I don't take my boys shopping. I hate shopping and cannot imagine torturing them with it. But I do love craft shows and festivals and have no intention of missing out or paying a babysitter a fortune when I know it wont hurt them. And the cool thing is, they usually enjoy themselves and have a true appreciation for the work and craftsmanship that go into many of the exhibits I take them to. Two years ago I took the boys to the Pioneer Village Quilts at the Creek. I gave N a camera and A just ran around, and we stayed a couple of hours and thoroughly enjoyed ourselves!
The boys enjoy Pioneer Village and there is usually a treat of maple candy at the end as a reward for good behaviour. They can run around and enjoy the village and they had some very interesting conversations with some of the other attendees. This year N met a family who had literally fled the forest fires out in BC and had come to Ontario to stay with family as their house had burned down! One thing the mother had saved was a quilt she had made for her nephew and had just given him for his birthday. She was so excited to be at the quilt show and enjoying her favourite past-time in the midst of all that craziness. A met an old man who was being told by his wife to "sit quietly over there while I look at the quilts". A told him that his Mom had told him the same thing and would he like to watch some Angry Birds?
It was 40+ degrees this year and cooperation was limited. A lay down on the grass at one point and refused to move. So I left him there with an iphone and a bottle of water and checked out as much of the exhibit as I could while keeping him in eyesight. N took a few pictures and climbed stuff. It was hot.
What was interesting this year was the selection of quilts N focused on. He has a definite preference for modern quilts and geometric shapes. Anything that looked like it came from Minecraft was a big hit!
This "I-spy quilt right at the beginning got lots of attention. Very cool use of colour and we loved the "wave" effect. A liked that the Berenstein bears fabric I had used on an earlier quilt was present :)