As the holidays close in, last-minute shoppers are officially in crisis mode as they storm malls and designer outlets. It’s as if the melee has itself become part of the holiday tradition. Fighting for parking, elbowing your way through crowds and standing in long lines, for what? To buy the same thing everyone else is giving as a gift? If you’re going through all of that trouble, why not make it worth it? Flea markets and the like have interesting and unique items that you won’t find at the hipster stores. And if you’re lucky enough to live in Los Angeles, you know that we have some of the greatest outdoor markets for holiday shopping. Check out these top holiday markets in Los Angeles.
Rose Bowl Flea Market
1001 Rose Bowl Dr.
Pasadena, CA 91103
Date: Second Sunday of every month
If you can’t find what you’re look for at the Rose Bowl Flea Market, then you’re doing it wrong. The Rose Bowl has more than 2,500 vendors selling clothes, jewelry, crafts, furniture, art, food and everything else under the son. The world famous Rose Bowl Market has been a buy/sell/barter tradition for over 45 years and is still going strong. Go early because there’s a lot to see. Prices are usually negotiable so practice your haggling beforehand.
Melrose Trading Post
7850 Melrose Ave.
Los Angeles, CA 90036
Date: Every Sunday
Melrose Avenue is infamous for its eclectic shops and trendy fashion so a flea market under the same name could only mean one thing: amazing holiday shopping! Find treasures from Buddhist culture to punk rock t-shirts, handmade jewelry to vintage sewing machines and so much more; you couldn’t possibly leave the market without crossing half the people off your list. The biggest problem will be buying gifts for others and not yourself.
Venice Art & Collectibles Flea Market
Venice High School
13000 Venice Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90066
Date: Second Saturday of every month
The Venice Art & Collectible Flea Market can best be compared to the greatest yard sale in the coolest neighborhood ever. Discover lots of Bohemian works of art, vintage clothing and just groovy stuff in general. Live music, a cool vibe and assorted food trucks are added bonuses. The Venice Art & Collectible Flea Market is considerable smaller than other flea markets which makes it more leisurely and less overwhelming than some of the others.
Hollywood Farmers’ Market
1600 Ivar Ave.
Los Angeles, CA 90028
Date: Every Sunday
It seems if people aren’t gift shopping, they’re food shopping for the holiday meals. Fortunately there are open markets for all of your holiday cooking needs, too. The Hollywood Farmers’ Market is one of the best known marketplaces in LA with products from over 160 farmers, producers and “food artisans” as well as handmade arts and crafts. Locals, chefs and resident celebrities come to the Hollywood Farmers’ Market for all their fresh food needs year round. There are also activities such as live music and book signings.
Malibu Farmers’ Market
23555 Civic Center Way
Malibu, CA 90265
Date: Every Sunday
Regardless of where you go this time of year, you’re going to sit in traffic, so you might as well have a scenic view while you travel. Depending on where you live in the city, the Malibu Farmers’ Market can be a bit of a trek, but once you get there you’ll find it was totally worth it. It’s also on the small side but what it lacks in volume it makes up for with free samples. There are lots of eateries to keep your energy up while you shop for the freshest produce in the county (nothing has been harvested more than two days prior).
Kristine G. Bottone is a freelance writer living in Los Angeles. Her work can be found at Examiner.com.