There’s nothing like the thrill of bagging a bargain after a long day of retail therapy. Iowa’s flea markets are bursting to the brim with must-have goodies at rock-bottom prices, and we’ve compiled seven of the best.
Save Cash at Wapello Flea Market
Fifty vendors. Free admission. Free parking. Shoppers flock to Wapello Flea Market — which takes place on the third weekend of every month, from April through October — for a treasure trove of vintage swag and discounted merch. Located in Wapello — a small city in Iowa’s southeastern corner — the market runs the gamut from must-have collectibles to handmade crafts. We suggest you arrive early to avoid disappointment: the market opens Saturdays from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Sundays from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m, and is one of the most visited events in Iowa’s flea market directory.
Three Cheers for What Cheer Flea Market!
Situated at Keokuk County Fairgrounds — famous for its colorful carnival rides and summer antique tractor shows — What Cheer Flea Market sells a fusion of bric-a-brac and previously-loved valuables: stamps, coins, books, toys, jewelry. The market runs three weekends a year — in August, September, and October — in What Cheer, a 19th-century coal town dating back to the 1970s. Today, it features 500 vendors and lures bargain hunters from across the Midwest. What Cheer Flea Market opens at 7 a.m., and charges a $2 entrance fee on Fridays and Saturdays and free admission on Sundays.
Hunt for a Bargain at Webster County Fairgrounds Flea Market
Five miles southwest of historic Fort Dodge, Webster County Fairgrounds hosts dirt bike races and rodeos. It’s also home to a perennially-popular flea market, which takes place on the second weekend of every month. Here, an intricate labyrinth of cloth-covered tables prop up cardboard boxes full of books, clothes, games, and confectionery. There’s no admission fee from November through April, making the flea market a hot draw for cash-conscious consumers from nearby Badger, Barnum, and Clare.
Discover Unique Gifts at Bridge City Flea & Antique Market
Bridge City Flea & Antique Market sells an eccentric mix of old and new, with traditional porcelain figurines and contemporary glassware jostling for shelf space. Open Monday through Saturday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., the market is completely free, seducing shoppers athwart “The Hawkeye State.” Located in Ottumwa, just 84 miles from state capital Des Moines, Bridge City Flea & Antique Market boasts artisan accessories and cut-price antiques.
Search for Hidden Treasures at Dubuque Flea Market
A modern-day bazaar with curios and crafts, ornaments and oddments, Dubuque Flea Market is held three times a year — in February, April and October — and hosts more than 100 vendors. The market, which takes place at Dubuque County Fairgrounds, started in the 1960s and tempts local vendors who want to showcase handmade goods and second-hand wares. Dubuque Flea Market is a stone’s throw from the Mississippi River, attracting buyers and sellers from both sides of the “Big Muddy.” The market runs from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Escape the City Rush at Euclid Flea Market
Just 3.5 miles from downtown Des Moines, home to soaring skyscrapers and glass high rises, Euclid Flea Market offers a relaxed vibe away from the hustle and bustle of city life. Located on Euclid Avenue, which slices through the north of the metropolis, this indoor market stores an abundance of goodies: furniture, electronics, priceless knick-knacks. Inside, the walls are adorned with timeworn clocks and quirky picture frames. Euclid Flea Market is open Wednesday through Sunday, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Shop Like a Pro at West Kimberly Mall
The Downtown Oronoco Gold Rush Days is considered to be one of the top antique shows in the Midwest. The highly anticipated annual event showcases over 400 dealers throughout the country and filling over a thousand booths. This three day event happens on the third weekend of August.
About the Author
Katie Dillman is a Communications Coordinator with Premier Glow, an online retailer of glow products. She enjoys working with businesses through copywriting to share ideas that connect with their audience.