this past saturday my mom, sister & i road tripped it to canton, texas (which is about an hour away from richardson where we live) to explore & treasure hunt at the “world’s largest outdoor market.” canton’s first monday trade days is THE place to shop for unique, one-of-a-kind items including vintage, quirky décor, furniture, antiques, clothing, toys, jewelry & so much more. this place has it all! you can’t really see it all in one day since it’s such a massive market so i wanted to share 5 tips to help you have a fun shopping day if you plan to check it out.
(ps- scroll to the bottom for a reenactment of a photo of me & my mom from canton when we went back in 1987!)
1. wear comfortable shoes & clothing that will easily allow you to try stuff on
you will be walking a ton, so wear tennis shoes or shoes with some cushion. i wouldn’t suggest flip flops or flats or anything that will rub a blister! also, if you plan on trying clothing items on, wear layers that are easy to remove because sometimes the stalls or shops don’t have dressing rooms. i’m not shy to take my top off in public so i didn’t really care, but i would suggest a tank top with a lightweight jacket or overshirt so you can peel that layer off and try dresses, tops and sweaters/jackets on.
2. bring cash & try to bargain
i read that there is an ATM there, but we brought cash with us so we didn’t have to hunt it down. cards are accepted in some of the stalls/shops but small bills ($1’s, $5’s and $10’s) will give you bargaining power with vendors. let’s say you’re looking at a ring and he gives you a price of $10, pull out your $5 bill and offer it kindly & with a smile, most of the time they will take what offer or you can meet in the middle as they are there to make the sale! if not, play like you are uninterested for a few minutes & keep looking around nearby to see if they change their mind….which leads me to the next tip.
3. if you find something you can’t live without, don’t pass it up
since the market is so massive, it’s best to buy what you want when you find it. if there is a treasure you fall in love with, bargain if you can but don’t let it slip away because A) you might never find that booth/shop again, B) someone else might snatch it.
4. bring a cart to haul your goodies & snacks around in
funny story: we brought a cart (similar to this one but with only 2 wheels) with us & we loaded it up with snacks (white cheddar cheeze-its, peanut m&m’s and water) and pulled it up to the entrance with us and started walking around and for a few minutes stood there questioning if we would get annoyed pulling something around behind us! we were so close to taking it back to the car but at the end of the day we were SO thankful we had it because it would have been really annoying to have to carry the bags in our hands while we continued shopping. a backpack would be useful as well (we had one of those too), but a cart just held more and we took turns pulling it. they sell carts there or you can rent them but it was like $20 or something so if you have one, bring it with you.
5. come hungry, try new foods & save room for dessert
there was a food pavilion that we found when we were all getting hungry and it had tons of options for lunch. it was like the fair but on crack! fried oreos, cheesecake, funnel cakes, brisket sandwiches, pizza, hot dogs, turkey legs, but there were also vendors throughout the entire market selling tamales, roasted pecans, shaved ice, etc. so come hungry and leave room for dessert.
i had been to canton before when i was ~2 years old so i obviously didn’t remember it but as soon as we parked my mom surprised me & busted out some old photos & we just HAD to try to recreate this picture! if i had planned it i would have even worn pink joggers & a white top- ha!
i plan to share what items i came home with in another post, i just need to photograph them all! in the meantime, you can see a sneak peek of a few things i bought like this amazing stetson hat here, these white western-inspired ankle booties here & this beautiful jade-colored floral kimono here.