The Country Living Fair is one of the largest craft markets in the country. With locations in Nashville (Tennessee), Rhinebeck (New York), Columbus (Ohio), and Atlanta (Georgia), there’s bound to be a fair near you.
Living in New Orleans, we took a quick trip to Atlanta to enjoy the Country Living Fair in Atlanta. Atlanta’s Country Living Fair is located on Stone Mountain.
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Country Living hosts its fair every year, and it continues to grow. Our family always had the Country Living Fair on our bucket list, but our social and travel calendars aligned for mom and I go to to the fair!
We hopped on a plane and rented a car to explore The Country Living Fair at Stone Mountain.
21 Tips for Surviving the Country Living Fair
1. Make a weekend out of it and go all three days!
The Country Living Fair lasts from Friday-Sunday in each city that it visits. Friday is historically a lower attended day because locals are still at work and travelers haven’t come in town yet. Attending the Country Living Fair for all three days gives you time to explore the fair and also the surrounding area!
2. Buy your tickets in advance
If you are a discount shopper like me, save a few dollars and buy your tickets in advance! You only need to pay for tickets for adults because admission for children under the ages of 16 are free!
One-day admission is $13 in advance and $18 at the door; three-day weekend passes are available for $15 in advance and $25 at the door.
3. Sign up for the early bird special
If you are buying your tickets in advance and making a weekend of it, you might as well buy the early bird tickets so you can enter the grounds at 830 am!
An Early Bird three-day weekend pass is available for $30 in advance and $40 at the door, and grants early admission at 8:30 a.m. on Friday and Saturday.
4. Eat a good meal before you go
The main point of the Country Living Fair is that you want to spend time shopping and discovering new crafts! Before hitting the road, make sure you eat a good breakfast or lunch before entering the grounds so you can optimize your shopping schedule.
5. Bring Snacks
You do not need to pack an entire lunch with you, because there are some great local vendors serving food, but bring a couple of small portable snacks to in case you or the kids get cranky! Or you can be just like me and buy some delicious treats from the local bakeries and munch on those while you walk.
6. Take a photo to with the Great Pumpkin Patch
One of the first things you will see once you enter into the Country Living Fair is seeing the Great Pumpkin Patch. If you check out Country Livings popular hashtag #CLFair on Instagram, you will see all of the fun selfies other fairgoers have taken.
7. Be prepared for rain and cold
The entire fair is outside, so be prepared for rain or cold. Or even heat! Some of the fairs happen during the summertime. Unfortunately, the weekend we went, it had just rained, and there was mud everywhere! The folks putting on the fair helped alleviate any issues with mud by placing straw down on the ground. This is my favorite windbreaker to travel with.
8. Bring a mobility device or rent one!
With 200+ vendors at each of the fairs, make sure you bring a walking device with you. Mom brought her Rollz Motion Rollator and received many compliments from fellow fairgoers. I did notice that a lot of people rented the motorized scooters to get around. This was great for going up and down the small hills, but they couldn’t fit in the tight spaces inside of the booths. Read my review of Rollz Motion 2-n-1 Rollator.
9. Bring a Wagon
If you know you are going to buy a lot of goodies to bring back home, make sure to bring a wagon with you! It’s a great way to carry around all of the fun goodies you will buy! I suggest purchasing this Radio Flyer 3-in-1 EZ Folding Wagon from Amazon.
10. Bring a bag and use bag check
If you didn’t plan ahead and don’t have a cart, you need to bring some reusable bags to carry your purchases. In fact, if you buy too much, there is also bag check spots throughout the fair where you can drop off excess bags while you shop.
11. Porter services
If you fall in love with something that is too big for your bag or your cart, you can use the porter services to help bring your larger items to the front of the fair. After purchasing, they will help you bring the items to your car.
12. Take breaks
With over 200 vendors and a whole weekend in front of you, it is okay to take breaks. Mom and I found that we needed to take a rest every now and then. Also, the entire fair is outside so the elements of the weather may or may not affect you. When we visited, it was chilly and wet!
13. Meet the celebrities
When it comes to the Country Living Fairs, tons of celebrities attend and give talks, sell and sign books, and put on demonstrations. If you are interested in one of the crafting celebrities that are at your fair, make sure you plan out your day to see them!
14. Take a Make and Take Workshops
Make and take workshops and between $20-$30 extra, depending on when you buy your ticket. Here you are guided through a DIY workshop, and then you get to bring home your handmade craft! If spending extra money for a workshop is not your cup of tea, the Atlanta Country Living Fair had experts giving demonstrations all over the fair.
15. Strike while the iron is hot
Even though you can barter, somewhat, with the vendors, if you find something you genuinely love make sure to buy it! It would be ashamed to see something unique and miss out on it because you wanted to shop around some more.
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16. Some booths sell the same thing
I fell in love with a few things at the Atlanta Country Living Fair, but I was shocked to see that there were multiple booths, in different sections of the fair. After shopping around, I noticed that the vendors priced the shovels and saws at different prices too.
17. Cash is king
Most of the vendors do take credit cards, but cash will always be king at fairs. With cash, if you do haggle it’s much easier to do with small bills. Don’t haggle something down to $7 and try to pay with a $50!
18. Don’t expect you can buy it online
Some things you can find on Etsy but don’t expect you can find everything online. Also, many vendors do not even sell their own items on their websites. In fact, I had one woman tell me “I don’t sell things online and I won’t ship anything to your house!” when I asked for a card.
19. Don’t expect everything to be half off on Sunday
Many of these vendors have full-time stores and travel to go to craft fairs all over the United States. Since they do not need to offload everything on Sunday, you can’t expect everything to be deeply discounted on Sunday.
20. Explore the area after shopping
Many of the Country Living Fairs are in amazing cities and have fun things to do! When we visited the Atlanta Country Living Fair, it was actually hosted at Stone mountain, so we took some time to explore the sights around the Stone Mountain Area.
21. Be prepared to drive!
My family loves a good road trip, but we were planning on flying to and from Atlanta with whatever craft goodies, we wanted to purchase. After seeing all of the large ticket items we could have bought, mom and I made a game plan to fly to the next Country Living Fair and then drive back to New Orleans.
I hope these 21 tips help you navigate the next Country Living Fair or flea market that you may attend!
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