Shopping

12 Flea Markets to Visit This Weekend

Whether you want to barter with powerhouse antiques dealers at Brimfield, or snag deals at a race track in Seekonk, there are several great spots for finding treasures just a short drive from Boston.


Brimfield Antiques Show by 6SN7 on Flickr/Creative Commons

Flea markets are the stadium sport of shopping. You need to get there early, fight the crowds, and be up for competitive haggling, you often break for a sausage with peppers, and you may or may not leave with a prize. So for all of us who would rather cheer for a matching set of midcentury modern consoles in mint condition than for men tossing around a ball, welcome to your lineup. Here’s our list of 12 flea markets all within a two hour drive of Boston.

Cambridge Antique Market

☑ Free parking in the building’s small lot
☑ Free admission
☑ 1.6 miles from Boston

After a very brief unscientific survey, it seems that many Bostonians have driven right by this large brick building with a colorful mural on one side without ever knowing that it’s a giant flea market. Five entire floors are filled with over 150 dealers selling furniture, lighting fixtures, artwork, fine silver, glass, china, toys, dolls, books, vintage clothing, and much more. The best part might be the selection of used bikes perfect for replacing that expensive one you bought that was promptly stolen. The second best part might be the late opening time, perfect for those of us who don’t love waking up with the sun and for those die-hard treasure hunters who can hit up a couple other markets first. If you fall in love with this gem right in the middle of town, there is an outpost in Provincetown every summer.

Located at 201 Monsignor O’Brien Highway, Cambridge. Open every Tuesday through Sunday from 11 a.m to 6 p.m. For more info, visit marketantique.com

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Somerville Flea

☑ Free admission
☑ Free street parking on Sundays
☑ 5.6 miles from Boston

Eight years ago Cambridge resident Greg Ghazil was on the hunt for old tools. His search brought him all over New England, and as far as New York City, where he was awestruck by the Brooklyn Flea and wondered why Boston didn’t have a similar market in the city. His idea to start one was whole-heartedly supported by Mayor Curtatone’s office and since its launch, the application pool for vendors continues to grow. In an attempt to keep it manageable, only about 30-35 sellers are admitted each Sunday, but the highly curated selection includes a little bit of everything, from vintage items to restored furniture to art. The three most popular vendors include I Want a Pony vintage, Atomic Flat furniture refinishers, and Botanie, which makes jewelry out of living plants. The Kimball Fruit Farm stand also draws a crowd as people pick up their veggies for the week after perusing the artisan wares. Even if you aren’t in the mood to shop, there’s always live music from some of the area’s most popular musicians, such as Dan Blakeslee and Danielle Miraglia, who have both been known to stop by for an open air concert.

Located at 52 Holland St., Somerville. Sundays starting in August through October 20 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Keep an eye out for additional night markets and holiday market on their website, thesomervilleflea.com.

Revere Flea Market

☑ Street parking
☑ Free admission except for $1 on Sundays
☑ 6.2 miles from Boston

Perhaps the most stereotypically Boston of all the area flea markets, the Revere Flea is filled with a lot of colorful characters and an Italian ice cart. Vendors have to pay more rental money based on what they’re selling and if they want a good spot, so if you see a seller far off in the distance, chances are it’s someone’s yard sale. Although those tables are still worth checking out, favorite sellers include “Bunny the jean lady” who needs no further explanation, a guy who sells unopened old toys, a sneaker guy, and a luggage guy. There’s also sometimes a great selection of rugs. But if you strike out, the market sets up in the parking lot of the Showcase Cinemas, so you can always go see a movie. Or if it’s nice out, make it a beach day at Revere Beach.

Located at 565 Squire Road, Revere. Open on Tuesday, Saturday and Sunday in April through December from 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. For more info, check out their Facebook page. 

Todd Farm Flea Market by ann-dabney on Flickr/Creative Commons

Todd Farm Antique & Flea Market

☑ Free parking and an additional $5 lot across the street
☑ Free admission
☑ 33 miles from Boston 

For almost 50 years, this has been the spot for early morning pickers. Over 200 hundred vendors set up shop each Sunday and most arrive as early as 3 a.m to greet the up-at-the-crack-of-dawners who almost pack the field before 6 a.m. There are regular vendors who pay to reserve the same space each week, but each market also brings a wave of newcomers and one-timers so the vast selection stays surprising, but one thing is certain: not much is brand new. The market discourages the sale of pieces that aren’t antique, vintage, or used, unless they happen to be a vendor’s own handmade creations. A real hotspot for estate sale folks, expect to find some top-of-the-line goodies, but only if you’re the earliest of birds. If you’re not a morning person and don’t care about catching the worm, the Barn and House Shops at Todd Farm are open year-round and offer a less hectic shopping experience. There’s also a small snack bar that offers grill items in the summer months.

