New York Renaissance Faire

The New York Renaissance Faire has two more festival weekends open in September. If you are looking for something to do and can make it to Sterling Forest in Tuxedo Park, New York, this is a fun family outing!

Plan to spend at least one full day at the New York Renaissance Faire to take in all the sites, scheduled events, rides, and shopping. This festival is huge and there is tons to explore.

Make sure you dress up! I would have gone in costume if I weren’t pregnant. Instead, I had the fun of dressing up my children.

Especially with kids, keep in mind the comfort of the wearer. Make sure your child will not be too hot or too cold for the weather and that you won’t mind if the costume gets a little dusty or muddy. Bring a backpack to stow the costume if it gets annoying.

There are plenty of costumes available at the festival but these tend to be more elaborate and expensive. You can also always purchase a less expensive accessory, like a sword or flower crown, or have long hair woven into fancy braids at the Faire’s booths. My children each chose a soft sword as their one souvenir.

The Renaissance Faire tracks the story of various claimants to the throne of Queen Elizabeth, currently without a clear heir. Normally I am a stickler when it comes to historical accuracy but my heart grows three sizes when it comes to Renfairs. So, I don’t mind terribly that Robin Hood, Maid Marion, the Sheriff of Nottingham, and Friar Tuck feature in the story of this English Renaissance Queen.

How can you get your historical accuracy Grinch on at a festival that features dragons and fairies?

Check the schedule when you enter because you don’t want to miss the key live performances. We were able to catch the archery match, the joust, and the “chess game” (which seemed to consist of one chess move, lots of shouting, and lots of amusing staged fights).

After the joust, the Queen knighted the children and gave each a royal certificate of knighthood, a lovely touch.

In addition to the “main stage” performances, you will also find wandering storytellers, abridged Shakespearean speeches, minstrels, magicians, jugglers, and more.

New this year is a “Kids’ Quest” in which youngsters help the fairies reclaim their treasure from an evil pirate.

There are also some rides, including a few large swings and a camel ride. My older boy especially enjoyed pretending he was Indiana Jones on the camel! Rides cost extra so bring plenty of cash.

There are adult games, as well, such as knife and axe-throwing and themed tests of strength.

If you are staying for at least one meal–and you should to get the full day experience, you will find plenty to eat and drink and the New York Renaissance Faire. Beyond the traditional renfair turkey legs and mead, there were stands selling pizza, felafel and other Mediterranean foods, quesadillas, chicken fingers, chocolate dipped fruit, funnel cakes, fresh lemonade, fruit smoothies, and much more, as well as sit down pubs and restaurants.

Before you leave, don’t forget to see if YOU could be the true heir to the throne of England!

For more information, visit http://www.renfair.com/ny/. Full priced tickets for adults are $22, children 5-12 are $11, and children under 5 are free. You can get discount coupons online by signing up for their newsletter. You can also purchase tickets online or at select Walgreens.

Please note that my family and I purchased our own tickets and I did not receive any special discounts or consideration for posting about my experience.

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