(Originally Posted on the Geek Girl Mommie blog)
Flyboy has an interesting habit that only happens when he’s either really, really bored or he’s in the middle of looking for things to do related to his various hobbies. He checks out all the different larger event locals calendars and picks out events he’d like to go to.
A few weeks before Little Lass was born last year Flyboy sent me a link to an event being held at the Minnesota State Fair Grounds called Munchkin Markets. He figured that it would be a good place to pick up some much needed things for our new little bundle of joy. Here’s the low down:
Twice a year Munchkin Markets holds a sale in five locations throughout Minnesota:
- Minnesota State Fairgrounds (April 27th – 29th 2012)
- Washington County State Fairgrounds (May 5th – 6th 2012)
- Anoka County State Fairgrounds (May 19th – 20th 2012)
- Mankato (April 14th – 15th 2012)
- Duluth (May 12th 2012)
They do a Spring/Summer sale and a Fall/Winter one later in the year. Consigners bring in their new/gently used children’s clothing, toys and gear. The event holders and their volunteers go over the items and set up the sale.
Each location holds a weekend sale (different weekends for each location). The entry cost is $1, free if you bring in a donation of a non-perishable good for the food shelf. New parents to their first child or parents expecting their first child can register for an earlier time slot on the events website and for their chosen location.
Please check their website for more detailed information.
The event itself was fantastic. Especially if you’re a parent that’s looking to save some money on clothing and toys. The range of what was available was amazing, the quality was good, and the volunteers were amazingly helpful. If you picked out any of the bigger items (high chairs, swing seats, bouncers, etc.), they had you bring it to a holding area and they would hand you a tag with the number of the item on it so you could carry that to the check out line. After you made your purchases you just drove up to pick up your bigger items. There was a limited number of reusable bags on hand, and volunteers at the door for questions. The clothing was hung up and sorted by size. Each type of item had their own section so the potential buyers didn’t have to wander all over to find what they were looking for.
I went to my first Munchkin Markets just after Little Lass was born. Thank goodness I was lucky enough to have one of my mother-in-laws with me (yes I have more than one, yes it’s an interesting story, I’ll maybe get into it at another time), otherwise things would have gotten a little chaotic. Not only was I going into a new environment, I was going into a new environment not having been used to being and out and about Mom yet. So not only was I trying to learn to juggle a baby, but a baby and a big bag of stuff. This was not one of my most graceful moments.
I did have a couple of issues with that particular event. The space they were in was really too small for the amount of people they had attending. There was a lot of squeezing through and saying “excuse me” going on. There wasn’t a bathroom at the venue. Not usually a problem, but if you’re there with your children with things you’d like to purchase or you were pregnant and at the stage that you needed a bathroom every two minutes or so it became a huge deal quickly.
The second Munchkin Market I went to I actually went to two locations: The State Fair Grounds and the Washington County. Both events were well run, and it was easier going knowing what to expect both from my child and from the events themselves.
This year the Munchkin Market at the State Fair Grounds will be in a larger building. So hopefully there will be breathing room. The bathroom situation is yet to be seen.
Tips If You Go
- I do recommend bringing a buddy. This allows for you to run off to the bathroom should you need to without worrying about the items you want to buy. It also gives you an extra set of hands, eyes, and view points.
- Bring one or two reusable bags of your own. Although they do have a limited amounts of bags available there they are limited and shoppers tend to wander and take their time quite a bit. There’s a lot to look at and see and the bags become scarce quickly. Believe me when I say you don’t want to get caught without something to carry things in right away.
- Look in every nook and cranny. An item you may absolutely love may be hiding in a corner, and unless you dig a little you’ll miss it completely. I found one of Little Lasses favorite noisy toys tucked in behind a huge teddy bear. If I hadn’t been curious I wouldn’t have seen it.
- Do come with your patience switch in the “on” position. There are a lot of people, many of them with their little ones. This means there are a lot of stops and starts, many blockage points, and not a few sudden unexpected appearances of little people. If you’re at all grumpy this might not be the event for you.
Come out and see what Munchkin Markets has to offer. There’s a little something for everyone and I can pretty much guarantee you won’t leave empty handed.