- North America
- Rebecca Bartley
It’s that time of year again where the Canadian National Exhibition (also known as the CNE and The Ex) opens their doors to Toronto residents and tourists around the world for some summertime fun. With approximately 1.3 million visitors each year, the CNE is Canada’s largest annual fair and the seventh largest in North America. This year’s CNE runs from August 21st to September 7th and promises to be even more spectacular than last year. Here are the top 10 things to do at the 2015 CNE.
Check Out Some Of The Unique Shows
The CNE is well-known for displaying the best talent ranging from local athletes to artists from around the world. With so many shows to see at this year’s CNE, you’ll need a full day or more to see them all!
This year’s CNE shows include the Canadian International Air Show; a Celebrity Chefs series; a quintessentially Canadian West Coast Lumberjack Show; and for the animal enthusiasts – a Cat Show and SuperDogs.
Bringing along small children to the CNE? They may enjoy a more kid-friendly activity/show located in the CNE’s Kids’ World (west end of the CNE grounds).
For a complete schedule and list of CNE’s shows, check out their Entertainment page.
Take Part In A Parade
Celebrate at the CNE by taking in a parade! While a few have already passed, you can still catch one final parade. On September 7th 2015, celebrate Labour Day with the annual Labour Day Parade at 11am, which celebrates the strength and solidarity of workers.
Drink Some Beer at the Craft Beer Fest
Need a break from the activities? Imbibe in a beer or two. Brand new to the CNE this year, the Ex welcomes the Craft Beer Fest, where 11 master brewers will sample their locally crafted beers.
The Craft Beer Fest takes place on August 28th from 11 am – 11 pm and August 29th – 30th from 10 am – 11 pm.
Try Some Wacky and Tasty Food Creations
Out of all the things the CNE has to offer, it’s their food creations that top the list of things to do at the CNE this year! The Ex is well-known for not only having the tastiest food, but also the wackiest food combinations and names. CNE classics include ice cream waffles and tiny tom donuts, but every year the CNE releases brand new food combinations.
This year the newest food combinations include bub’s burgers, poutine balls, coffee donut milkshakes, bacon wrapped grilled cheeses, banana splits, red velvet oreos, garlic snow crab fries and timbit poutines.
These new food combinations can be found throughout the Food Building. However, make sure to check out these other places at the CNE as well for a bite to eat: Gossip, and Ribfest are the perfect spots for hungry foodies.
A must-stop (must-eat) is Food Truck Frenzy, taking place Friday, August 28th (11am – 11pm) and Saturday, August 29th – Sunday August 30th (10am – 11pm).
Rock Out to a Live Band
The CNE offers the best selection of live music with artists from around the world. The CNE’s live entertainment ranges from small, local artists to internationally known and top names in the music industry. Performances can be seen all around the CNE this year from the Bandshell and Midway stages to the Northern Comfort Saloon to even random performances throughout the grounds.
Go On a Ride and Play Some Games
What’s a day at the CNE without a few rides? From the Mach 3 to the Fire Ball for adults, and to the Berry Go Round and bumper cars for kids, there are rides and games for all ages to enjoy this year at the CNE.
Grown-ups, you can embrace your inner child with some of these adult rides: Sky Ride, Crazy Mouse Roller Coaster, Fire Ball, Polar Express, and Wave Swinger.
The Kiddie Midway is situated near Kids’ World at the west end of the CNE grounds and boasts 30 wonderful and whimsical rides for kids, including: Berry Go Round; the classic Bumper Cars; Dizzy Dragon; Lollipop Swing; Wacky Worm Coaster; and classics like Bumper Cars and Merry-Go-Round.
Pay a Visit To The Farm
Want to get away from the city for a few hours? Well, check out The Farm located in the Better Living Centre building. The CNE’s Farm provides visitors with the chance to slow down and get acquainted with rural life, including a wide variety of farm yard animals such as rabbits, horses, cows, pigs, alpacas, chickens and sheep. Guests can be a farmer for a day, picking apples off a tree, digging for potatoes, milking a cow and collecting eggs from the chickens. This is a must-see, especially for families with young children.
Take In Some Culture With International Performances
Toronto is a city well-known for celebrating multicultural diversity, and the CNE is no exception to this. The Ex welcomes performers every year from around the world. This year features performances from China, Hungry, Denmark, Australia, Hawaii, Africa, Egypt, Chile, and the Philippines to name a few!
Be sure to check out the complete list of this year’s CNE international performers. Some highlights include: Hawaiian Pacific Magic, Habeeba Hobeika Egyptian Dance Ensemble, That Swing!, and Folklorico Filipino.
See What’s On Exhibition
Your summer isn’t complete without a trip to the CNE to check out the different exhibits hosted by The Ex. This year’s special exhibits include historical explorations (such as the background behind the Canadian flag and the First World War), pop culture sensations (such as The Big Bang Theory and Sherlock Homes TV shows) and fun in the sun (such as sand sculpting competitions and garden displays). There is something here for everyone to check out at the CNE.
Be sure to check out the list of exhibits, including these must-sees…
For history lovers, we recommend: 50 Years Later! – The Canadian Flag; First World War Comes to Life; The Game is Afoot: Consulting Sherlock Holmes.
Arts enthusiasts will want to check out: THE BIG BANG THEORY: The International Art Exhibit; Theatre Museum Canada Pop-Up Exhibit; and the Toronto West Arts Collective.
And for you nature lovers: Topiary Garden Display; and International Sand Sculpting Pairs Competition.
Shop Till You Drop
The CNE is the best place to shop to find brand name items for largely discounted prices. Whether you’re looking for homemade items, kitchen supplies, home décor, furniture, or brand name clothing, the CNE has it all.
If you find your hands full with all your shopping bags, the CNE has you covered as well. For $4, you can shop till you drop without carrying the extra baggage by checking in your purchases with Parcel Check.
If you’re ready to start shopping, make sure to check out the complete list of shopping venues, including these areas at the CNE: Arts, Crafts and Hobbies Pavilion; Gourmet Kitchen; Outdoor Marketplace; and Warehouse outlets.
By Rebecca Bartley
Rebecca Bartley is a public relations, communications and marketing professional who loves to spend her free time writing and blogging, checking out the latest social media trends, dancing like no one’s watching, and spoiling her pet cat named Peaches.
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