Tips for a Successful Trip to Canton’s First Monday Trade Days

First Monday Trade Days or “Canton,” as it is commonly referred to around DFW, is a classic girl’s weekend trip and one-stop shopping for all your farmhouse décor needs. As a native of Collin County, I have made countless trips to Canton’s trade days since I was a small child. Below are my best tips for a successful trip to Canton’s First Monday Trade Days that I have learned through many years of venturing to this beloved East Texas destination.

Canton Trip Tips
Flea Market by Mario Guti found on

Where to Park at Canton

There are lots of fields around the trade days to park at, most of which are just grass and no pavement at all. Plan on bringing some cash to pay for parking, as this is the most assured way to secure a spot. I would plan to bring $10-$20 depending on where you choose to park.

Finding Clean Bathrooms at Canton

After a two-hour road trip from Dallas, a bathroom stop before you get to shopping is a must. I recommend stopping at the restrooms at the front near the East Gate. They are very clean and attended by a cleaning person, which is a plus as far as sanitation and tidiness go. The other bathrooms are okay, but be aware that one of them does have shower curtains instead of stall doors.

Food to Try at Canton

One of the unsung joys of Canton is the food. The food in and of itself is worth the trip. There is a designated food court in The Arbors and my favorite stop is pizza by the slice from the Italian restaurant. There are all sorts of other amazing food that rivals the state fair; corn dogs, tornado taters, and kettle corn just to name a few of my favs!

Food at Canton
My friends and I eating lunch at Canton a couple of years ago.

What to Wear to Canton

Obviously, you can use your best judgment and dress how you want, but after many trips and some major trial and error, I do have a few suggestions that can help make you more comfortable.

  1. Wear walking shoes. The majority of your time in Canton will be spent on your feet so comfortable walking shoes are a must.
  2. Dress in layers. This is highly dependent on the weather, but I would recommend dressing in easy-to-remove-and-stow layers. For example, I like to wear a thinner shirt, a light jacket, and a thick coat. Obviously, if you’re going in the summer this won’t apply.

When to Go to Canton

First Monday Trade Days happen every month on the weekend that precedes the first Monday of the month. This is confusing but basically, it means that the weekend of the end of the month is when it is held. For example, March’s event was 2/25-2/28. I recommend going on a Thursday if you can make that happen. It’s usually the least crowded day of the weekend. If you decide to go for the weekend, which I highly recommend, I would say do Thursday and Friday.

My personal favorite month of the year to go is the January weekend which is right after Christmas. There are hardly any people there and most shops have great sales on not only their Christmas merchandise but also their regular inventory. Renting a local Airbnb also is such a fun way to make a weekend out of the experience and is something my friends and I have done many times. This gives you two days to shop and ensure that you are seeing everything you want.

General Tips for Shopping at Canton

If you plan to have anything monogrammed from one of the shops that do onsite monogramming, I recommend heading there first before you do any other shopping to ensure that your item is finished in time for you to hit the road.

Bring a cart with wheels of some kind. They have the market carts to rent at the front, but if you want to save some cash, bring a wagon, rolling cart, or market cart of your own. You will want something to pull that you can put your purchases in without having to lug heavy bags around

There is a back part that goes away from the arbors, which is where are the cute little boutique-like shops are, that is called “Antique Ally.” This is more of a treasure hunt and where you can do more true antiquing.

MORE Tips for a Canton Weekend Getaway

Canton is such a fun getaway and one I love to do at least once a year. I hope these few tips for a Canton trip help you make the most of your shopping trip to Canton’s First Monday Trade Days! You can find lots of helpful information about Canton, including maps, dates, and more on their website.

P.S. If it’s your thing, you can stop at Buc-ee’s on your way back to DFW from Canton. 😉

Meg is a Collin County native. She earned her BA in Communications and enjoys writing as a creative outlet. Meg works as a small business content creator, helping local service-based companies share their work on social media and other areas of the internet. She and her husband recently bought her childhood home and are renovating it slowly on their own. Together she and her husband have two boys and a beloved pup. In her free time, you can find Meg browsing the aisles of local thrift stores, TJ Maxx, HomeGoods, writing, or creating a new craft project.