Flea markets are a popular activity throughout Minnesota. Some are scheduled weekly, and some occur once a year. Here are the five most noteworthy markets in Minnesota.
Wright County Swapper’s Meet
13594 100th St. N.W.
South Haven, MN 55382
Time: Saturdays and Sundays July and Aug.; Saturdays Only Sept., Oct., 2016
Price: Free Admission, Free Parking,
Stanley Miller adopted the term, “Swapper’s Meet,” from similar California outdoor markets in the ’70s. Now, the family farmstead is covered with up to 500 vendors on holiday weekends while 200 to 300 dealers, and vendors can be found on any given Saturday. Parking and admission is free. Find farm fresh produce, pony rides, puppies, gizmos, grandma’s dishes and other treasures. Grab a turkey leg, corn dog or burger and top that off with some mini donuts and pop from any of the many vendors. Be sure to wear your walking shoes. This place is huge.
Hamel Lions Flea Market
Medina Entertainment Center Grounds
500 Highway 55
Hamel, MN 55340
Time: Sundays from 6:00 a.m. to Noon Now Through September
Price: Free Admission, Free Parking.
The Hamel Lions Flea Market draws a big crowd. It fills up the Medina Entertainment Center parking area with more than 200 vendors and extends to the gravel overflow area. The market is located only a short drive west of Minneapolis, but get there early to claim the bargains. Stock up on plants, produce and vegetables brought in by farmers. Find small treasures for even smaller prices from sports memorabilia to collectibles from yesteryear. There are plenty of treats and goodies as well. The casual and friendly atmosphere makes it an ideal Sunday morning social event.
Shady Hollow Flea Market
12957 County Highway 17
Detroit Lakes, MN 56501
Time: Saturdays and Sundays July and Aug.; Sat., Sun., and Mon. Sept. 3, 4 and 5, 2016 at 6:30 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.
Price: Free Admission, Free Parking
This popular flea market draws vendors and shoppers from throughout the tri-state area. They have been coming for over 40 years to this pleasant 3.5-acre grassy hollow filled with shade trees. About twenty long-term vendors have constructed quaint little boutique cottages filled with handicrafts, collectibles, antiques and jewelry. Many other vendors fill up the space with nearly 100 vendors offering a greater variety of things for sale from face painting to farmers market fare to antique horseshoes. The Shady Hollow Grill and Pizzeria on the grounds offers pizza, wings and things. Leave room for snacks sold throughout the grounds like rich fudge and hot kettle corn.
Related: Best Flea Markets In Minnesota
Gold Rush—Olmsted County
Olmsted County Fairgrounds
Highway 63 S. and 16th Street
Rochester, MN 55904
Dates: Fri and Sat; Sun Fri. Aug 19 at 8:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m., Sat. Aug. 20 at 8:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m., Sun. Aug. 21, 2016 at 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.
Price: Free Admission, $5 Parking
Serious collectors already know about Rochester’s Gold Rush, which has been ongoing for 44 years. Dealers from around the nation fill the 1400 indoor and outdoor spaces covering the entire 52 acres of the fairgrounds. Townsend Promotions, Inc. organizes this and other antique shows throughout the Midwest. Flea market pickers can come to the Olmsted County Fairgrounds on any given Sunday between mid April and start of October where about 40 vendors participate in the All American Flea Market.
Antique Spectacular Show & Flea Market
Grandstand & Infield
Minnesota State Fairgrounds
1265 N. Snelling Ave. N
St. Paul, MN 55108
Time: Sat. Oct. 1 at 8:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.; Sunday Oct. 2, 2016 at 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.
Price: $6 Adults, Free for Children 12 and Under, Free Parking
Two hundred fifty high-powered dealers exhibit their wares indoors and out. Indoors are the finer antiques, furniture, rugs, glassware, pottery, clocks and collectibles. The show will go on despite any adverse weather conditions. Many other vendors are outside. All vendors offer easy drive up and loading. This is one of several major antique shows at the fairgrounds organized throughout the year by Prime Promotions. The Minnesota State Fair handles all food concessions.
Related: Best Farmers’ Markets Near Minnesota
Robin Johnson was born in Annandale, Minn. and graduated from Richfield High School and then the University of Minnesota where he studied Political Science, Business and Industrial Relations. A writer for Examiner.com, he also consults with a variety of organizations and individuals helping them develop and grow. His work can be found at Examiner.com.