Let’s Go to the Ex! #CNE

My husband and I haven’t been  to the Canadian National Exhibition since our dating years, so we were really excited to head back this year for the CNE’s 134th year with the kiddos in tow! It was a slightly different experience with the kids but just as much fun!

The CNE is perfect for families, there is so much to see and do for people of all ages and while the area that the CNE covers is huge, you can always take advantage of the free shuttle around the grounds. We were happy to see that even our wagon could come on board and we gladly hopped on for the ride back to our gate in the evening.

We spent a lot of our day in Kids World of course, and took in the Bob the Builder and Splash ‘N Boots show at the Kids World Stage. The boys had a blast at the Pizza Nova pizza making workshop learning how to toss their own pizza dough and tasting some pizza with perfect timing at lunch! They learned some magic tricks courtesy of Professor Wick’s School of Magic and Illusion, made some noise with instruments at Make Music and tried out their talent of tight rope walking at Under the Little Top.

Venturing out of Kids World, we made our way to The Farm and had a look at all the farm animals. Here’s a fun fact: 1,921 tons of manure is produced each year by the CNE Horse Show and Farm Exhibit, crazy and gross all at the same time right? The names and ages of all the animals are posted and the kids really enjoyed knowing who they were meeting and if they were older or younger than them. We stayed for a sheep shearing show and the whole family was impressed with how easy the lady made it look, even though it takes two of us and all of our strength just to cut our dogs toe nails! lol The boys even cast their own reels at the fishing exhibit at The Farm.

Speaking of dogs, nothing was more exciting than watching the President’s Choice SuperDogs Show! We had a lot of laughs cheering on the fast paced runners and jumpers doing their tricks and races! Next, we made our way across the street to check out the Canadian Forces Exhibit where the boys were able to climb aboard real planes, tanks and other army vehicles.

Welcome to Mardi Gras everyone! The Mardi Gras parade happens daily at 6pm and while it was pretty short, it was still nice to sit down and have a break while the boys collected beaded necklaces! The floats were exceptional and there was no shortage of beads, in fact, 500,000 beads get tossed from the parade route!

Canadian National Exhibition

The 2012 Canadian National Exhibit runs from August 17 – September 3 so there is still lots of time to take in the fair with the family!

Admission prices are as follows-
General (14 – 59 years) $16
Over 60 years- $12
Children 5- 13 years- $12
Children 4 and under- Free
CNE Family Pass (2 adults and 2 children or 1 adult and 3 children) $48
Prices do not include rides, games or parking but do include events shows and performances.

Take advantage of Toonie Mondays when kids under 13 get in for only $2 with an adult or pop in after 5pm on Mon, Tues, Wed or Thurs when admission drops to $5 (does not include labour day monday)

Visit THEEX.COM for more information and program listings!

Canadian National Exhibition at night 

I was provided press passes to attend the Canadian National Exhibition for promotional purposes. All opinions and experiences are my own.


  1. Oh how fun! Our Saskatchewan exhibition is always over August long weekend, so depending on our plans, we don’t always make it. It’s always fun, but this looks downright amazing! (Kids definitely do make it a difference experience though! LOL)

  2. Sounds like a super-fun day! We’ve been considering a trip as well, but not sure about a) the crowds (heard they can get crazy) and b) whether or not there’d be appropriate activities for our almost-2-year-old. (Sounds like from your post many/most of the activities would be better for kids 3-4+.) Thoughts on either of these? Thanks!

    • momvsboys says:

      if you go mid week the crowds aren’t so bad, we didn’t have any trouble with crowds at all, we had great seats for the shows and found a table in the food building with no problems. It probably depends on your child with some of the activities but the shows are great, the farm building is fun, the super dogs are entertaining but run a little bit long for someone that young. I would still go but just sit closer to the exit. It’s doable for sure, but if you wait until next year, you will definitely get more bang for your buck!

      • Thanks Jennifer! I take it you went mid-week? I’m not sure our little monkey would sit through a whole show (depends on her mood) but the farm building sounds fun, and some of the other activities you can drop in and out of. Next year would be awesome except then we’ll have an 8-month-old too, lol. Though he’ll probably be happy just to chill in a stroller or carrier. 🙂

  3. We just went for the time this year!
    It was so much fun and I agree, great for families!

    I love your ferris wheel pic with the glowing moon in the background.

    • momvsboys says:

      I was surprised by just how much fun it was for the kids, I guess when you go with just adults you just do different things and forget there is a whole section designed for kids!

  4. How fun! I’ve never been to the Ex (yes, I live under a rock)…. One Summer I’ll have to make a point to go!

  5. SO FUN! We did the EX last year for the first time with the kids! It was such a long day but we packed it FULL! Love making memories like that! Great pictures! Thanks for sharing!

  6. I’ve never been to the CNE but we have a smaller version in the next town, which is Saint John. They have a midway, arts and crafts, vegetable judging, home baked goods judging and livestock. They also have a stage show. We always went as kids and we took our kids when they were little but I feel it’s no longer the “event” that it once was!
    I would love to one day take in the CNE, sounds like fun!

  7. How fun!! I actually don’t think I’ve ever been! Surprisingly lol. We have something similar in our small city, but there’s not much exciting things there lol

  8. I’m so jealous. We don’t have an EX anymore because Ottawa likes to suck the fun out of everything! Maybe I’ll have to come out for yours next year!

  9. I so miss the EX! Great post.

  10. LOVE the photos and love the post! I wish we lived closer, because we would LOVE to take Little One to the Ex!

  11. What a fun day. We don’t have an ex any longer. We do have a midway to try to fill the gap of the ex but we missed it this year.

  12. Oh my goodness that sounds so awesome. I am making plans right now, we are SO going next year.

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