When Old is New to You
Every year when the leaves started to turn, my parents would go “antiquing.” At least, that’s what they called it. It was really just running the tag sale and flea market circuit. But my dad would get such sheer joy to the point of giddiness over getting a good deal.
It didn’t matter that I saw it as junk. To him, it was a treasure—especially if he got in on sale. “It was a steal!” he’d say with a grin on his face a mile wide. My mom would join him on his sojourns for the next best bargain, happily absorbing the fall foliage along the way.
So when the waning heat of summer yawns into crisp days and technicolor leaves, I think of flea markets. And if you’re anything like my dad, you’re in luck. We’ve got a ton of them in Connecticut.
(And if you happen to be in the neighborhood on September 23rd, there’s even an annual flea market event at the Lockwoods-Mathews Mansion in Norwalk. You can even bring the little ones to Stepping Stones Museum for Children right next door!)
Here’s a list of some of the more tried and true markets across the state:
Boulevard Flea Market
500 Ella T. Grasso Boulevard
Open year round on Saturdays and Sundays, this market boasts everything and the kitchen sink: televisions, car and home stereos, clothing, jewelry, furniture, and even fresh produce. And if you get hungry from all that shopping, just grab a hamburger or hot dog while you’re there!
College Mart Flea Market
2 Wedgewood Drive
One of the state’s largest indoor/outdoor flea market over two floors with 150 vendors and nearly 1,000 different tables. Antiques, collectibles, toys and games, tools, and more.
490 Danbury Road
Running solidly since the 1970s, it’s an eclectic mix of just about everything from clothing and jewelry to plants and electronics. They are open on Sundays only with a $2 admission fee and cash only.
Ideal’s Southington Flea Market & Tag Sale
2165 Meriden Waterbury Turnpike
Open every Sunday from March through November, this is an outdoor market, rain or shine. It’s right outside the Ideal’s Outlet furniture and surplus store—how convenient! Lots of jewelry, clothing, toys and games to choose from.
Redwood Country Flea Market
170 South Turnpike Road
There are anywhere from 50 to 80 different vendors at this market. They are open Saturdays and Sundays year round. With antiques and collectibles, crafts, furniture, stamps and coins, there’s something for everyone. On Yelp, reviews were mixed about this market.
86 Fitch Street
With a tag line of “Shop, Swap, and Save,” this is a bargain hunter’s dream come true. It is open all year round Fridays through Sundays with indoor and outdoor booths. It opened in May, 2011 and is conveniently situated near Southern Connecticut State University. Check out their Facebook page linked above.
Woodbury Antiques & Flea Market
44 Sherman Hill Road
Open every Saturday year round, this family-run business has had the new owners since 2008. Merchandise has an emphasis on antiques with plants and flowers also available. Admission is free.
This former dairy barn was converted into a flea market in 1980. Since then, they’ve had loyal vendors return to show off furniture, jewelry, glassware, and china. Open on Saturdays and Sundays.