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5 Reasons to Visit a Renaissance Festival

Updated on October 22, 2013
Jeannieinabottle profile image

Jeannie has been writing for HubPages for over 5 years. She covers a wide variety of topics—anything from hamsters to office work.


Visit a Renaissance Festival!

A few years ago, I would have laughed at the thought of going to a Renaissance Festival. I am no history geek! However, times have changed, and everybody and their brother goes to Renaissance Festivals ( or Ren Faires as many people lovingly call them) for a fun weekend activity. There really is something for everyone.

In case you are not familiar with Renaissance Festivals or Renaissance Faires, they are festivals with a renaissance theme. Many people come dressed up in outfits, and everyone else shows up hoping to see everyone else's renaissance costumes. Many visitors have veered off a bit, and some people come dressed in other attire, such as pirates, vampires, Santa Claus, etc. It is truly a sight to see. Let me tell you why you should visit a Renaissance Festival.


Ren Faire Fun!

Have you been to a Renaissance Festival?

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1. Food

If you've read anything else I've written, you know without a doubt one of my major motivators to do anything in life is food. I absolutely love festival food, and the Ren Faire is a festival with a lot of food options.

You might think the Renaissance Festival will only have food from that era, but that assumption is wrong. Sure, you can get a giant turkey leg (which is delicious, I might add), but you can get plenty of modern fair foods, too.

A list of some of the many delicious treats I saw at the Renaissance Festival:

  • Oreo Cookie Smoothie
  • Cheesecake on a Stick
  • Soup in a Bread Bowl
  • Crab and Cheese Pretzel
  • Chicken Sandwich
  • Root Beer Floats
  • Beer
  • Cone of Cookies
  • Dirt Cake
  • Giant Soft Pretzel
  • Chocolate Dipped Strawberries
  • Smoked Turkey Legs
  • Ice Cream
  • Roasted Nuts
  • Fish and Chips
  • Cinnamon Buns
  • Crab Cakes
  • Meat and Spinach Pies
  • Potato Wedges
  • Caramel Apples
  • Candy Apples
  • Steak on a Stake
  • Curly Fries
  • Onion Rings
  • Pulled Chicken Sandwiches
  • Corn on the Cob
  • Seasoned French Fries
  • Steak Sandwiches
  • Quesadillas
  • And much, much more!


2. Animals

Yet another aspect of any fun festival are the animals. At a Renaissance Festival, you might see anything from horses to elephants. If you are lucky, elephant rides might even be offered depending on which Ren Faire you attend.

If you have children, it is quite popular for any fair to offer pony rides. Unfortunately, they usually only allow children this privilege, but hey, as an adult, you can't have everything in life. You can simply enjoy the sights of the adorable ponies... oh, and the kids riding the ponies... while at the festival.


3. Shows

Renaissance Festivals typically offer a number of different entertaining shows. You can watch a jousting match, see a man in tights balance on a tightrope, or even watch a belly dancer perform on stage. There are a wide variety of options and shows you've probably never imagined.

If you want something a little creepier, you might be able to see a sword swallower performance. At the Maryland Renaissance Festival, there is a display call the Museum of Unnatural History. For just a $1, you can walk through a maze of disgusting animals in jars. Let's hope it's all fake!

4. Costumes

If you enjoy dressing up and walking around like you just stepped out of a book, then the Ren Faire could be for you. At the Renaissance Festival, you will see peasants, kings, queens, vampires, pirates, and numerous other costumes. Some people don't even worry about keeping up with the renaissance theme. You might see any kind of outfit at the festival.

Even if you don't want to get in a costume, you can enjoy watching everyone else wearing their attire. Some people put a lot of work into their costumes, while others are simply hilarious. You will surely be entertained by what you see.

5. Shopping

If you enjoy shopping, you just might enjoy buying some of the handcrafted products at the Renaissance Festival. You can find glass products and even see some the items being created while in the store. You can find numerous shops that sell leather crafted items. There are plenty of jewelry stores, too. If you've always wanted to wear a crown of flowers, you can buy that at the Ren Faire. If you've just wanted to wear a crown in general, you can even find that there!

Although many of the products fall under a renaissance theme, you can always find items that are simply pretty and handcrafted. Many of the products sold at the festival are items you can not find anywhere else. If you are looking for something really unique or want to give a very creative gift, the Renaissance Festival might be the best place for you to go.

Copyright ©2013 Jeannieinabottle



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  • Jeannieinabottle profile image

    Jeannie InABottle 4 years ago from Baltimore, MD

    I was just introduced to it and introduced to the smoked turkey leg. I am a fan. :-) Thanks for checking out my hub!

  • kittythedreamer profile image

    Nicole Canfield 4 years ago from the Ether

    I can't lie...I'm a ren-faire geek! Gotta love it all. :)

  • Jeannieinabottle profile image

    Jeannie InABottle 4 years ago from Baltimore, MD

    It can be a lot of fun. People travel for miles to attend it. I hope you get to go sometime.

  • Homeplace Series profile image

    William Leverne Smith 4 years ago from Hollister, MO

    I've not had the pleasures, but members of my extended family never miss the Festival in Des Moines, Iowa, each... some come over from Indiana. You make it look like a lot of fun. Thanks for sharing! ;-)

  • Jeannieinabottle profile image

    Jeannie InABottle 4 years ago from Baltimore, MD

    I can imagine it would be tough wearing velvet in Florida. Thank goodness we do get cool weather in October for this type of event. ;-) Thanks for checking out my hub!

