I've been writing lots about my LA life here and one of my favourite things to do on the weekend is to scour local flea markets for a few unique finds for my home. So far, I've been able to score a vintage mirror and a light-up anchor for my living room. You seriously never know what you're going to find and I really feel like these one-of-a-kind pieces make my place feel more like home.
If you ever find yourself in LA for an extended period of time, I highly suggest a day trip out to Pasadena for a visit to the EPIC Rose Bowl Flea Market. It runs on the second Sunday of every month and it is by far the largest flea market I have ever been to. It runs around the entire outside of the Rose Bowl (where the UCLA Bruins play) and into the adjoining parking lot.
Parking – The road to the parking lot was PACKED at 11 AM. You can do one of two things, wait for free parking and try to find a spot once you get into the lot. Secondly, you can pony up $15 for extra close parking, where someone directs you to a spot OR $10 for a lot just a little further away.
VIP Entry - If you’re showing up during a peak time, you may want to just pay to avoid the hassle. Which is what we ended up doing because the line of cars was barely moving. Yes, there’s even traffic at the flea.
Hours – When I was leaving the flea at around 2 pm, there was no line-ups to buy a ticket and the parking lot had calmed the hell down. The vendors start packing up at around 3 pm, so if you’re just going for a casual browse – I would say 1 pm would be a good bet to avoid crowds. Admission is $8 and starts at 9 AM. If you’re a hardcore flea market hunter, you can VIP first access starting at 5 AM for $20!!
Food + Drink – Paul and I showed up at around lunch time and we’re always hungry. Luckily there’s a pretty good Rose Bowl Flea Food Court in the very middle, by the front entrance. Make sure to scope out a picnic table with an umbrella for a bit of shade. Bring your own water (we didn’t and made a rookie mistake) it’s about $3.50 for a small bottle and $5 for a large. We also spotted frozen lemonade and agua fresca going for around $5 as well.
Dress - It gets HOT in Pasadena and there's not a lot of shade to hide under. Wear a sundress or something breathable. Bring a hat, slap on the sunscreen and wear comfortable shoes. At times you will feel like you are wading through the heat, especially if you come in the afternoon.
At the end of our day, I picked up a handprinted tea towel and lots of inspiration and ideas for our new home. I was more on the hunt for furniture and didn’t stumble upon any pieces that suited our space. There are however, WAY more trinkets, clothing and small treasures to be had vs furniture. Just make sure to bring lots of cash, wear a hat, comfortable shoes, bring a parasol (I’m not kidding – it’s hot and there’s not much shade) and sunscreen.
To learn more visit: The Rose Bowl Flea Market online.
Rose Bowl Flea
1001 Rose Bowl Drive
Lisa Ng is also the Editor-in-Chief of This Beautiful Day, a lifestyle blog for smart women. You can follow her online @helloLisaNg + on Instagram @ThisBeautifulDay.