Have you been to Canton Trade Days?

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Hopefully your answer to the question above is YES! Because if you haven’t been to Canton, Texas, for their First Monday Trade Days, you are missing out! Though technically not “Dallas” fun, Canton is less than an hour away and their Trade Days are something every Dallas mom should experience. If you haven’t been, or are not an expert in all things Canton, you’ve come to the right place.

It never fails. Someone visits my house for the first time and asks where I got the ceiling tile art hanging in our living room or the sugar mold candle holder in our kitchen. My answer to most questions like that is one word: Canton. I started going to the First Monday Trade days eight years ago and I’ve picked up some great finds along the way. While doing all that shopping, I’ve learned a thing or two about how to navigate the craziness of Canton. Here are the main things you need to know:

What? Canton First Monday Trade Days is a flea market where thousands of vendors set up booths. You can find anything new and old at Canton- home decor, antiques, collectables, clothes, and SO. MUCH. MORE. It is impossible to see everything in one day. It can be overwhelming, but once you go a few times you will find your favorites and learn how to navigate the crowds.

When? The First Monday Trade Days are held the Thursday, Friday, Saturday, and Sunday before the first Monday of every month. So, your next chance will be Thursday through Sunday, November 3-6, 2011. Most booths open around 8:00am and close up around 5:00pm each day. I’m a morning person so my advice would be to get there and be parked and ready to shop at 8:00am. When the weather is nice {and especially in November, where everyone is in Christmas shopping mode} it gets very busy by 10:00am. My motto is “Go early, leave early.” That way when the crowd gets to be too much, I’ve already visited my favorite spots and can get home by the early afternoon. Also, Saturday is the busiest of all the days, so if you can go on a Friday or Sunday you will be a much happier person by the time you leave. 😉

Do I bring my kids? My honest advice? No. I made a never-brining-my-kids-to-Canton rule before I even had kids. For me, it is a place to get away and shop. It is a great place to go with the girls and it also makes for a fun day-date with the hubs. Canton Trade Days aren’t geared toward children. Yes, there is fair food like corn dogs and funnel cakes but other than that similarity, it is very different from a fair or carnival. It is really all about SHOPPING. And I don’t know about you, but I don’t really love taking my kids to the grocery store much less on a shopping trip that includes a two-hour round trip drive and lots and lots of walking. Obviously, everyone is different and if you do bring your kids, good for you! I’m just not that brave.

Where do I go? There are many different areas around the town of Canton that have vendors. My favorite place to spend my time in Canton is at the “Original First Monday Trade Days”. For first-timers, I think it is easiest to go in the North Entrance and park as close as you can to Pavillion 4500. Parking is $5 but admission to the trade days is free. The parking area is circled on the map below in yellow. The red stars highlight my favorite areas of the park. Most Canton-goers will tell you their favorite area is known as “The Arbors”, so those pavilions should be on your must-see list.

What do I wear?  Wear comfortable shoes and layer your clothes. It may be chilly in the morning depending on what month you go, but no matter what, you’ll be sweating by lunchtime.

What do I bring? Make sure you bring cash and your check book. Many vendors don’t take credit cards. When you get there you’ll see lots of people pushing these little wire carts. If you plan on going more than once, the $20 you’ll need to purchase a cart will be money well spent. There are many vendors that sell carts, so it will be easy to find one. This saves you from having to carry all of your purchases while you shop.

If you have more questions, please leave them in the comments and I’ll be sure to reply. If you’re a Canton-goer like me, we’d love to hear your tips too.

I hope this inspires you to make your first trip to Canton if you haven’t been! It is the perfect place to find a personalized onesie for your baby on the way, a new Christmas wreath for your front door, or a less expensive version of something that you circled in your fall Pottery Barn catalog.

And, if nothing else, it’s another excuse besides the State Fair to eat a good, greasy corn dog! Happy Canton-ing to you!

10 COMMENTS

  1. My parents are in town and want to go to 1st Mondays Canton…. Unfortunately they are unable to walk long distances. On the website it states they rent out scooters. I was wondering if you know exactly where they rent them from, to make our trip a little easier it would be nice to have that taken care of right away. Rather then looking all over and hopefully finding it.
    Thanks in advance for your post and time.

    • We’d highly suggest checking their individual websites for specific vendors. Many are mom and pop and have different hours; however, to the best of our knowledge most will be setup Friday-Sunday.

  2. My wife, myself, and our two teenage children are planning to go to Canton in less than two weeks. We have never been. We are in our mid-fifties. Would you say we should rent a scooter? Maybe take turns? This seems like it would be somewhat cumbersome trying to maneuver a scooter around a bunch of people and in little small flea market stalls though. What do you think? We are not crippled in anyway, but not very athletic either. We also thought of bringing one or two laundry baskets with wheels instead of the $20 dollar wire pull carts they sell. Would this work? Look ridiculous? Work efficiently? What do you think?

  3. Will be my first time going an am worried about getting lost an my hubby is handicapped will be staying Thursday- Saturday have our rooms

  4. I know this is an old post, but here’s to hoping someone else reads it. I’m in the process of opening a row of shops in “The village shops”, located on 542 E. Dallas ST in Canton. First Monday weekend May 4th-6th 2018 will be my first weekend. Remember, when temps are not ideal, all 3 of our spaces are climate controlled. We are located right behind the RED WATER TOWER and specialize in custom furnishings, elegant home decor, antiques sourced all over the Midwest and South, as well as original works of art and plenty of smalls.

    We are not typically what one might expect to find in Canton, but if you’re in the market for one of a kind custom furnishings and not massed produced particle board pieces, please check us out. Specializing in restoring and repurposing good bone pieces that have already stood the test of time, while utilizing modern day design trends will not only give you a piece you will enjoy for many years, but you can count on being able to pass down your signature piece to future generations.

    In addition, we have also tried our hand in creating homemade soaps and candles. For more information on what we do and can do, check out my design page on FB. Official website is under construction, as my goal is to bring quality, elegance and style to as many homes possible.

    http://www.facebook.com/McDonaldDesign

    http://www.Instagram.com/McDonaldDesign

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