Located at 283 Main St., Rowley. Open Sundays in mid April until the end of November from 5 a.m. to 3 p.m., but the Barn at Todd Farm is open year-round. For more info, visit toddsfarm.com

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 Raynham

☑ Free parking
☑ $1 admission, $.75 for seniors and kids under 12 are free
☑ 35.5 miles from Boston

Every Sunday for the past 40 years, rain or shine, hundreds and hundreds of vendors have set up for the thousands and thousands of shoppers that stroll through the Raynham flea market. A 60,000 square foot building houses some vendors, while a more hearty bunch sets up shop on the 10-acre lot outside, even in the dead of winter. There’s no emphasis on antiques, so you’ll find just about anything you may or may not need from computers to phones to pocketbooks to collectibles to perfume to vacuum cleaners to candles. There’s a seller who specializes in bungee cords, another who sells high-visibility clothes for construction workers, a guy who does jewelry repairs, and another who has a great selection of $1 items. It’s not particularly upscale, but a haven for bargain hunters. The scope of it feels hard to conquer, so when you need refueling, stop by the concession stand for a beer, a turkey leg, and some churros.

Located at 480 S Street West, Raynham. Open year-round on Sundays from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. For more info, visit raynhamflea.com

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Grafton Flea

☑ Free parking
☑ $1 admission, kids under 12 are free
☑ 40 miles from Boston 

Fifty years ago Mike Peter’s father and uncle inherited land that had an apple orchard and a campground. Having been to a flea market in New Hampshire once, they thought maybe starting one of those would be a better bet. Today, the market is one of the oldest in New England and is still run by Peters and his family. Close to 300 dealers set up shop in the pine grove setting on a summer Sunday and about 5,000 people will come through the gates.

Over the years, to accommodate the growing crowds, Peters bought surrounding land, and now the market sits on close to 20 acres, and a new building was constructed to house regular vendors and a food court. If you want to class up your plate of fried dough and soft serve, there’s a beer and wine garden with seating and the occasional live band. A more leisurely lunch will be a part of your winning strategy, because this market is a marathon—doors open at the early hour of 5 a.m. and don’t close until 4 p.m. Shoppers can expect to see the new mixed in with the old. One stand may have fidget spinners while the next will have a huge vintage record collection or a guy who will fix your broken computer. There are even some area store owners who set up small satellite shops at the market to take advantage of the foot traffic.

Located at 296 Upton St., (Route 140) Grafton. Open Sundays from 5 a.m. to 4 p.m., April through December. For more info, visit graftonflea.com

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Pro.Found Market

☑ Free parking
☑ Early bird tickets for $10 or $12 at the gate
☑ 46 miles from Boston

Trisha Monagle, Kim Urquhart, Michelle Palmer, and Kim Reed all own home décor shops in Boston’s metro west suburbs, but instead of viewing each other as competitors, they decided to work together to create the market of their dreams. They scouted other lifestyle vendors in their network, found a large space on the Kalon Farm and launched what they thought would be a one-time market in September of 2017. They’ve since expanded to include 150 sellers three weekends a year with thousands of shoppers passing through.

The experience is highly curated by the four founders and showcases new handmade products alongside antiques. You’ll find home accessories, furniture, garden supplies, jewelry and bags, candles and bath products, stationery and art. Vendors have to apply to be considered, so newcomers get mixed in with regular vendors each time. One favorite seller is “Frankie the box guy,” who sells vintage crates arranged in an architectural vignette in his booth that is often a draw itself. If you’re dragging along someone who hates to shop, they’ll be delighted to see the food trucks, local breweries, and sets by area bands. There’s also a farm stand on the property that sells their own wine and grass-fed beef. There will also be an indoor holiday market in Boxboro featuring Friday evening hours with cocktails and passed appetizers.

Located at 339 7 Bridge Road, Lancaster. Open for one weekend each spring, summer, and fall. For dates, visit theprofoundmarket.com.

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Sandwich Bazaar

☑ Free parking
☑ Free admission
☑ 61.5 miles from Boston 

Lisa Davis is known on the upper Cape first for her homemade bread company the Sandwich Bread Basket, but also because she has managed the Sandwich Bazaar for the past 11 of its 20 year history. Although she’s slowed down with the baking in recent years, she’s grown the bazaar from its humble seasonal beginnings of one-day-a-week in the high school parking lot to the flourishing year-round market it is today.

Located on the town’s recreational 18-acre grassy Oak Cove Field, the vendors mostly sell unusual antiques, nautical collectibles, and old sports memorabilia, but because there’s no registration required for the summer bazaar, different sellers set up every time. One favorite is Bruce, from the Dizzy Eagle Trading Company, a regular with a following known for his beautiful silver turquoise jewelry. Another popular vendor this summer was the husband and wife team who sold their handmade colorful floor mats fashioned from old lobster trap rope. A stall that always attracts long lines is the reasonably-priced produce seller from Westport who collects fresh fruit and veggies from the many different growers on the farm coast.

Need another day to visit? Last year Davis and the crew announced another market on Tuesdays in Mattapoisett outside at the Knights of Columbus from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. on June 2 until September 15.

Located in summer months at 34 Quaker Meeting House Road, Sandwich and winter months at the American Legions Hall 20 Main St., Sandwich. St. Open Wednesdays from 6 a.m. to 12 p.m on April 24 through October 16 and on Sundays from 7 a.m. to 1 p.m. on June 2 through September 15 and every other Saturday starting in November. For more info, visit thesandwichbazaar.com.

