Round Top Antiques Show Tips: 16 Things to Know Before You Go
No need to be overwhelmed by the Round Top Antiques Show, which sprawls over 20 miles and several communities. Here are 16 things to know before you go that will make shopping a breeze.
The Round Top Antiques Show is a behemoth of a fun event. With more than 20 miles of shopping, it can be overwhelming, especially for a first-timer. No need to be overwhelmed. Just read our 16 things to know before you go — and you’ll be fine.
1. Operating hours vary with venues and vendors. Generally, 10 a.m. – 6 p.m. are safe bets.
2. Lodging is at a premium. Make reservations early. Check with chambers of commerce in Round Top and nearby towns for accommodations. Follow specialty lodging venues on FB for last minute cancellations. Ask about distances to your favorite shows.
3. Most antiques venues are free. The Original Round Top Antiques Fair, Marburger Farm Antique Show and Hodges Farm Antiques Show in Kenney are the only ones that charge an admission fee—and those tickets are good for the duration of their individual shows.
4. It’s BIG—20+ miles, 65+ venues and thousands of vendors BIG. Decide ahead of time which venues you want to explore.
Parking in one spot and walking to adjoining venues is possible particularly in Warrenton, but this situation is the exception not the rule. In most cases, be prepared to drive from venue to venue.
5. While each venue has a “name,” you may not be able to tell that from the main road. In Warrenton, especially, you likely won’t know when you cross from Ex-Cess to North Gate to Bar W and so on. . . .Our maps organize the venues by name in case you need to backtrack.
6. You will walk a lot on rocks, caliche, grass—and maybe even mud. Wear comfortable, close-toed shoes.
7. Traffic can snarl up, especially on weekends. Be patient.
The majority of the venues front a two-lane state highway with little to no shoulder and no sidewalks. Be acutely aware of pedestrians.
8. Food and water are readily available throughout the show, but at peak meal times lines can get long.
9. While there are permanent bathrooms at some venues, port-a-potties are a reality. (Bring your own TP.)
10. While it seems to be improving, cell phone coverage can unreliable. Have a backup plan for getting your group back together.
11. Bring cash. Cash is king when negotiating—and spotty cell phone coverage can make credit card transactions difficult. (BONUS TIP! It’s okay to ask vendors if the marked price is their best price. It’s not okay to badger them.)
12. Come early. Early in the show. Early in the week. Early in the day. Crowds are smaller and navigation is easier. See our daily schedule.
13. Dress in layers. Bring a jacket and rain boots just in case. Hats, sunglasses and sunscreen are must-have accessories.
14. The show is not organized by merchandise type. (There’s something for everyone ranging from fine antiques in a curated setting to open fields that are a treasure hunter’s dream.) Ask vendors if they know where to find what you’re interested in because they comb the fields and know where to go.
15. Size DOES matter. If you’re shopping for something specific measure the space you need to fill and bring those measurements as well as your measuring tape with you. Better to get it right the first time than to try and negotiate a return.
16. Size DOESN’T matter . Don’t let the size of your vehicle’s cargo space dictate the size of your purchases. Shipping companies are located at venues throughout the show. Just ask.)
Space is at a premium in some venues, so it may be difficult to navigate the aisles with carts or strollers. The show adventure also involves outdoor venues, unpredictable weather and a lot of walking on uneven surfaces. While babies, toddlers and pets are welcome and celebrated, we have witnessed many, many hot, tired people carrying their precious—sometimes unhappy—cargo over long distances. Just be prepared.
Mobility-challenged? Most venues are outdoors in tents or under open-air pavilions, so maneuvering a wheelchair or scooter can be challenging. If in doubt, call first.
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