Peanut Adventures, Issue 12 (AKC Nationals)
I know we are not the most traditional when it comes to holiday... traditions. We don't live especially close to most of our family, so we've ended up forging our own unique and new fun things to do together around Christmas. We like to resort hop at Disney to see the decorations, and we LOVE going to Epcot on Christmas Eve. But there is one other December event we've done almost every year since D was born (and before) that has nothing to do with Disney: the AKC National Championships. Most years, it's here in Orlando at the Convention Center.
I recognize that it's a little unusual that the AKC book of breeds was one of my favorite things to read growing up, but the conformation competitions are only the tip of the iceberg for what is offered at this event. For the cost of a daytime admission ticket, there are vendors, the conformations, but also agility...
...obedience, and DIVING DOGS competitions.
BUT the absolute BEST part of the event is called "Meet the Breeds." Most of the breeds showing at the competition have booths set up with dogs that you can meet and learn more about from breeders and owners.
There's also a ton of "swag" at most booths for kids (D got about a million coloring pages and pieces of candy). The Kids' Zone has a bouncy house and slide as well as face painting. You can meet some of the rarest and most unusual dogs in the world.
Daytime cost of admission is only $10 (from 8:30ish to 4:30ish) and kids are FREE. Your admission gets you into EVERYTHING with the exception of the big conformation competitions that are in the evenings (the ones that generally get televised, like the Best in Groups and Best in Show). Potentially the best part? None of these dogs are looking for homes (you don't have the "how do I not take them all home?" problem), so you can play with and love on dogs ALL DAY with no guilt.
It's a massively full day for very little money that's so high on fun factor. Sometimes we just go the three of us, other years (this year) we've gotten to take my dad and stepmom, and it's always a blast.
The Meet the Breeds section has gotten so big, it took almost 4 hours just for us to do that part. But we always make time to watch the diving dogs and some of the agility, too. This may read like a huge ad for this event, but we pay to go every year and we're always shocked that more people we know have never heard about this. Y'all have a year to plan for the 2018 show, so MAKE IT HAPPEN! :)