The Ohio Renaissance Festival has been my kick off to the fall festival season since I was a child. I remember going with my family each and every year (since 1993) and loving every second of it. These memories are what have driven me to make sure I make similar memories with my kids, and why we attend this festival at least once each year.
We try to make it a point to be there before opening when we go because they put on a fun opening show before the gates open. The players come out and interact with the crowd and get everyone excited to party like it’s 1572. The kids absolutely love it and it just builds on the excitement they are already feeling before walking through the main gates. This is also a chance to see “The Queen” up close and get a solid feel for how the rest of the day will be if you haven’t been before. We really enjoy this part of the day and highly recommend getting there early for this show.
My favorite part of this festival isn’t the food or the shopping, it’s THE PLAYERS. These people truly love doing this and pour their heart and soul into developing and portraying their characters accurately. They spend countless hours practicing their craft, spend what I’m sure is hundreds of dollars on their costumes, and they do it all because they love it and enjoy it. (Trust me, they don’t get paid a lot to do this!) I also love how kind and patient they are with the kids. Their little minds are going a hundred miles a minute and sometimes find it hard to concentrate on what’s happening in those moments. The players take their time, explain (and re-explain) who they are and what their role is within the village, and some of them even interact and trade treasures with the kids. It’s such a fun experience and makes me so excited as a mom to see my kids enjoying themselves.
Next up on my favorites list IS the food. They have a decent variety that caters to everyone’s likes. For example, our kiddos split a pizza while I had a bread bowl of broccoli cheese soup. (My hubby ate what we didn’t finish, ha!) They also have things like turkey legs, scotch eggs, and other tasty treats. On top of the food they have a decent selection of beer, wine and spirits if that’s something your interested in as well. (I suggest a cider and honey mead mixed drink, it’s so good!) I’d say the worst part about the food here is choosing what you want to eat. I know I struggle with it each and every year because the options are all so good.
Last but not least are the shows at the Renaissance Festival. There are acts going on around the entire village pretty much at all times during the day. There are stage shows, one man shows, mud shows, acrobat acts, and so much more. I will say though that the joust is a crowd favorite and suggest getting to the arena about 45 min before start time to snag good seats. Over the years I’ve seen all of the shows and they are all well done and entertaining. So even if you can’t see them all, please know seeing at least one of them was a great idea on your part.
If you take anything away from this post I hope that it’s that going forward you’ll try and make it out to this festival if you live in south western Ohio or any Renaissance Festival for that matter. These are fun filled, interactive events that people of any age can enjoy. I know that I’m already thinking of going back one weekend soon and if that doesn’t happen I’m thinking about how fun next year will be. For more info on this festival please visit their website here, and I’m leaving you with some of my favorite photos I’ve taken over the past few years as a mama and how much fun we have as a family.