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Visiting a Renaissance Faire!

King Richard's Renaissance Faire

I’ve always wanted to visit a Renaissance Faire, so when I learned about King Richard’s Faire I decided we should go. It was Baby Anna’s first big outing – and she slept through the entire thing!

The kids thought it was a pretty interesting environment – if a bit overwhelming! Four-year-old Johnny found the costumed characters pretty interesting. My kids wouldn’t stay to watch the jousting, and they weren’t interested in any other shows. Some kids would adore it, but the combination of noise and not-really-violent but somewhat-suggestive-of-violence content upset my kids.

Emma did enjoy posing with this knight, and sitting in a throne:

Posing with a knight at King Richard's Renaissance Faire

And all three kids ADORED the pony rides!

Emma rides a pony at King Richard's Renaissance Faire

Emma and Johnny have ridden Mike’s coworker’s horse in the past, so they were pros. Particularly Johnny, who seems to have been born to ride:

Johnny rides a pony at King Richard's Renaissance Faire

Lily is terrified of most animals, so it was fun to see her embrace this pony ride – and it was perfect that she got this cute little pony:

A princess rides a pony at King Richard's Renaissance Faire

I think she looks like quite the princess!

The rides, like nearly everything in the Faire, cost extra – $6 per kid. Add that to $15 admission per kid (I was sent two free adult tickets and Lily was free), and we spent $48 for essentially three pony rides, at least in the kids’ minds in terms of what they got out of the day. Is paying a high admission fee and then paying a lot of money to do anything once you are inside typical of Renaissance fairs?

I think King Richard’s Faire is best for older kids – probably aged 9 and up, although at that age the sometimes-crass content of the little we saw walking past some of the shows is still problematic, for me at least.

Have you been to a Renaissance Faire? Is there one that you love?

MaryAnne is a craft loving educator, musician, photographer, and writer who lives in Silicon Valley with her husband Mike and their four children.

16 thoughts on “Visiting a Renaissance Faire!”

  1. I love Renaissance fairs..they are always a blast! I was just thinking last night I wanted to check and see if our new home has one …so I can take my kids! We are missing out on so much of fall…and I love this season. Last year we moved this exact same time! :( Oh well…it will all work out! :)

  2. As you know we really enjoy them, but we also go in knowing about some of those things.

    There are some risque outfits, and there can be a lot of them, for our one, it will depend on the weekend we go because they have themed weekends. So, we don’t go on Barbarian Invasion or the Fairy weekend.

    As to the expensive stuff. We tell each kid they get to choose one ride or thing. Then we go to a lot of the shows. Ours has a good birds of prey show that all the kids enjoy and we do too. There’s several good juggling or other shows. You do have to be careful with the shows because you can get into the bawdy humor, but it will really depend on what shows you choose.

    We also bring lots of snacks in with us, granola bars and the like.

    1. I had wondered what your Renaissance Faire was like – thanks for the tips on how to make it work well with young kids! We did let the kids choose one thing (they all picked pony rides) and brought snacks, and both of those helped a lot!

  3. Love the pony ride photos! The kids looks so sweet.

    You know it is interesting about your kids not wanting to watch the jousting. My son talks about liking “war” stuff but he has such a gentle personality. I think he is all talk ; )

  4. I love the photos of the pony rides but it’s a shame that there wasn’t a lot else that your kids were interested in or that was appropriate for them. I always thought of Renaissance Fairs as family events but I’ve only ever been to one very small one and that was a number of years ago.

  5. Im so glad you posted this. I would never have thought it would be good for young ones, which is why I skipped it! Thanks, will tr to catch it next year.

  6. Lorraine- Science-Friendly Homeschool

    I used to work at a couple Renaissance Faires in high school and college and I have to say, I think most of them are as you described: Expensive to get in, extra charges for everything, expensive food, and definitely at least a PG rating. I think they could be educational, but their historical accuracy is so-so and parents should be warned about the mature content so that they’re prepared.

  7. I’ve never been to one and based on your description not so sure I want to – maybe once for experience when Anna is a bit older.

  8. So glad they all enjoyed the pony rides! Emma looks beautifully confident, Johnny a true natural, and Lily an ethereal princess.

  9. I used to go to one in Colorado. LOVED it. I purchased a period outfit, that I ended up wearing, and got my hair done. It was SO fun to pretend to be at that time period. I was around 14 the last time I went. Truly my favorite period of time. :)

    The pony rides look like fun. I’m with you though, that’s expensive! But sometimes, every once in a while, it’s so worth it for the kids. They looked like they enjoyed themselves. :)

  10. We went to King Richard’s Faire a few years ago and none of us liked it. When we were there I was a bit disappointed in the attire, the contests (biggest breasts and biggest bulge – gasp!), and the scene in general. I didn’t think it was family friendly. I think Tyler would have enjoyed the jousting but there wasn’t a show scheduled for a few hours and we just couldn’t bare sticking around that long.

  11. We went two years in a row–’10, ’11. The first year it was not crowded, the clothing was ‘modest’ for that particular time period, shows were fun and kids (all of us enjoyed it). Last year was a totally different story just as you described. It was crowded, filled with smokers, immodest clothing by both attendees and performers, dirty and nothing we plan to attend again in the future. And, yes, nickel and dime you to death for sure! I’m glad we’ve done it to have had the experience and know how it is, but I agree with you for sure!

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