Forget dragging whiny, disinterested kids through a stuffy antique store. Parents who love to browse antiques can get their kids interested in the hobby, thanks to the Junior Collectors Club at the Chicago Antique Market.
The Junior Collectors Club turns antiquing into an accessible, fun activity for children. Experts from Collectors.org teach the finer points of antiquing, but with kid-friendly items such as action figures, Teddy bears and baseball cards.
"The collecting experts are very enthusiastic about their craft and will share how they got started, and in turn ask kids about what they would like to start collecting and how to do it," says Kathy Finley and Sally Schwartz, the founders and directors of the Chicago Antique Market.
At noon, children receive a snack and a treasure map with a detailed list of antiques to find at the market. Young explorers get "autographs" from each antique vendor as they check that specific item off their list, which in turn teaches kids that these "old" antiques are actually historic treasures worth preserving. Kids who find all the treasures on the map can trade in their completed autographs for a vintage toy. So much for a boring day at the "grown-up" antique show!
This is a great way to get kids to have fun at this event, which has been hailed as one of the best of its kind in the country. The Chicago Antique Market takes place the last Saturday of every month from May through October, and the Junior Collectors Club debuts during the June market. Children under 12 are admitted free and no registration is required.