For those of us ballin’ on a budget we know that flea markets and thrift shops are our saviors.

Luckily, vintage has always been in style and trends are constantly reused in today’s fashion. Living in Los Angeles County has its perks and offers fabulous Flea Markets in Santa Monica, the San Fernando Valley, Ventura County, but the crown jewel of them all is located in Pasadena.

Normally, the Rose Bowl is home to football games, concerts and other sporting events, but every second Sunday of the month it’s home to the Rose Bowl Flea Market. The Rose Bowl Flea Market is home to over 2,500 merchants and over 20,000 flea market addicts come to fulfill their inner shopaholic. Whether you’re looking for an eclectic piece of furniture, vintage clothes, old books, music, paintings or costumes, this flea market is your best chance at finding unique items.

Unfortunately, this event only happens once every month, but fear not, the LA Socialites have your back and will guide you through a successful flea market experience. Below you’ll find a couple tips on how to prepare.


What time does the Flea Market start?

It begins promptly at 9 a.m. and ends at 4:30 p.m. DO NOT BE LATE. ARRIVE EARLY!

The earlier you arrive; the better deals you can get. Typically crowds start rolling in around 12 p.m. Vendors start to pack up early at 3:00 p.m. so make sure you get in there before they start to pack up.

How much does it cost to get in?

Regular admission is at 9 a.m. for $9.00 per person, but if you’re an early bird the flea market offers express admission. From 8:00 to 9:00 a.m. it is $12.00 a person, 7:00 to 8:00 a.m. is $15 a person. Most vendors are not set up until 9 a.m. but if you to find the good stuff, early admission is well worth it. Those who bring children under the age of 12 are free. The best part: PARKING IS FREE!

How should I prepare?

We recommend:

  1. Bring your own water and bring some snacks! It’s easy to get dehydrated with Southern California weather. So bring your own water and drink a lot of it. Snacks will help throughout the day and keep you balanced.
  2. Bring cash! It is a lot easier to manage than swiping your credit card, especially if you’re coming in with a budget.
  3. Dress for the weather and prepare for a lot of walking. Wear comfy shoes, apply plenty of sunscreen and bring a hat or sunglasses.
  4. Plan of attack: remember why you are at the flea market… new furniture? Clothes? Random finds? Plan it out. If you want to claim dibs on all the best stuff you’ll want to get in and get out.
  5. Take a spacious car! You’ll need something to take home all the fabulous finds you bought. You’ll regret it if your purchases don’t fit. Pro tip: bring a tape measure to make sure your items fit and know the size of your trunk.
  6. Bring a small cart or bag.
  7. Prepare to be overwhelmed. This flea market is HUGE. It’s one of the biggest flea markets on the West Coast. So prepare to encounter a lot of people and stuff. But remember: Inhale, Exhale.
  8. BARGAIN! At the end of the day, these vendors want you to take these things off of their hands. Don’t be afraid to use your bartering skills because saving a dollar here and there never hurts. You’ll find the best finds early in the morning, but you’ll get the best deals later in the day. Start brushing up on your bartering skills.

At the end of the day, you’ll be a pro and will be able to navigate through your next flea market experience. Tell us if you had a successful experience and if our tips helped you.

For more information, check out the Rose Bowl Flea Market’s Yelp page or their website.