We finally made it to the PNE. It’s all a blur, my feet ache and I have a mini-donut hangover, but totally worth it!
We usually go on a weekday to avoid crowds and lineups. It has been a pretty good strategy so far! However this year, something came up on our planned Wednesday. No problem, we’ll go Friday afternoon/evening. Mr.’s theory was that everyone would be heading out of town for the long weekend. And that was our first mistake.
We left Surrey at around 2:30 PM. At first, it seemed like he might be right, there was zero traffic on the roads. We got there at 3PM and began looking for a spot… and looking… and looking. All the “official” designated lots were full, with lineups waiting to get in. Lineups that were not moving. After some aggressive block circling, it became clear we needed to line up or turn around and go home.
(At this point, I was thinking we should have just taken a bus – I have zero issues with taking a bus, but it really makes going home painful when your kids are crashing from sugar / bright lights / noise overload. At this stage of our family life – at the end of any lengthy excursion, there must be a clear and direct path home.)
We got in a lineup that seemed to be moving a wee bit. There were some tense moments. The snack chewing seemed louder and the “he’s looking at me” escalated. My husband became convinced that people were cutting in further down the line. “WHY ARE THEY LETTING THEM IN?! NO. JUST NO.” It wasn’t looking good for a family day of fun. But – don’t all family days start off that way?
We finally got in after nearly an hour, and just 8 minutes short of the Mr.-imposed deadline of 4:30. Only another 10 minutes of trying to park a large, suburb-sized truck in a lot made for Honda Civics, and we were in!
We immediately made a beeline for the minidonuts. It was the only part of the day where we didn’t’ stand in line. Over the last few years, the PNE has offered better and better concerts and night-time activities, so a lot of people tend to come in the afternoon … just like us.
For me, I have come to discover that sometimes you just have to suck it up and stand in a line to see something entertaining. Now that my kids are all 7 and over, they can (sometimes) do that. All in all, the PNE delivered what we wanted it to. Our kids stare at screens so much that experiencing people-watching and live, in-the-moment entertaining is a real rarity these days. At the PNE, there are some cool things to see but mostly just the sights and sounds of a street fair and the memories of what we did as a kid. Oh, and the best minidonuts ever.