By John Clark
Ask some people what they sell over at the Bell County Flea Market and the answer might be “just about everything AND the kitchen sink.”
Spread out over 14 acres at 1930 George Wilson Road, just east of Nolanville along U.S. Highway 190/U.S. Interstate 14, as many as 200 vendors are open for business weekends from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., including four restaurants and a fruits and vegetable store.
Described as anything from open-air markets to giant garage sales, flea markets can be an excellent place to get some fresh air and shop for bargains on such things as clothing, electronics, tools, antiques, arts and crafts, shoes, perfume, handbags, jewelry, old books and magazines, furniture, home décor items — pretty much anything you can think of except … fleas.
Comfortable shoes are recommended, as you’ll be doing a bit of walking to browse the various booths and displays at this family-owned business.
According to the website, the flea market has a Christian ministry at the Chapel every Sunday. Bible study is from 9:30 to 10 a.m. for adults and from 10 to 10:30 a.m. for children.
A little further down the road, the Austin Country Flea Market is one of the largest and oldest such enterprises in the region.
Located five miles east of Interstate 35 in Austin, this flea market features more than 300 vendor spaces, live music every weekend, concessions, covered and paved walkways. To get there, go south on I-35 to exit 238B (Highway 290E-Houston), and stay on 290 East for about five miles. Parking is $2 per car.
If one of those two places whets your appetite for bargain-hunting, next week is First Monday Trade Days in the city of Canton, just east of Dallas. What started more than a 100 years ago as a simple flea market has grown into a massive, one-of-a-kind, legendary Texas weekend experience.
Open Thursday through Sunday prior to the first Monday of each month, the next Trade Days is Jan. 31 to Feb. 3.
Look here next week for more information on what is billed as “the world’s largest outdoor market.”
Meanwhile, over at Central Texas College’s Mayborn Science Theater, a new slate of January planetarium programs continues, including two new laser light shows and a special look at the inner workings of the sun.
Throughout January, the theater will feature a variety of educational science presentations, including such things as a look inside the cartoon world of atoms and molecules, an introductory rocket tour of the solar system and an exploration outside the solar system.
Laser Friday is scheduled Friday and features another new laser light show, “Laser Genesis” highlighting some of the pop band Genesis’ greatest hits at 7 p.m., followed at 8 p.m. by the patriotic “Laser Tribute” and “Laser Rush 2112” at 9 p.m.
Warren’s Star Tour is Saturday at 7 p.m. and pre-empts the regularly scheduled show. The tour will highlight the constellations and stars visible in the night sky over the Northern and Southern hemispheres.
Weekday matinees are scheduled at 3:30 p.m. each Wednesday. For information about show schedules, memberships, directions, and more, visit the Mayborn Science Theater online at starsatnight.org.
At Fort Hood, Apache Arts and Crafts Center is open Tuesday through Saturday for a variety of do-it-yourself projects, including picture frames, ceramics, and ceramics birthday parties for kids. Contact MWR for more information.
Anyone feeling the need to burn off a few holiday calories with a little more physical weekend activity could head on over to Killeen’s Urban Air Trampoline and Adventure Park, 2102 Jennifer Drive, between West Jasper Drive and U.S. Highway 190. With almost too many activities to mention all in one place, this complex includes not only trampoline-jumping, but such things as a Sky Rider indoor coaster, ropes course, climbing walls, obstacle course, tubes playground, trapeze, dodgeball, and slam dunk zone.
For more information on the park, go to www.urbanairtrampolinepark.com/locations/texas/killeen.