If you happen to live in or between Springfield, IL and Saint Louis, MO, there are a TON of great antique malls.
One of my favorites is the Pink Elephant in Livingston, IL. And on Sunday, we hit the road for about a 50 mile drive (including lunch below) and had a ball!
This place is downright ZANY!! With a twistee freeze outside (YUM softserve), a bunch of crazy outdoor statues and structures, including a UFO:
AND it is housed in a former high school gymnasium, with booths on stage and upstairs in classes.
You can even watch YouTube clips on it.
B and I are long-time antique mallers (first not date) and collect/have collected a ton of things:
— movie posters
— vintage kids books (Golden Books, Hardy Boys, Nancy Drews)
— 50s Christmas ornaments
— 50s-70s Tupperware (blame my sister)
— Jadite (and Carnival glass)
— Old crystal
— Jewelry and Hats
— 50s dressing table loveliness
And so many other wonderful things our house is one part hidden object game/one part kaleidoscope. My favorite thing about antique malls now is their DIY potential.
Stop thinking that! I don’t mean some duck dressed up like Marilyn Monroe. I mean taking cool old things – clothes, jewelry, glass, and finding a modern use or twist for it. Kind of like the rip up clothes and make something fabulous challenges on project runway.
Or buy and restring/remake jewelry!
If you’re confused by what I mean, go to Pinterest and type in DIY jewelry. More on that to come!
The second best thing about going to Pink Elephant is lunch at Ariston’s Cafe in Litchfield.
Two words. Fried. Chicken. Yum.
And home made pie. Double Yum.
A member of the Route 66 Hall of Fame and likely the oldest restaurant on Route 66, Ariston’s is worth a long lunch! As one diner said:
Our first time visiting the Ariston was while we were vacationing on Route 66. It is located about an hour and a half away from our home, but we make it a point to visit at least 3 times a year.
You will be hard pressed to find a place with all the great qualities a restaurant should have. Great charm, great service, nostalgic atmosphere, and best of all, outstanding food. The Ariston boasts a history of service dating back to 1924. They have been service Route 66 customers before Route 66 was even a highway.
Their menu includes a large variety of food from traditional American favorites, Italian, steaks, Mexican, Seafood, sandwiches, and home made desserts. Do NOT pass up dessert. My favorites are lemon delight and chocolate delight. They also have alcoholic beverages as well.
Pricing is moderate. The experience is worth every penny.
Service here is some of the best to be expected. Every time we eat here, at least one or more of the owners is in the dining room. That says a lot for how much they care about their patrons.
Eating here will will undoubtedly have you coming back for more. They really do make you “Remember where good food is served”.
See their site online at http://www.ariston-cafe.com
So be sure to shop for at least three hours to get enough steps to deserve the drive to Artiston’s! If you want more antique malls, the Pink Elephant has a list of establishments up to and through Springfield. Which is perfect for treasure hunters and DIY afficianadoes alike!