Ten and a half hours. That’s how long we stayed at our provincial exhibition the other day. TEN AND A HALF HOURS. STRAIGHT.
And you know what? It was pretty great.
Even though we stayed the longest we’ve EVER stayed (I think our previous record was nine straight hours), it went smoothly thanks to a few key things …
He packed granola bars, Goldfish crackers, and a bunch of small water bottles that we could toss when they were empty (less to carry). I packed sunscreen, my wallet, honey-roasted peanuts, lipstick, a notebook and pen (which I never ended up using, see below), phone charger (sadly never found a place to use that either) and earbuds.
We didn’t bring sweatshirts or jackets because it’s been crazy-hot lately, but we probably should have. It got a little chilly around 8 p.m., but it wasn’t too bad.
We certainly got our money’s worth this year, though. The rides opened at noon and the kids rode pretty much nonstop until we left at 10 p.m. That’s like eight cents a minute for giving them the time of their lives, if my math is correct (… it like is not).
We also shelled out an additional $20 for tickets so the two of us could join them on a few “grown-up” rides (two runs on the Tilt-a-Whirl, once on the Ferris Wheel and once on the Swizzler). Tickets, in my opinion, are a huge rip-off unless you only want to go on one or two rides. But it was worth it so the kids could experience the really cool rides.
For Darling Husband, taking mental breaks meant walking over to the arena and seeing what kind of show was happening, checking out the planing demonstration, or ambling over to look at the John Deere display. Or the truck display. Or the other truck display.
My mental break? Did not involve any of that stuff. I wore earbuds and listened to podcasts, zoning out while the kids ran through the funhouse for the millionth time. A few times I left them with Darling Husband and went to sit down in the grass and close my eyes for a few minutes (sunglasses hide everything) so I could listen in peace. It helped all of the ride-watching seem FAR less tedious.
(But also I would have really liked a poo emoji pillow?)
So we bought lunch and dinner but were careful not to overbuy — the kids were too excited to eat much — so we weren’t left with a ton of cold, uneaten fries and chicken fingers. We split a cotton candy and a (very, very sticky) candy apple while we watched a horse show, and picked up a few more candy apples to take home at the end of the night. We ate those the next day, so it stretched out our enjoyment. Mmmm, candy apples for breakfast.
We had a great day and even though certainly isn’t a CHEAP day, it was less expensive than it could have been. We were all comfortable and relatively sane, even when we left, which is really saying something.
What’s your favourite family-at-the-fair tip?