Well, guys, sorry to break the news to you, but winter is legitimately right around the corner. Now's the time to get out and have a good time before cooping yourself up for a whole season: catch a movie, go to Starbucks, take a walk through the Distillery District. Live your best Toronto life.
While you're at it, you can also get yourself hyped up about something super fun and unique coming back to the city! Celebrating its 96th year, the Royal Agricultural Winter Fair is the longstanding Canadian hub for combining agricultural competition and learning, exquisite food, great entertainment, and all kinds of fun.
Since 1922, the best Canadian farmers, growers, producers, and homesteaders have flocked to this well-known affair to showcase their finest agricultural products and livestock. As the largest indoor agricultural event worldwide, The Royal gathers international equestrian Olympians and competitors of the highest calibre at its supreme Royal Horse Show. This year, it's going down November 2 - 11, and thanks to its ton of fun events (um, there's a legit dog relay), it's one seriously chill way to spend the day with family and friends!
1. Catch Amazing Performances At The Country Music Culinary Festival
An exciting new addition this year: The Royal is partnering with Boots and Hearts Presents to launch The Country Music Culinary Festival. November 1st will be the first stop on Canadian country-music idol Tim Hicks's “Get Loud” tour; he'll also be joined by The Washboard Union, Tebey and Madeline Merlo. On Friday, November 2nd, the Boots and Hearts Emerging Artist Showcase will introduce rising star Kris Barclay to guests!
2. Step Up Your Cooking Game At The Burnbrae Farms Culinary Academy
When The Royal says it offers something for everyone - it ain't playin'. Impress your loved ones in the kitchen with Instagrammable cuisine, just in time for the holidays! Get personal hands-on cooking lessons from a lineup of outstanding TO chefs, like Jamie Kennedy, Michael Hunter and Alida Solomon, who'll defs teach you a few key things about whipping up a feast.
CBC's Heartland star, Amber Marshall, will also partake in the event as a special guest! Check out the chef roster and reserve your spot here.
3. Discover Over 5,000 Adorable Animals
If you're anything like me, then you LOVE animals! In fact, people are often suspicious of your preference for adorable animals over cute babies and, well, we're just a different breed, I suppose.
Whether you're a furry-creature fiend like myself, or you don't know much about them, The Royal can totally be your classroom to teach you a thing or two about the splendour of the farm-animal kingdom. From beautiful cattle and soft sheep to cuddly rabbits and jumpy goats, go see who'll be crowned Royal Champ in each category.
The Pizza Pizza Petting Farm also lets attendees hang with some fuzzy friends. What's cooler than getting up close and personal with adorable farm animals and showing them some love? Nothing, that's what.
4. Behold The Wonder Of 1600-lbs Pumpkins
Say what?! Step aside, Jack - there's a new Pumpkin King in town, and he's GIGANTIC! The sheer fact that The Royal has a competition where monstrous pumpkins tipping the scales at nearly 1,600 lbs duke it out for the championship title is reason enough to head over and witness these gargantuan babies!
Speaking of unusual and strangely intriguing attractions, among The Royal's 2,000 agricultural competitions, there's one that beats them all in terms of absurd fun: Butter Sculpting. Yes, you read that right. People create insane sculptures out of the soft, universally loved spread we call butter. Tell me this isn't making you even the slightest bit curious and doesn't have you scratching your head, I dare you.
5. Admire the Fabulous Looks At The Royal Horse Show
You might expect the majestic horses and top-notch jockeys to be the main attraction at their own show, but let's not forget the sophisticated outfits in the crowd, either. Since 1922, Toronto’s best dressed have been stepping out in top hats, tails, trains, and tiaras. Honey, some stylish guests wait all year to serve lewks at these competitions!
Yes indeed, some fashionistas be stylin' and profilin' in their most chic, equestrian-worthy ensembles at North America's premier indoor equestrian event. So, don't be afraid to get a little fancy!
6. Get Your Hands On Some Tasty Treats (With A Great View!)
IMO, eating is a major motivating factor for most people to go anywhere. So, if you're a appetite-ridden foodie craving mouthwatering food, The Royal won't disappoint! For delicious homecooked fare made with the freshest local ingredients and tons of love, try out one (or all!) of its nine pop-up restaurants.
From casual meals to fine dining, The Royal delivers it all. Grab an early-morning breakfast sandwich (word is, it's the Fair's absolute BEST) at The Bit & Bridle Pub before indulging in a luxurious dinner at the exclusive Tanbark Club, followed by a super lit post-show afterparty where black tie reigns supreme.
7. Watch A Dog Relay And Prepare For All The Feels
You'll experience a whole gamut of emotions watching awe-inspiring rider/horse-and-canine duos compete in their respective timed obstacle courses. Find yourself holding your breath as noble horses seemingly glide through the air; then catch yourself grinning as speedy, highly trained PC® SuperDog® furballs navigate their own races without missing a beat!
This super family-friendly attraction only happens once at The Royal Horse Show, on November 10th at 1:00 p.m., so be sure to get yourself a seat at this special event! But, helpful hint: if you just want to catch the SuperDogs, you can watch them for free everyday in the President’s Choice® Animal Theatre!
8. Let Your Palate Be The Judge At The Craft Beer & Cider Awards
Beer and cider are my JAM, so you know I'm already all about this Royal Agricultural Winter Fair event! Spend your Friday evening trying Ontario's finest crafted beers and ciders while savouring tasty samples fresh off The Big Green Egg grill, prepared by Str8fire Hospitality's talented Chef Jamie Meireles.
By purchasing a ticket, you'll gain access to: sampling over forty of Ontario’s best craft breweries, Big Green Egg meats, a Gay Lea local cheese tasting, live entertainment, special guests, exciting prizes, and even general admission to The Royal after 4:00 p.m.
9. Get Buckwild At The Ontario Toyota Dealers Rodeo
If you're looking to spice up your Sunday, head over to the action-packed rodeo happening on November 11th at 1:00 p.m. Nothing's more adrenaline-inducing (or highly nerve-racking, if you're anxious like me) than watching competitors struggle to stay on those thrashing beasts for as long as humanly possible.
The Royal showcases the best bull riding, saddle bronc, and bareback competitors and barrel racers riding horses at full speed. And it truly is a once-in-a-lifetime experience to watch live. (No, seriously, they resemble Woody cowboy dolls flailing around and hanging on for dear life - and they legit do this for SPORT! Mind-blowing.)
There's a good reason why the Royal Agricultural Winter Fair is an impressive annual TO fave revered for its premier equine and agricultural excellence! This world-class fair is a special celebration of Canada's top farmers, agricultural producers, equestrians, livestock, and so much more.
Tons of animals, all kinds of delecacies to enjoy, a plethora of entertainment and a whole lot of healthy competition - yeah, you're going to want to check this event out. Go get "AGRICULTURED" at the Royal Agricultural Winter Fair 2018 and let your yearly obsession begin!
What: The Royal Agricultural Winter Fair.
When: November 2-11, 2018.
Where: Enercare Centre, 100 Princes' Boulevard Exhibition Place.
Cost: Regular Adult ($27.50), Regular Senior ($20), Regular Youth ($16), Family ($60 for 2 adults and 2 youth).