ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Enjoying the renaissance festival with a special needs child

Updated on June 19, 2013
Renaissance Festival - Pre-Child
Renaissance Festival - Pre-Child | Source

My husband and I had always been fans of renaissance festivals. We'd dress up and go to both of the ones in our area (Somerset, NJ and Tuxedo Park, NY) every year when we were dating. While some people may have stopped going when they got married and had a child with special needs, we instead figured out a way to make it work so we could all enjoy it together.

Prepare

It's normally a long day, and depending on where you live and what festivals you go to, you may be dealing with hot summer days or cold winter ones. Just like any other outing, you may want to prep a backpack w a change or two of clothes, any special food or toys, or anything else to keep you child happy. Call ahead and talk to management if you need to bring special food or drinks for the event for your child. Generally, management is willing to accommodate you if you have evidence of a diagnosis that supports the request, so you may have to bring your paperwork with you. (We have been able to do this at every major venue we’ve gone to with our son.) If you prefer not to deal with the issue at all, you can also pack a picnic lunch and leave to eat at your car; just make sure you can re-enter the festival.

Take a picture

No one wants to think about a child getting lost, but it’s best to be prepared before it happens. To make sure we can provide an exact description and up to date picture for officials in case our son wanders or runs off, we always snap a picture of him with our phones in the parking lot when we arrive. That way, there won’t be any confusion if he gets lost in the crowd and everyone will know exactly what he looks like when they’re looking for him.

Parking

Most festivals have parking on grass or gravel, but they also often have handicap parking spots. Call ahead if you’re not sure. If you have a handicap tag for your child, this is a good time to use it; the shorter walk makes life much easier if your child decides he’s had enough and needs to leave NOW. Trying to wrangle an unhappy child through a parking lot that can be chaotic is much harder when you’re parked 14 or 15 rows out instead of only two or three.

Do you enjoy going to the Renaissance Festival with your children?

See results

Bring family and friends

It may take a village to raise a child, and it also helps if you can bring a village with you. Lines can be long and boring. Bathrooms can be big or far away. Being able to share the responsibility can make the trip less stressful for everyone, plus there’s the added bonus of your child seeing correct behavior being modeled by others that he knows.

Know his – and your – limits

Are loud noises a no-no? Do you need to avoid crowds that accidentally touch and brush up against you? Are horses too scary to be anywhere near or perhaps too enticing to stay away from? Is three hours away from familiar “stuff” too long? When do you – or your child – need to rest? Maybe you won’t be able to shop at your favorite stall or go play the games that involve hitting a target with an axe or throwing tomatoes at a jester. It’s okay to test the limits sometimes, but consider the trade-offs. Pushing too many limits can make for a hard day with less fun and enjoyment.

Stay close by

We only live about two hours from the Texas Renaissance Festival, but knowing how long the day is when we get there, we’ve found that it’s worthwhile to find a hotel down the road from the festival. It lets us break up the drive from the rest of the trip, giving us all a break and allowing us to extend our visit. In our case, we can also use the local restaurants as rewards for good behavior, so that adds to the reasons to find a hotel.

It can be even better while they're still "portable"!
It can be even better while they're still "portable"! | Source

Be ready to leave and “waste” money

Tickets aren’t cheap. A family of four could easily spend over $50 just to get in the gates. But sometimes you have to admit it’s a bad day and time to cut your figurative and literal losses. If the day is just going wrong and causing too much stress, it won’t be enjoyable. Sometimes it’s worthwhile to see if you can purchase a weekend pass, especially if you’re getting a hotel in the area. That way you can try again.

And it isn’t just the tickets that can cause wasted money. Food goes uneaten, “toys” are only cool at the festival or while the vendor is holding them, and rides that look like fun are too scary. And that’s okay. Don’t let any of it detract from the enjoyment you are getting. Always consider the overall experience. Is it worth it to “waste” money one year so that you leave with a positive outlook and try again?

Enjoying the Renaissance Festival - tossing wood chips into water
Enjoying the Renaissance Festival - tossing wood chips into water | Source

Be willing to try new things

Who knew that our son would adore the big swings or the “boat” swing at the festival? We sure didn’t! But he pointed, and we thought, “why not?” Sure enough, he loved them both! We’d never tried either before, so it was a new experience for all of us. It’s best to keep an open mind and be willing to try new things. They may become family favorites.

Texas Renaissance Festival Opening Ceremony, 2012

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • tanveerbadyari profile image

      tanveerbadyari 

      5 years ago

      very nice hub, good insight & information provided by you.

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)