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November 04, 2018

To Do in Toronto: The Royal

"Learn by seeing and doing" -- that's one of our parenting philosophies. We try and expose our kids to new and different opportunities and experiences all the time, from travelling to visiting a museum, going for dinner, taking a nature walk, even going to the grocery store. Experiences are a great way to discover, to inquire and to appreciate everyday things we so often take for granted.

And that's why we continue to visit The Royal Agricultural Winter Fair every single year.

We are not farmers -- far from it. But as urban dwellers, we think it's even more important to teach the girls about where our food comes from, to learn about animals, where they live, how they grow. At the Royal, you learn all that and so much more. In addition to being SUPER up close with animals of all sizes (Angus Bulls are HUGE btw), the farmers and the farmer's children are always approachable. They answer questions, introduce you to their animals and explain farming in a way that is easily understandable.

In just a few hours, we were exposed and learned a bit about sheep shearing, dairy farming, cattle competitions, horse jumping and so much more.

And the girls were soaking it all in. The Royal really does a good job of making agriculture and farming accessible for kids and families; there are many worksheets, and colouring pages, tattoos and informative brochures to take home.

And then there are the shows -- competitions, horse shows, dog shows, informative sessions and demonstrations. Everything from cattle competitions to cooking demonstrations. You could spend a week here and still not see it all.

And then, of course, the gigantic gourds and other vegetables. Visually impressive, and a big treat for the kids. We always have fun exploring the Northern Ontario booths and sampling local honey and jams, cheeses and berry compotes. To put a face behind the farmer's label is invaluable. 

As parents, as much as we value and enjoy technology in our lives, we also think it's increasingly important to go back to basics, and when you visit The Royal, you'll get that opportunity. Put your kids' curiosities to the test and introduce them to something new, or remind them about the importance of farming and agriculture in our lives. And it's not just for the kids -- we learn something new every single time we visit.

The Royal runs daily until November 11, 2018. For more info, visit their website.

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Disclaimer: This was a gifted experience. As always, the opinions expressed on my blog are my own.

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