Jan 172013

Last week our family went to the Pennsylvania Farm Show.  For those of you not familiar with this annual phenomenon, it’s hailed as the nation’s largest indoor agricultural expo.  Basically picture a really, really big building with a bunch of cows, tractors, and about 450,000 people thrown in, and you’ve got yourself the Farm Show.  For many, this is a yearly highlight.  My husband and I have been a few times in the past, but we hadn’t yet given it a whirl with our kids.  Packing up two strollers and a monstrous backpack stocked for The Apocalypse, we decided this was the year.  Hold your horses (or pigs, sheep, whatever the case may be), we were hitting the scene!

butter sculpture at PA Farm Show @meredithspidel

Why yes, this is a sculpture made out
of 1,000 pounds of butter

I could load you up with cute pictures of the kids exploring all the delights and tell you about all the cool things there are to do there, but let me just take this opportunity to share some important take-aways with you (and I’m going to do the picture thing anyway).  In case you find yourself contemplating Farm Show-ing it in future years, here’s a few things to keep in mind:

1.  If obscene amounts of animal poop on your shoes and/or stroller wheels leaves you squeamish, you may want to sit this one out.  Crap happens.  At the Farm Show, it definitely happens.

2. You will eat your daily calorie intake x7 in the astoundingly amazing food court.  Plan on not eating for a week before or a week after.  You’ll thank me for this.  And it’s worth it.

3.  Awe is a abundant.

Looking at baby chicks @meredithspidel

You know it’s good when you have to get up on your tip-toes to see it.

4. You will not be able to breathe.  Or move your elbows.  Perfect scenario if you are looking to tackle that nasty claustrophia.  I made excellent strides in the 5 hrs. we were there.  And then only required about 25 hrs. of therapy afterwards.

5. There is nothing cooler than an indoor carousel.

indoor carousel at PA Farm Show

Excuse the blur. Mommy’s still working on nailing the skill of snapping a pic while waving back.

6. Instaneous desire to don a cowboy hat, wave a lasso and whoop it up at the rodeo is a given.  Dang, I love it when my inner cowgirl comes out.  Why must she hide the rest of the year?

7. It will seem inappopriate to listen to anything other than Toby Keith for the full week post-Farm Show.  Stock up on his albums before going.

8. You will have to leave with your own horse.  Or, at the very least, a pony.  They sell horse trailers there, so it’s cool.

Horse at PA Farm Show @meredithspidel

What a beauty!
And I think my daughter is gorgeous too. ;)

9. You’ll leave exhausted, tired, mentally taking notes for what to buy in the food court next year, and counting down the days until next year’s show.

10. Despite EXTRAORDINARILY random and emphatic temper-tantrums when the sweet booth lady (who oddly happened to be your aunt in the crowd of 450,000) tried to give your son his paper chicken hat and subsequent refusals on his part to even touch it, you will go in his room to check on him later that night and find this:

PA Farm Show Chicken hat @meredithspidel

I know, I’m dreaming about next year too, little guy.


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Meredith blogs at The Mom of the Year, dedicatedly earning her title one epic parenting fail at a time. When her kids aren't busy pummeling each other with Legos or requiring their 16th sippy cup refill of the day, she tries to offer quick, relatable laughs for fellow parents of the world and all their empathizers. She remains entirely terrified by crafts, promises to never share any useful household tips, and is fully committed to a less serious look at the world of parenting.

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  34 Responses to “Take-aways from the Farm Show”


    Oh I loved the picture of your little girl on her tippy toes and your son with that chicken hat at the end was priceless. Looks like you had a great time and also linked up, too :)


    Your kids look like they had a blast!! I think all the poo and people would have me runnin’ for the hills!!!!!


    I love this piece! I have a dear friend who works in PR for ag-related financial industries and she LOVED going to the farm shows! I had to share this with her for just that reason. Thanks!


    Wow a 1000 pound butter sculpture might be reason enough to go. The pic of your son in the chicken hat is too cute.


    Oh Meredith, this is SO MUCH fun to read!!! I love your TIPS!!! And the pictures are so freaking adorable!!! My favorite? That horse’s face!!!!! Or donkey’s….whichever. :)
    The ending of this fantastic story is the best ever. SO sweet with that picture and the chicken hat on your little precious sleeping boy…

    I could picture your entire day with it all- the poop, the meltdowns, the awe in the children, and especially the YUMMY food! What a full day and great memories for you all!!

    Wish I could have been there with you- we would have had a BALL with our two families together!!! However… you and I would probably spend the ENTIRE day at the food court while the hubbies took the kids everywhere! LOL (I mean what’s better than food and friends?…oh wait…FAMILY. Yes. That’s right!)


      It was definitely “A Day”, Chris! Would have been a blast hanging out with you and we could have rocked that food court! So fun to think about :)


    Too funny! Super sweet pics, too. :) And who wouldn’t want to see that butter sculpture?!?


    I LOVE fairs/farm shows! We always hit the big one in Nashville and the kids love it.


    Do you know how much that butter sculpture was and if they will ship out of state?


      I’m pretty sure it’s discounted now since it’s a week old, but the overnight shipping could be killer. Maybe see if Pat will go in with you on this big investment?


    This was great! It reminds me of the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo that happens at the end of February and beginning of March. LOTS of poop there!


    This post makes me miss my home state of PA! I don’t know if I asked you this before, but where in PA do you live? I grew up in Lebanon…so going to the Farm Show every year was a regular thing. I miss it! Especially now, because I know how much my daughter would enjoy going to see all the animals and events they have going on. Maybe next year we can visit my parents and take her :) Looks like you guys had a blast. And now I want some Farm Show food!

    It was great to co-host with you this week Meredith!


      Kera, I had no idea you lived in Lebanon! We’re more toward Philly now. Definitely shoot to get back next year–it’s perfect for kids. And yeah, the food is big draw too 😉


    I hope you had one of their famous milk shakes!


    How fun! I meant to take the kids to it this year and totally forgot! Remind me next year. : )


    Thanks for hosting! I am your newest follower. Love for you to stop by when you get a chance.


    That last picture is wonderful! What a sweet little guy. I love county fairs and farm show. I would have spent more time than seems necessary in front of the butter sculpture. I need to put “sculpt with butter” on my bucket list.


      Wouldn’t it be so fun just to give it a try? I’m sure I would be a disaster at it, but would love to take a stab at it!


    You forgot about all the dust and dirt. We go to a tractor show in neighboring Iowa every year and I leave with grit in my teeth every time. But the boys love it, so it’s okay! 😉


      Do you think the dust and dirt could be considered part of some fancy skin care routine? Then we could classify it as a spa day of sorts too 😉


    Oh, my gosh…too funny! I’ve actually never heard of this, native Pennsylvanian that I am. It looks like they had a great time, though, despite all the craziness for momma. I can’t get over that pic of your little girl with the ducky chicks (don’t know which they are :p) So cute!


      Ah! How have you not been there? I was counting on you, Femme, to have been a true Farm Show vet 😉 Thanks–I loved that picture too :)


    Aw! That looks like so much fun. I love the part about not eating a week after and not being able to move. Those things are so true about fairs!

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