Kids’ Market | Clarence Park Community Centre | Review

Kids’ Market at Clarence Park – Review, October 2019

by Carla Caruso

Got old toys to move on, or have a budding young entrepreneur at home with a business idea? We know just the place for them…

I’m all in favour of doing a ‘Marie Kondo’ and feeling the magic of tidying up. Decluttering!

My mum always made my family home look like a sleek, spotless magazine spread. But I’ve found that somewhat harder to manage, having sons unlike her (to sound a little sexist!).

So, when I saw a Kids’ Market advertised at Clarence Park Community Centre, I jumped at the opportunity. We do regular toy cleanouts, yet somehow more piles of ‘stuff’ seem to sprout overnight…

The market’s purpose is for kids to sell their own pre-loved toys, handmade items and home-baked goodies to other kids – at child-friendly prices. It’s been a favourite school holiday event for locals for many years.

I thought bagsing a stall would be a good learning opportunity for my boys; to let go of forgotten toys while also earning a bit of pocket money.

It cost just $5 to book a stall, which we did a few weeks before the market was held. (Adult supervision is required for each stall.) The date was set for Saturday, October 5. We were advised to bring some sort of trolley to transport our stuff with, in case of parking difficulties.

As luck would have it, before the event, I found an old trolley that someone had left on the roadside. My husband gave it a fresh lick of paint. On the day, though, we ended up arriving early enough that we got a park right out the back of the community centre. But it was still handy having the trolley to cart items in with.

The main hall was opened at 9.30am to allow stallholders to set up before the market opened to the public at 10am. Earlier in the week, we’d organised a ‘float’ of small change at our local bank branch as no EFTPOS facilities or change was available within the centre. (We brought along a Square credit card reader too, though didn’t get the chance to dust it off.)

We kept the pricing simple by putting items in baskets, marked with one price (prices we could reduce as time wore on). The boys were provided with a table, measuring 150cm x 75cm, though they could have brought an extra card table to use too, if desired. The table setup was kept simple, though others put effort into dressing theirs up.

While the twins didn’t sell any food, those who did had to ensure the items were clearly labelled with all the ingredients. (Such sellers also had to hand in a completed Food Preparation and Sale by Individuals form on arrival.)

The volunteer-run food co-op was also open during the event, selling nuts, dried fruit, grains, free-range eggs, legumes, seeds, honey and more, with an emphasis on organic produce. (The co-op’s open 10.30am-12.30pm, Monday to Wednesday during school terms, and every Saturday.)

In the beginning, my boys had the usual nerves, thinking that they wouldn’t sell anything … then they got their first customer. The initial sales were a thrill, but their excitement soon turned to finding treasures at other stalls while my husband and I kept an eye on things. So be prepared to get rid of a heap of stuff but come home with a few new pieces too!

Some items could have sold at a higher price on Gumtree, but it was nice to pass on a bunch of items in one hit, hassle-free.

In the last 20 minutes, many stallholders chose to ‘gift’ items they hadn’t sold to the other kids. The event wound up at noon.

Afterwards, my boys had a play at the Princess Margaret Playground, just down the road, next to the railway tracks (5 Byron Rd, Black Forest). Then, on the way home, we swung past the charity bin to donate their last few remaining toys.

So, would we do it all again? Absolutely! The market had a fun, friendly vibe. And one of my twins, who’s been obsessed with the idea of having a stall, has, at last, got it out of his system. Plus, it felt good seeing my boys’ preloved items being recycled … while earning them some spare change to boot.

What we like about it

  • It feels good to see old toys and items getting a new lease on life.
  • The market has a buzzy, vibrant, family-friendly vibe.
  • Adults are always close at hand, supervising the stalls.
  • There are plenty of food and drink options to get you (and the kids) through the morning.

Things to consider

  • You’ll need to bring plenty of small change and a float for your stall as there isn’t any EFTPOS facility or change within the centre.
  • Factor in time to sort through your kids’ old items, and to price them, before market day arrives – and keep hold of spare boxes and bags for transporting it all! (Any spare bags will also be helpful for customers to use.)
  • Be prepared for your littlies to bring home a few new ‘treasures’ (while also getting rid of old stuff).
  • Prices need to be kept kid-friendly, so be realistic!
  • If your kids gets bored – or are shy about serving – you may end up manning the stall.

Coffee and food options nearby

Hankering for lunch afterwards? There are a plethora of eateries nearby including Sublime Café, Rise & Grind, and The Little Fig.


Review by Carla Caruso

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For more information, please visit the Clarence Park Community website.

What: Clarence Park Community Centre Kids’ Market

When: Every October! 

Where: Clarence Park Community Centre, 72-74 East Ave, Black Forest

Who: Kid sellers – and buyers! (Supervised by adults)

All photos by Carla Caruso for Play & Go Adelaide 

At Play & Go Adelaide we make every effort to provide accurate information to the best of our knowledge at the time of publication. We recommend confirming times, dates and details directly before making any plans as details may be subject to change.


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