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Seekonk Flea Market

☑ Free parking
☑ $1 admission, kids are free
☑ 64 miles from Boston

For the past 20 years, the Seekonk Speedway plays host to a flea market on its grounds on race-free Sundays. Because of the ample space, about 250 merchants are able to set up each week. There are some regulars, but there’s pre-registration required, so each week brings new vendors. Sometimes nearby residents bring their yard sale to the field instead of their own front lawn, knowing they can count on about 5,000 prospective buyers. By the time the gates open in the early morning, there’s usually already a line of about 100 and a steady flow of shoppers continues all day. Ed St. Germain, the director of business development for the Speedway, recommends that visitors and vendors alike arrive early for the best selection of vintage athletic goods, sporting equipment, electronics, bikes, toys, tools, and everything in-between. Sellers also have the option of paying $25 to get into a faster pre-paid line for an earlier set-up. There are some stalls selling fresh fruits and vegetables and a concession stand that has breakfast items and sandwiches.

Located at 1782 Fall River Ave., Seekonk. Open Sundays from 7 a.m. to 1 p.m. starting in late March or early April and closing until around Thanksgiving or when it starts to snow. For more info, visit seekonkfleamarket.com.

Brimfield Antique Flea Market

☑ Various parking lots ranging from $5 to $10
☑ Some shows charge an admission fee
☑ 66 miles from Boston 

The holy grail of flea markets, and the largest outdoor antiques show in the world, Brimfield sees thousands of vendors fill roughly twenty fields for miles along Route 20 with their wares for about a week three times a year. People travel from all over to experience it, including buyers for major brands, sought-after interior designers, and celebrities like the queen of home décor herself, Ms. Martha Stewart. Predictably overwhelming and impossible to digest in a single visit, reading up on some helpful tips before you go will make for a much less frustrating day. Your phone is a handy tool for plotting your mission on the ground and finding specific vendors; use the Brimfield geotag on Instagram or download the Brimfield Flea Finder app, complete with a full map of the show fields, restrooms, and ATMs. And of course, remember to have fun and reward yourself with the delicious kettle corn and cider donuts after you’ve filled your trunk with wares.

Located at 35 Palmer Road, Brimfield. Open for six days in May, July, and September. Hours are typically between 6 a.m. and 9 a.m., but for more info, visit Brimfieldshow.com.

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Yankee Flea

☑ Free parking
☑ Free admission
☑ 75 miles from Boston 

Mike Walker has been running the Yankee flea market for the past nine years, ever since the previous owner couldn’t make a go of it. Walker’s family owns the building, and so when the space became available, he decided to try his hand at making the market a success. Today the year-round flea, which is run like a co-op, occupies 15,000 square feet with almost 200 vendors who pay a monthly rental fee and a small commission of their sales. Some of the vendors have been there since before Walker’s time, and although they all do well collectively, the most popular items these days are painted early American furniture and vintage Pyrex.

One vendor not to miss is a guy named Steve who has been in the business for over 50 years and sells cool hammered iron pieces, art, lamps, and pottery that he finds on his travels. Also, be sure to swing by Walker’s booth, which features vintage and antique advertising on everything from cardboard to porcelain to old gas and oil signs. There’s plenty of parking, but when neighboring Brimfield is in full-swing, the Yankee flea gets crowded with visitors on their way to their antique mecca. To accommodate the crowds, the market extends their hours on Monday through Saturday to 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. If you’re looking for a nearby watering hole for a snack and a drink, pop into the Steaming Tender, an old train station that has been converted into a restaurant and is thoughtfully decorated in its own collection of appropriate railway antiques.

Located at 1311 Parker St., (Route 20) Palmer. Open Tuesdays through Saturdays from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. For more info, visit yankeefleamarket.com

A sign for every place by Holly Ladd on Flickr/Creative Commons

Wellfleet flea market

☑ Free parking
☑ $3 per car
☑ 96 miles from Boston 

Touted as the biggest and best flea market on Cape Cod, it’s also potentially the one with the most historical significance. Vendors set up on the site of one of the state’s last operating drive-ins, which was built in 1957 and screened such iconic films as JAWS, Star Wars and ET. In 1961, a mini golf course was added for visitors to enjoy while waiting for their movie to begin, and in 1974 the flea market made its debut. Today, anywhere from 50 to 200 vendors can set up. Most are cash only. They sell the expected mix of new and old, but one thing that sets this market apart (besides the historical setting) is the selection of Cape Cod memorabilia and beach items. Pick up an old tee for your dad who used to be a lifeguard at Coast Guard Beach in the summers, a snazzy colorful suit set for your sister, and a pair of sunglasses for you. There’s also a playground to keep the little ones entertained while you shop and a beer garden for your own amusement.

Located at 51 State Highway, (Route 6) Wellfleet. Open Wednesday, Thursday, Saturday and Sunday from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. weather permitting. For more info, visit wellfleetcinemas.com.