Royal Agricultural Winter Fair 2014 is on from November 7 to November 16!
It is a wonderful event for animal lovers of all ages where the best cows, horses and other farm animals are competing, then to be sold in auctions. It is an occasion for the agricultural industry to feature all kinds of farm-related activities and products for the benefit of the general public.
I've attended the Royal Winter Fair on many occasions with my family and we've always come across cool activities during our visits but it was often by pure luck. The truth is that if you don't explore the attraction's website prior to your visit (a time consuming task), chances are you will have the nagging feeling you’re missing out on a great activity while you're attending another.
I sifted through the Fair's website to find the 2014 activities that seem of most interest to children. (Note that the link to the Fair Map is in the top right menu on their website.)
TOP-10 fun things at the Royal Fair (check their schedule at the door on the day of your visit!)
In the President’s Choice Animal Theatre
1) Rabbit jumping!
I’ve never seen big rabbits jumping over tiny obstacles. This activity is offered on two days only: Saturday Nov. 8 at 2:15 p.m. and 4:45 p.m, and Saturday Nov. 15 at 11:45 a.m. and 2:15 p.m. (Note that their activity Goats on the Go includes goats jumping and doing other tricks will be offered once, daily from Nov. 8 to Nov. 15.)
2) President’s Choice Superdogs
Offered twice every day. The dogs are so eager, it’s pure fun to watch them go. (Note that there will also be Jack Russell Races on the weekends: Sat. Nov. 8, 5:30 p.m.; Sun. Nov. 9, 3 p.m.; Sat. Nov. 15, 1:30 p.m.; Sun. Nov. 16, 11:45 a.m.)
3) Santa Claus and his live reindeer
Santa will be at the Fair but only on Sunday Nov. 16 from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m.. Note that there will also be decorated Christmas Trees competing in the Sheridan Nurseries Winter Gallery.
4) Mounted Police
Another unique offer is the Mounted Police on Tuesday Nov. 11 at 11:15 a.m. where we will watch and learn about this surprising side of Toronto Police.
In Hall B
5) Pizza Pizza Petting Farm
With 60 animals, a big hit with every one.
6) Giant Vegetable Competition
In the Harvest Path (wherever that is! they don't explain on the map). When we visited, there was a 1093-pound giant pumpkin! Apparently the biggest one they saw at the Fair was 1414.6 lbs! The competition takes place on Nov. 8. The vegetables remain on site until the end of the Fair.
7) Butter Sculpture Competition. Artists can be seen sculpting butter in the refrigerated Butter Sculpture Trailer (usually in the first six days of the Fair). In orevious years, after the competition, the winner got to create a new sculpture for the next three days. Try to tell your kids not to play with their food after that!
In Scotiabank Ring of Excellence
8) Many farm animal competitions take place in the barns during the Fair but two of them take place in the Ring of Excellence. The Rabbits and Cavies show is on Sunday Nov. 16 (your chance to see 600 rabbits and cavies!). The Poultry, Waterfowl and Pigeon show is also ineresting, featuring 800 birds. It is offered Tuesday Nov. 11 and Wednesday Nov. 12. (Note about the following photo: This photo was taken years ago, in a part of the Fair where we could admire the poultry waiting for the competition. I don't if it is still accessible.)
In the Horse Palace
9) Different breeds of horses compete in the Horse Palace. While you’re there, play an i-SPY game with your kids, trying to spot as many horse-theme details as possible in and around the building.
In the Ricoh Coliseum
This is the part about the Fair that most confused me the first times I visited the attraction. Most of the Royal Horse Show performances are ticketed events not included with the ground admission to the Royal Winter Fair (they cost around $50 per person but include ground admission). But there are moments when you can see Royal Horse Show shorter free performances in the Ricoh Coliseum.
10) Royal Horse Show FREE performances
Friday Nov. 7 from 8:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. and from 12:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m.
Saturday Nov. 8 from 8:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.
Monday Nov. 10 from 6:45 p.m. to 10 p.m.
Tuesday Nov. 11 from 8 a.m. to 12 noon amd 1 p.m. to 5 p.m.
Wednesday Nov. 12 from 8 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. and from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m.
Thursday Nov. 13 from 8 a.m. to 11 a.m. and from 12 noon to 4:30 p.m.
Saturday Nov. 15 from 8 a.m. to 12 noon.
Sunday Nov. 16 from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m.