Visit: Brimfield Antique Show {Brimfield, Massachusetts}

by Cate on May 20, 2015

Do you love antiques or are you a collector of something unusual? Then you must make your way to the Brimfield Antique Show. Held three times a year (May, July, and September), it’s a great way to decorate your house or add to a little collection.

I can’t even remember the first time I went to Brimfield, MA for the thrice-annual antique show, but the first time I blogged about it was TEN years ago! I am fairly certain we started going around 1997, because I have a vague recollection of buying things for my first (then) marital home. My mom and I went religiously every year for about ten years, and we had a solid tradition about our schedule, where we ate, and when we collapsed from exhaustion. Good times.

I haven’t been for the past few years, but this year I was determined to go. And did! Nick went once when he was two, so Madeline has, of course, never been. Hopping in the car (or on a plane or boat) in search of new adventure is one of my kids’ favorite things to do, so to say they were looking forward to going would be an understatement. They are such a fun pair to travel with. Well, to do anything with!

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The antique show boasts over 5000 vendors and is quite the sight to see. Every time I go, I try and take a picture of the street lined with vendors, but you really can’t appreciate the sheer immensity of it unless you’re actually there. We left after school and work on Thursday and made it there in a record three hours, with no traffic. A minor miracle for sure.

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The show is attended by the such luminaries as Barbra Streisand, Martha Stewart, and Ralph Lauren. This year, Lara Spencer was there filming her show Flea Market Flip. Although we didn’t see her, we spotted her film crew all over. The vendors sell pretty much everything you can imagine … from small items under a buck to huge pieces of furniture costing well over $30k. I keep a running list of things that I’m looking for on my phone, whether the destination is Brimfield or a local garage sale, and we all came home with a few things, which was pretty perfect.

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Ever since he found a telephone insulator buried on a beach some three or four years ago, Nick has been collecting them, and he did well at the show, finding many to add to his collection. I think we lugged back TEN last week. Usually we bring a shopping cart to make it easier to cart around our treasures, but I forgot it this time, and was cursing that fact because ten insulators are not light! He was thrilled with his finds and even successfully haggled on his own with one vendor. #proudmommoment

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At one vendor’s table, Madeline spied little porcelain animal figures and that quickly became something she sought out. She bought five throughout the show to start off her collection… and they were thankfully much lighter than Nick’s collection.

One of my favorite parts of the show, besides the shopping of course, is the food court. It is always massively busy, but there is one vendor that I seek out every time for their Lobster Roll sandwiches and Lobster Bisque Soup. So good, and totally worth the money.

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Nick was bound and determined to find Fried Oreos, and I really didn’t think we would be successful … until we spotted a free-standing food stand that, lo and behold, had his beloved Fried Oreos. The kid could not have contained his excitement. He first had them two years ago at a holiday vendor event and ever since then, he regularly seeks them out any time we’re somewhere with food vendors.

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If you are furnishing a home, adding to your decor, looking for pieces to add to a collection … or, heck, just want a few days away, Brimfield is definitely a fun visit. Since the town is a blink-and-you-miss-it location, you need to look for hotels early on, and Sturbridge is a good bet in terms of distance as it’s only about ten minutes away. This time, though, we ended up staying in West Springfield. It was about twenty minutes away, and the hotel was about a 1/3 of the cost of a Sturbridge hotel. Because of the popularity of the Brimfield show, hotel rooms closer to the market tend to be over $200/night, so ours was a steal at $83!

There are three items that I am seriously sorry I didn’t grab while we were there. These small rustic hearts are one of them. I kept going back and forth, and practicality won out. Next time!

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Pack sunscreen (there isn’t a lot of shade), comfortable walking shoes, and bring one of those market shopping carts. You’re bound for a good time.

*If you go to Brimfield, be sure to visit Donut Dip. Only twenty minutes away and totally worth it.

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