I’m attempting to weed through the 2 million folders of pictures I have to sort through, and as I was doing that I found the pictures from when we went to Sherwood Forest Faire last Spring.
For our family, the first rule for taking your kid to the Renaissance Festival: they have to be at least 2.5 years old.
It’s an arbitrary age, but then they’re at a point where life won’t end if they miss their naps for the day, they can walk around for most of the day, and in my daughter’s case, she’s partially potty-trained.
Many people will bring their infants, but for us that was not a plan we wanted to try, before that age, we left the baby at home with Mimi (my Mom who generously kept them).
Tip 1 for taking your kid to the Renaissance Festival: Pick a costume out.
Once you get there your kid will probably want one. For little girls it can be the princess outfit already in her closet. For your son, a simple piece of cloth with a hole cut in it for his head will suffice, oh and a sword, which can be picked up at the dollar store. You have those items and you’ve got the start of a magical day.
Resaons not to wear a costume: weather, it might be too cold for the outfit; don’t have one, as I said it’s super simple to create one, but if you can’t, it’s still a lot of fun to not go in costume, and a good portion don’t wear costumes, but I really enjoy going in costume.
Tip 2 for taking your kid to the Renaissance Festival: Bring some small snacks.
Food costs more there, just like it’s an amusement park, and your kids will get hungry. Most festivals allow you to bring in snacks. You can’t bring a big huge cooler, but you can have some snacks in your purse or back pack.
That being said, make sure to try some of the food there. This time we tried out crepes made on the spot, and it was fascinating for us to see how it was made. It’s a great chance to learn about other cultures and other food styles.
Tip 3 for taking your kid to the Renaissance Festival: bring some spending money
There are a lot of fun games and ways to spend money there. This past time the kids earned their spending money and the boys both earned almost $30 to spend (grossly exaggerated wages helped), and Princess earned about $20. They spent it jousting, fishing, on a magic necklace, and some fun toys. We let them spend it how they wanted, but we had veto power. They weren’t allowed to get a few things they wanted that we knew would end up in the trash bin very quickly.
That being said there are a lot of things you can do without spending money, keep reading.
Tip 4 for taking your kid to the Renaissance festival: take in a show
There are lots of great shows that welcome audience participation, go watch some. They’re free (they gather tips), and they’re fun. I’d check the schedule at the beginning and make note of shows you want to see. When we go to the Texas Renaissance Festival we always see the jousting. This year at Sherwood Forest Faire we loved the magician’s show, it was funny.
A word of warning, many of the shows at Renaissance Festivals have adult humor, so keep an eye out for that because you don’t want to end up covering your kids ears or having to leave rather than explain the joke.
Tip 5 for taking your kid to the Renaissance festival: Enjoy the ambiance.
For me the best part is just watching what’s going on:
watching the kids play on the pretend castle, and guard against attackers,
making faces in the face cut-outs,
escaping from jail,
firing the cannon,
and the ever popular, being in the pillory.
So, I’d say have a blast at the Festival, bring your kids when you’re ready to, and take a lot of pictures. I took about 100 pictures that day in March, and now I need to sort through the best ones to get it manageable.