Antique Hunting at Brimfield – My Tips and Tricks!

We woke up with the sun to make the drive from Marblehead to Brimfield.  Mom and I have hit many antique fairs in our days, but it was so fun to go with a specific purpose, an actual need and an entirely empty apartment to fill with furniture beyond the little trinkets.   

After parking, we prepared ourselves, like going to battle!  For anyone planning a trip to the fair, below are my tips and tricks for successful navigation!

1.  Pay for the premium parking.  Main lots in the center of the action charge between $7 and $10.  If you’re seriously shopping you’ll appreciate having the car close-by to unload every once in a while.

2.  The fair is DIRTY, don’t dress up, you have no one to impress.  Easy, comfortable clothing is key, and weather appropriate.  It ranged from extreme heat to pouring rain over the three days we were there.  Don’t forget your sunscreen!

True fashion plates right here!

3.  Keep your hands free, backpacks stashed with reusable totes are great for collecting your treasures along the way before making a trip back to the car to unload.

4.  Bring your lunch (and breakfast and snacks).  We packed a cooler with healthier options than the fried dough and Polish sausage on offer from the food court.  It’s carnival food at best.  Everyone was jealous when we pulled our kale salad and grilled tri-tip out on the lunch table.

5.  Goes without saying, but make sure to remember anti-bacterial wipes and hand sanitizer.  You’ll be touching lots of old dirty things, and bathrooms are porta-potties.

6.  Early bird gets the worm.  It does pay to get there early.  Certain fields are paid entry on their opening day so it’s best to hit these right when they open (May’s and JJ’s-check show website for opening days/times).  I would also recommend going during the week vs. the weekend as there was a huge influx of people on Saturday.

Mom enjoying breakfast in line for JJ’s
Crowds literally running as the gates opened, exciting but terrifying

7.  If you find something you love, buy it.  Chances are if you walk away to think about it, it won’t be there when you return.  Luckily this only happened to me once, but I’m still thinking about that tufted velvet bench in the perfect shade of coral pink 😉

I got “Carried Away” at Brimfield – that 1930’s prohibition bar on the left came home with me!
8.  As for lodging, plan ahead of time.  We booked in mid-July and all boutique B&B’s were full.  We ended up with one of the last rooms at the Publick House which worked out just fine.  They had an on-site restaurant which was convenient to walk downstairs at the end of a long day, the food was totally decent.  My only complaint was that they didn’t accommodate early breakfast.  They should know the majority of their clientele that week are going to be heading out before the 7:30 breakfast start time.
I had been saving my pennies and spent it all down to the last dollar!

I had to have it!  My last impulse purchase…..

Thanks to all of the lovely vendors who helped engineer our Uhaul to fit all of my finds!
Selfie in our “Orange Is The New Black” van 
We made it back to NYC with everything intact, a miracle indeed!  Stay tuned for pictures of it all unpacked in my apartment!
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