cne 2018

The top 10 things to do at the 2018 CNE in Toronto

The CNE is back in Toronto for 2018, on from August 17 to September 3. And what would summer be without the outrageous food and classic rides? Take in the sights and sounds that embody the season before it's back to work once again.

Here are my picks for the top things to do at the CNE this year.

Browse through an Asian market

New this year is a big Asian market in the style of those found all over the world. For a week of the CNE, you can eat food, explore vendors, try out activities and see the entertainment offered during the market.

See a concert

Every year, musicians make their way to the CNE to perform at Bandshell Park. Look forward to Marianas Trench, Nancy Wilson of Heart, Men Without Hats, Birds of Bellwoods and lots more. Best of all, show prices are included in the park admission fee.

cne 2018

The Lantern Festival is a new addition to this year's CNE. Photo by Hector Vasquez.

Be amazed at the Lantern Festival

Another new addition this year, take a tour through a wonderland of giant silk lanterns in the shapes of different animals and figures during the Legends of Silk Road Come to Light lantern festival.

Take a spin on the rides

Rides are a staple of the CNE, from the 91 year-old tilt-a-whirl to the iconic Sky Ride. There's lots of adult and kids' rides to enjoy throughout the park, alongside the many old-school carnival games.

Check out the outrageous new foods

The CNE is known for its, erm, innovative food creations and this year is no different. Gold burgers, rainbow crepes, Korean fried frog legs and more are just some of the over-the-top, Insta-worthy offerings this year. Carpe diem, right?

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Visit the IKEA Monkey butter sculpture

Sculpting with butter is art in its purist form, and many iconic characters have been captured in the fatty spread, including the IKEA Monkey and Justin Trudeau holding pandas. Other exhibits include a gnomes, sand sculptures, flowers and photography. 

Drink beer and eat from food trucks

Both staples of the CNE, the Craft Beer Festival and Food Truck Frenzy offer brews and bites from 11 local and regional breweries and 23 food trucks, including Muskoka Brewery, Bacon NationEva’s and more.

Keep your eyes on the skies during the Air Show

Some people love it, some people don't. Either way, each year, the Air Show takes off around the city with sky-high displays to demonstrate the feats of aeronautical ingenuity. Even if you aren't at the CNE, you might still catch a Snowbird flying over the city.

cne 2018

Despite the noise, the annual air show at the CNE is always a highlight. Photo by Li Feng.

Shop til' you drop

If you don't win a giant teddy bear, you can still leave the CNE with lots of goodies as it is host to several pavilions full of sales that include home and beauty products, arts and crafts and outdoor markets.

Hit up a kitchen party

All the tunes, food, drink, and dance of the Maritimes come to Toronto for a giant, two-day kitchen party, including beer and wine producers, traditional activities and live performances.

Lead photo by

Hector Vasquez


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