With Canton First Monday just down the road, many of our guests book a cottage at our resort just to get a jump start on the Trade Days shopping. Navigating the country’s largest flea market is a lot of fun, but can turn into one of those stories you like to tell your kids about to humble them pretty easily if you don’t know what you’re getting into. Follow our local survival guide to First Monday!
Don’t show up on Monday: Historically, “First Monday” was actually on a Monday. This is no longer the case. First Monday Trade Days is the Thursday-Sunday prior to the month’s first Monday. Keep in mind that if you want to actually see everything, you will need to plan on coming more than one day.
Do show up Thursday or Friday: If you can swing it, showing up on Thursday or Friday will help avoid crowds and you’ll get to see all the stuff before it’s picked over. Friday is probably the best day, as sometimes not all the vendors have set up by Thursday (though there is still plenty to see).
Mind the weather, and dress for it: First Monday Trade Days is 450 acres. Some parts are air conditioned, but most of it is outside. Keep an eye on the weather, dress appropriately and don’t forget things like water and sunscreen for the warmer months. Keep in mind a lot of the items are old and dirty, so dress accordingly. Comfortable shoes are highly recommended. Scooters are available for rental to help navigate the market.
Bring a cart, and make sure your vehicle is big enough: Even though you may not expect to buy any large items, people often find great buys they don’t expect at First Monday. Bring a cart, large basket, Radio Flyer, or something to carry around your bargains. You can rent a shopping cart or scooter on-site, and the rent-a-scooters come equipped to carry things. Also, come in the largest vehicle you own so you’ll be sure to have room to tote your stuff home! If you find something too large for the car, there are van and truck rental businesses in the Canton area ready to help you get your items home.
Hone your haggling skills: In case you didn’t realize how flea markets work, be prepared to haggle, which brings us to our next point…
Bring Cash: There are ATMs on site, however, they can and often do run out of money. If you’ve even thought about needing a new piece of furniture lately, bring enough cash to pay and haggle for it.
Get a map: It’s easy to get lost amongst the oozits and whatzits galore, so grab a map. Even with a map it’s easy to get turned around. It’s helpful to note large, distinctive points of interest (like a certain vendor or food stall) to help decipher where you have and haven’t been.
Come hungry: Trade Days has loads of food vendors as well, selling all kinds of yummy treats. While some of it is your regular “fair food” to the tune of funnel cakes and generic concessions, much of the food is not. So, keep your eyes peeled for the good stuff.
Plan ahead: Your best bet is probably to stay in town at some point, if for no other reason than to get an early start at shopping the day you plan to go (the park opens at dawn). The whole town of Canton pretty much books solid, so find a place and book ahead! If you’re coming from Dallas you could day trip it, but it’s so much more fun to book a place and stay the night!
Mill Creek Ranch Resort is just ¼ mile from the Trade Days Canton Marketplace, and we have a shuttle service to the main pavilions. This means that after you shop ‘til you drop you’re just a hop, skip and a jump away from our relaxing on-site cottages and scenic grounds! Call 877-927-3439 for availability and rates or book online now!
Canton First Monday
Mill Creek Ranch Resort
2102 N Trade Days Blvd
Canton, Texas 75103