Candy, piñatas and other treats.

The Indio Open Air Market is a cumulation of a farmer’s market, swap meet and flea market all rolled into one location. It is a Mexican-style shopping experience that is held twice weekly on Wednesday and Saturday evenings.  Gates open at 4 pm, but vendors are not set up until around 6:00 or 6:30 pm.   The market is held in the parking area behind the Indio Fairgrounds on Arabia Street off of Hwy. 111. The market caters to the local community of Indio and Thermal.  You won’t see a lot of tourists at this swap meet, but you can find some great bargains.

There are a handful of booths selling plants, farmers bring in fresh produce and fruit and  you can find everything from t-shirts,  shoes, jeans, sunglasses and snake shaped electric guitars to power tools and flat screen TVs.  I saw some furniture new and used for sale as well as gardening items, toys, bedding, make-up and baked goods.

In June, I decided to check out the Indio Open Air Market to see what deals I could discover.  I was surprised at the variety and range of products.  I was also impressed with the low prices. A nursery had $2, $3 and $7  rose bushes that smelled amazing. I bought several different colors to plant in my new patio garden.  The other item that I thought was well priced were the avocados, fresh fruit and vegetables.  You can get a bag of 4 or 5 avocados for $2.  My friend bought a set of framed art (hunt scenes) for $4 for both (resale items).  My boyfriend bought two packets of golf socks for $5 (8 pairs total).  I almost bought some used horse bridles and saddles, but decided to think about it for a couple days.  They may still be there on Saturday if I really want them!

After my shopping excursion I wondered why I had never heard about this market from other friends who live in the area?  I’ve lived in Indio, CA  for 2  years and I learned about the Open Air Market by driving by it a few times.    I suppose it really isn’t a tourist attraction, but it is a great place to pick up some tools, plants, fruits and vegetables and other misc. items if you live in the City of Indio, CA or nearby.

What: Indio Open Air Market & Swap Meet

When: Wednesday and Saturday nights 4 pm – 10 pm (most vendors are not set up until around 6  or 7 pm.

Cost: Entrance is .50 cents and parking is free.


46-350 Arabia Ave.
Indio, CA  92201

For more information visit

Directions: from I-10 exit Monroe, turn right.Continue on to Highway 111, turn left. Turn right on Arabia Street to the fairgrounds parking lot. The Indio Open Air Market is on the corner of Arabia and Dr. Carreon.

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Lynn Bremner is the author of, a blog about desert road trips and tips. She started the blog after moving to Indio, CA where she now resides. Now a true desert dweller, Lynn has added in some of her own views on desert living. The heat does not keep her indoors in the summertime. She is out running, golfing or taking short day trips to some of the local points of interest. After years of traveling along the dusty, desert trails with her father, she has come to appreciate the beauty and solitude of the desert landscape. Her father’s passion for prospecting, desert lore and exploring the desert parks took their family to many interesting places, mostly in California, Nevada and Arizona. Lynn now writes about her desert road trips and intertwines a little bit of desert living into the mix.


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