The Rose Bowl is the stomping grounds for UCLA Bruin’s football and the annual New Year’s Rose Bowl game. The Rose Bowl also serves as the backdrop for the Rose Bowl Flea Market, which is held on the second Sunday of every month. The market claims to be the largest flea market on the west coast, a fact which is not too difficult to argue, since it takes place within the voluptuous Rose Bowl parking lot. (Yeah, this is probably the first and only time that the word voluptuous has been used to describe a parking lot). But, how many other flea markets greet you with a carnival atmosphere that includes people on stilts and a unicycle? (To avoid confusion, I should clarify that the individual who was on stilts was not the same individual that was on the unicycle, that would be downright crazy). How many flea markets can charge you $8 admission and then give back $2 bill’s as change? The only other time I have received a two dollar bill was as an Easter gift from my Grandmother when I was a kid. Grandmothers sometimes do weird things like that.
You can find a map of the flea market grounds right here. The general consensus is that once you enter you should veer left toward the white area containing “vintage clothes, antiques, and stuff”. This section is where all the real hipsters go. You can find a range of clothing items including pants, belts, graphic tees, shoes, shoes, more shoes, and a selection of non-clothing items such as cassettes, cd’s, albums, cameras, vintage jewelery, and sewing machines. The majority of furniture and “home decor” items appeared to be within the orange “antiques and collectibles” area. There is also a section of sellers who straddle the Rose Bowl Stadium. These sellers appear to sell items you can more readily find at other places, like stores.
Sellers are apparently willing to bargain with you so bring your “bargain-face” and a wide selection of bills. I don’t know about you, but I would feel uncomfortable bargaining the price down from $20 to $15, and then having to use a 20 dollar bill to pay. Be sure to bring sunscreen and a hat for the heat. Bring rolling carts or shopping bags if you intend to buy anything.
Cost: $8 admission (after 9am). Plan on arriving after 9am to avoid the cost of “express admission” but before 10am to avoid parking difficulties.
Address: 1001 Rose Bowl Dr. Pasadena, CA 91103