Some people think that a flea market is just a giant garage sale. Some think it is just full of antiques. Those were my thoughts as well. Then I spent the day at one and found so much more to discover.
The Kane County Flea Market has been up and running for 51 years. It was started by a woman named Helen Robinson and is still run by her sons today. Held on the Kane County Fairgrounds in St. Charles, the market hosts hundreds of vendors. We spent a good 3 hours discovering the various treasures available. The flea market operates one weekend per month, starting in March and ending in December. These sellers are set up inside and outside, so check the weather and plan your outfit accordingly. Parking is free, but the cost to enter is $5.00/person.
Going back to the “garage sale” thought process, there is the old saying “one person’s trash is another person’s treasure”. Quite a few vendors had, what looked like, estate sale collections. Plates, glass bowls, etc. Tchotchke heaven for some people. I can’t tell you how many pieces we saw that reminded us of our parent’s and grandparent’s homes. This is a great place to shop if you are looking for vintage pieces to mix in with your modern aesthetic. Or, maybe the vintage look is your whole aesthetic. Either way, the pickings are not slim here.
One object that seems to be having a renaissance right now, is the record player. Twenty-somethings today are asking for turntables for Christmas and birthdays. We have a few friends who like to host Vinyl Nights as well. Quite a few vendors had albums mixed in with their treasures. If you have the time and patience to go through them, you will probably find something to add to your personal collection.
Furniture is a popular item at the market as well. Some pieces are new, some are refurbished. Some are untouched antiques. Maybe you have been looking for that special piece to finish that bedroom or dining room you are remodeling. Or maybe you have always wanted to try to refinish a dresser yourself. You will surely find a good deal here. Some of the furniture sellers were also willing to custom build pieces as well.
The Flea Market is also a good place to go to for collectibles. Old and new. For the old, there were a handful of vendors who were selling Hot Wheels cars. I couldn’t tell if they were actual collector’s items but they were still in the original packaging. Same with the Barbies. They looked like older versions, but I am not an expert. I am sure there were more, but those were the two that caught my eye.
For the new, there were sports memorabilia vendors, beer steins, rooster statues, and more. What is with the rooster by the way? Is this still a part of kitchen décor? Because I see this creature everywhere.
Vendors selling new, craftier, items were scattered throughout the grounds as well. If you like jewelry, holy cow is this the place for you. So many sellers. So many beautiful pieces. Clothing, scarves, and purses were available. As was the largest selection of “bags” for all of your picnic gaming needs.
I know this adventure is not for everyone, and I was skeptical going into it as well, but, if you have a Saturday or Sunday afternoon free, this was a relaxing way to spend some time with your SO. Beautiful weather, lots of exercise, lots of treasures to explore.
Big tip: Bring cash. Some vendors do not have the ability to process credit cards. And haggling is a thing. Not my thing, but if it is your thing, you can definitely hone your skills here.