Shopping for antiques can be like finding a needle in a haystack: even when you think you've found what you're looking for, it is actually just a really shiny piece of hay. Today's Groupon tilts the odds of a successful vintage quest in your favor: for $4, you get a one-day ticket to the monthly Randolph Street Market Festival (a $9 value). This Groupon is good for admittance on any festival day through September 25, 2011; the market takes place one weekend each month through November this year and from May through September next year.
The Randolph Street Market Festival is an antiques extravaganza that combines an outdoor, European-style marketplace with the air-conditioned indoor shops of the Beaux Arts Plumbers complex (in November, the market is held indoors). More than 200 vendors will be juggling antique furnishings, showing off intriguing artifacts, draping themselves in vintage clothing and jewels, and wiggling their toes with thimbles on every one. Modern Vintage Chicago's Fall Fashion and Jewelry Explosion will carpet-bomb the indoor market on October 23 and 24 with assortments of art deco, art nouveau, and Victorian artifacts. Hunters of audible treasure can continue their quests for the perfect groove at the new Vinyl Swap Meet. The festival is also home to the Indie Designer Market, which features contemporary haute couture fashions, décor, vintage clothing, and more.
Ever-expanding show features include a DIY estate sale, a Global Goods Bazaar, appraisal and restoration services, and consistently free and ample parking. A complimentary trolley ferries shoppers to and from Water Tower Place at regular intervals. Culinary treats, such as the elegant offerings at the Fancy Food Market, abound, and patrons may dine al fresco against the backdrop of the Chicago skyline. The Randolph Street Market is a pet-friendly event, though leashed guests are only allowed in the outdoor section and are never allowed to untie guests' shoelaces.
- …the Market Festival had loads of antiques ready for us to buy or just peruse. The weekend antiques market had vendors traveling from afar in Airstream trailers ready to hawk timeless goods to style-conscious Chicagoans. – Alex Benson, Time Out
- The layout of the stalls/tables are well organized and wide enough for people to stroll at their leisure. There is a huge variety of items to look at including home decor, furniture, vintage clothing, records, jewelry, books...the list goes on and on. – Aimee M., Yelp
Randolph Street Market
Spotlighted by local and national press including TimeOut Chicago, the Wall Street Journal, and Michigan Avenue Magazine, Randolph Street Market's collection of merchants—more than 250 vendors in May–September and 100 vendors in October–April—shows off antique furnishings and vintage wearables from all over the world. Vintage dealers from across the country, including local favorites D. Brett Benson and Man in the Moon, stuff market stalls with men's and women's clothing, estate jewelry, and even vintage fashion magazines. Treasure hunters can investigate indoor booths to fill their closets with items from designers such as Hermes, Pucci, and Dior. In addition to apparel, Randolph Street Market also features hospitality areas brimming with gourmet chocolates, as well as cuisine and drinks from local eateries.