This past weekend, my family got to experience the Renaissance Festival together. It was my husband and Z's first time there and it was my first experience with a child (I've only been one other time). I will say this, it's a completely different experience to go with your children than it is to go with just adults but I promise, it's even more fun to take your family!
|Z and my nieces met the Queen!|
Apparently, we went on one of the craziest days of the year. The Renaissance Festival posted a Facebook post apologizing about how "The event of blocked roads, and jammed up parking were not expected, were outside of what was planned based on past experience" and they outlined their plan to prevent this from happening again. I think it's great that they acknowledged the problem and they came up with a great plan for future weekends. We experienced a little of the parking issue on the way in but it was nothing compared to what we saw when we were leaving. We got really lucky!
|Z and my nieces making their own magic wands! This was a free activity!|
So, because you never know what to expect when you go to the Renaissance Festival, here are my top 3 tips from our experience:
Tips for the Michigan Renaissance Festival
Tips for the Michigan Renaissance Festival
Go early. The Festival opens at 10 and if you get really lucky, you wont have to park in the "additional" parking but if do have to park in additional parking, its only about a 5-10 minute walk on a really nice pathway to get to the entrance. The main reason to go early though is that the festival is less crowded in the morning. My family got there at 11 am and it didn't seem overly crowded at all but by the time we left at 2:30, it was PACKED.
Plan to wait. Like any sort of major attraction, plan on standing in lines. You have to wait in a line to even get into the parking lot. Then you have to wait in a line to get into the entrance, you have to get there early and wait for performances if you want good seats, and then for really popular attractions (turkey legs for example), plan to wait in line, especially around lunch time or later in the day.
Interact. You truly will not get the Renaissance Festival experience if you do not interact with the performers. Go ask for pictures, ask questions, catch a show, cheer on a jouster! The entertainers thrive on excited guests and it makes the whole experience so much fun. I did not run into one rude worker throughout the whole day!
My husband and Z's highlight of the day was the face-painting. She really wanted to get into the spirit of the festival so we thought face painting would be perfect! It was her first time getting her face painted and she chose the only non-girly tattoo, a skull and crossbones, and proudly proclaimed "the pirate one!" Daddy was so proud! The artist was so incredibly sweet and gentle with our shy girl, and he even added some flowers and sparkles for her. Not only was my 3 year old ecstatic about her whole Renaissance experience but I was one happy mama because everyone treated her like a princess.
My favorite part of the Renaissance Festival was the entertainment! We met several entertainers throughout the day (including the Queen!) and they were all very kind and never broke character. I think the mermaids were my ultimate favorite (and probably Z's too). Z absolutely loved the mermaid and was so tickled when she handed her a pebble! Throughout the day, she collected 3 pebbles and a ring from various members of the cast. She was so excited every time an entertainer paid attention to her and it truly made her day. Who knew a 3 year old would have so much fun at the Ren Fest??
|We also saw the Knotty Nautical Fireeater Show!|
Although it was rough getting to the Renaissance Festival (we had to wait in line, in our car, outside the parking lot for 30 minutes before actually entering the parking lot), I was very impressed with how the parking situation was professionally handled. There were police officers directing traffic and helpful parking attendants everywhere making sure things ran as smoothly as possible.
If you are in Michigan this Fall (or any Fall for that matter), you have to be sure to check out the Michigan Renaissance Festival! They have various theme weekends and it's open every weekend til October 4th. 10am - 7pm rain or shine!
You can find any information you need on the Michigan Renaissance Festival website.
|Z forced us to stop and look at every fountain. She's a smell the roses sort of gal!|
All photos on this blog post belong to me and may not be used without my permission. I received compensated tickets this event for blogging about my experience. Many thanks to the Michigan Renaissance Festival for hosting my family and I at this special event!