Renaissance Pleasure Faire
M'Lords. M'Ladies. M'Last weekend.
Medieval costumes and mugs of mead are the stuff that Renaissance Pleasure Faire is made of. The day promises continuous entertainment on 14 stages, with live jousting tournaments, comedy shows, magic, music, swashbuckling, and occasional sightings of Queen Elizabeth I in her Royal Parade.
Kids can find plenty to enjoy—more than can be seen or done in one day. There are hourly glass blowing demonstrations, a metal forge with giant bellows, a military encampment, stocks to try out, a kids' zone with crafts and toys, a giant maze, archery, fencing, role playing games, a petting zoo, and a couple of old-fashioned, man-powered rides. Some of the guilds offer storytelling at their encampments, and wandering entertainers are everywhere.
Adults aren't likely to get bored, either. More than 1,000 performers and 200 artisans provide non-stop entertainment and shopping opportunities, and the costumes just seem to demand a stop at the Guinness tap. Visitors who can't find a thing to wear can buy or rent at the fair.
Food options are terrific and go way beyond the requisite turkey legs. Expect artichokes, cheese steaks, gelato, and other tempting treats.
Be prepared for a lot of walking, though we discovered that this does not necessarily have to mean lugging a stroller; a booth just inside the entrance rents wagons for the day. Be aware that the last joust of the day is the bloody one, in case that sounds scary to anyone.
Temperatures are slightly hotter than in town, and plenty of sun screen is in order. Still want to know more? Check out our review of Faire for families.