  • drbj profile image

    drbj and sherry 4 years ago from south Florida

    Hi, Jeannie, you have made Renaissance Fair-going - and eating - very attractive. I haven't seen any in Florida - yet, but that may be due to weather too warm to be costumed in velvet and long sleeves. :)

    Thanks for this vicarious tour.

  • Jeannieinabottle profile image

    Jeannie InABottle 4 years ago from Baltimore, MD

    Nell Rose, you are right. There is an interesting combo of hippies and renaissance at any of those festivals. Thanks for sharing your experience!

  • Nell Rose profile image

    Nell Rose 4 years ago from England

    I love these Festivals I have been to a few before, and love every minute of it! being a history buff really helps too! lol! the music is just the type that I like, and the last one I went to many people had old costumes along with orange hair, blue faces and so on! bit of a mix of renaissance and hippy!

  • Jeannieinabottle profile image

    Jeannie InABottle 4 years ago from Baltimore, MD

    I am happy to hear someone else say the same thing I've been saying. My friend and I used to laugh at people that went to something like that. Who knew years later we would both be going along with my boyfriend? (It was his idea.) The people watching is great, but the food was definitely my favorite part. Thanks for your comment!

  • randomcreative profile image

    Rose Clearfield 4 years ago from Milwaukee, Wisconsin

    At one point in my life, I would have laughed at the idea of going to the Renaissance Fair, too, but now it's a yearly tradition for me and my husband. I definitely agree that one of my favorite parts of the Renaissance Fair is the people watching. It is priceless to see what people who are attending (not working) are wearing/doing/saying, etc.

  • Jeannieinabottle profile image

    Jeannie InABottle 4 years ago from Baltimore, MD

    Dolores Monet - I would have loved to see Tigger at the festival. I was honestly a little disappointed that I did not see weirder costumes like Tigger. Most people actually stayed pretty true to the era. Thanks for the comment and thanks for sharing my hub!

    FlourishAnyway - Oh wow, I do not think I would have wanted to be on the stage for that scene. I am happy you made it out alive! Thanks for sharing your story!

  • FlourishAnyway profile image

    FlourishAnyway 4 years ago from USA

    It's been years since I've been to one of these. The last time I went I was in college. Somehow I ended up on "stage" as a guy in full Renaissance gear demonstrated how he could use a whip adeptly. I held a peeled banana in my hand (they wanted me to hold it in my mouth but I was too afraid) while he slice it in too with the crack of a whip from many feet away. Afterwards I wondered what the hell I was thinking and how I got selected. Fun times.

  • Dolores Monet profile image

    Dolores Monet 4 years ago from East Coast, United States

    Jeannie, I love RenFest and used to go every year. I most enjoy how so many fair goers show up in costume, how the visitors are half the show. I even made a dress for RenFest one year, though I got carried away and missed the whole time period by a few hundred years. But who cares. I went for the medieval look. I've seen people show up dressed as Tigger!

  • Jeannieinabottle profile image

    Jeannie InABottle 4 years ago from Baltimore, MD

    I think you will enjoy it. I hope you find one near you. Visiting one in the fall is especially nice. It is not too hot and there are plenty of caramel apples. Thanks for the comment!

  • profile image

    sheilamyers 4 years ago

    I love to go places where they have "living history" exhibits so I think a Ren Fair would be awesome. The closest I've been to something like this is going to the Excalibur in Vegas and watching the jousting show. I'll definitely put going to a Ren Fair on my list of things to do.

  • Jeannieinabottle profile image

    Jeannie InABottle 4 years ago from Baltimore, MD

    bravewarrior - No, I did not go in costume. I did braid my hair though in what I felt was a nice old-timey look. ;-)

    ocfireflies - This was my first time going to a Renaissance Festival. I was surprised at how many people were dressed up in period attire. Some people really put a lot of effort into it.

    Thanks for the comments!

  • ocfireflies profile image

    ocfireflies 4 years ago from North Carolina

    I have always wanted to attend one of these festivals. I did not realize that the attendees also wore time period appropriate attire--which would make it even that much more fun. Enjoyed the hub!


  • bravewarrior profile image

    Shauna L Bowling 4 years ago from Central Florida

    I've never been to a Renaissance Fair. It looks like fun. Did you go in costume, Jeannie?

  • Jeannieinabottle profile image

    Jeannie InABottle 4 years ago from Baltimore, MD

    cam8510 - Renaissance Festivals seem to be popping up all over the place, so you are bound to find one near you soon. Have fun and thanks for the votes!

    billybuc - That sounds really interesting. Now that I think about it, a little Shakespeare would have been really nice to see. Thanks for the comment!

  • billybuc profile image

    Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

    They are fun to go to. There is a town down in Oregon called Ashland that has Shakespeare and Renaissance Festivals all summer long. Great fun and I love eating my way through the town. :)

  • cam8510 profile image

    Chris Mills 4 years ago from Missoula, Montana at least until March 2018

    This actually looks and sounds like a lot of fun. I'll keep my eyes open for one around me. I love history, so seeing it played out in this fashion would be enjoyable. Thanks for the fun hub. Up, useful and interesting.