With today's economy, visiting flea markets and garage sales has become a great way to find deals. For some good old-fashioned bargain hunting, head out to the Kane County Fairgrounds in St. Charles-you'll find a treasure-hunting paradise that will appeal to kids and adults alike.
The Kane County Flea Market, held the first Saturday and Sunday of each month, features more than 1,000 dealers of new and antique items. You can even bring your flashlights for an overnighter flea market Sept. 26 from 4 p.m.-2 a.m.
Each month, visitors can find an interesting selection of vintage jewelry, home décor and furniture, collectibles, yard ornaments and books. Kids will delight in the wide array of both new and old toys and board games and kid collectibles, including Smurfs, vintage robots, comic books and Matchbox cars.
A flea market is the perfect opportunity to teach your kids the fine art of bargaining. Most vendors expect to engage in some price negotiations, so this is an opportunity to show children how to use their powers of persuasion to secure a great deal.
The Kane County Flea Market is also a good place for children to start a collection that they can build on for years.
After taking a walk through the flea market, talk to your children about what items interested them. Help them start their own collectible collection by giving them some spending money-$5 is a sufficient amount-and let them try to bargain with dealers.
When it's time to eat, you'll find a selection of fair-style food such as corn on the cob and ice cream.
When preparing for your day at the flea market, remember to pack plenty of water or drinks for hot days. There's little relief from the sun at the fairgrounds. The grounds are usually navigable with a stroller, although rainy days mean trying to push a stroller through mud so you may want to take a pass if the weather's bad.
• Kane Country Fairgrounds at Route 64 and Randall
• Admission: $5 each day, children under 12 free. Parking is free.