to go: May 26 and 27