For years I have heard about the elusive Arizona Renaissance Festival. When I think of a Renaissance Festival, I am reminded of one of my favorite shows-The Big Bang Theory- and their love of the costumes, food, and people watching.
The Renaissance Festival blew every notion I had out of the water! The FOOD, PEOPLE, and EVENTS were spectacular and the kids haven’t stopped talking about it!
This past weekend we took the 45 minute drive out east. Parking was easy-and getting in line to enter was a scene in itself- there were multiple “characters” milling around and keeping the crowd highly entertained. This piqued Raymond’s interest and he giggled through the wait to enter.
What I want to SHOUT from the ROOFTOPS is just how sweet everyone was that we came into contact with. Every.Single.Person dressed-up through our entire four hour stay was kind, patient, and calmed both of my little one’s fears. Stranger Danger is real-and although some of the characters were undoubtedly meant to be mean(and they were to others on purpose) were some of the sweetest people we’ve come into contact with at any event, EVER.
Walking in I immediately felt overwhelmed with the vastness of the marketplace. The Renaissance Festival is massive and one can get quite lost easily. Thankful for kind strangers and a toddler wielding map-reader.
If our kids were older I could definitely see staying until closing… so much to do and see AND eat!
Raymond could not get over how tall he was. And those hooves. Goodness did we do a lot of explaining during our trip. Three year olds ask a lot of questions-throw them into the medieval world and they just can’t help themselves. They NEED to know, everything.
The Royal Court
Emma Marie fawned over all of the pretty outfits. She kept asking if everyone was a princess.
Oh, you know, just a fabulous lady photo-bombing our family.
She then helped answer all of my questions about where we should go for toddlers and preschoolers.
It must be said that there has always been some sort of mystique when it comes to dragons with Raymond. Although books about dragons now have nothing on meeting a real one. His jaw dropped to the floor when we saw this beauty. I asked if Raymond wanted to take a picture with them and I could have been yelling, “ICE CREAM-POPCORN,”- he just walked straight toward them without answering. I actually was incredibly nervous about him approaching the dragon because we had seen some of the characters be “scary” to others and were worried that our stay at the festival would be cut short by the scare of a lifetime. I worried for nothing.
Day was made.
Raymond proudly exclaimed, “Best. Day. Ever.” And thanked the dragon for taking a picture with him. As he excitedly walked over to us to chat about his little encounter we saw the dragon scare the crap out of an older child.
Beyond thankful that everyone, EVERYONE we encountered made sure WE had the best experience after sizing up our two tiny tots.
There are mutliple shows going on throughout the festival and we just sort of “happened” among a few. Next year we will plan out each show better and will take care to read the warnings on the map. LC next to a show means- Loose Canon- Parental Guidance Suggested. AND BOY was that necessary. Rookie mistake not figuring that out. Thankful that sexual innuendos fly over the head of both kids and that swear words are a foreign language to them.
BUT- we did see some great shows. The Ded Bob Sho for about 10 minutes before we went toward the Jousting Tournament. Note to self: will not be able to go see this show with kids until they are teenagers.
Don Juan & Miguel- that show was the BEST! Hilarious, sword fighting, incredible audience interaction. We will definitely be attending that show in the future. Raymond could not get over how they were fighting with real swords AND I loved the jokes. Win.Win.
Walking around there were so many things to just see- the glassblowing, the fire juggling, fire breathing, the blacksmith, the fire whip show. Seriously, we loved just being able to walk around and come and go as we pleased-a true blessing with a one and three year old.
Loved the live music.
Our knight… they called him “seasoned” which definitely was meant as a jab- he fought valiently and we cheered him on! He made it to the finals in Her Majesty’s Joust a Plaisance. I loved that he came over and would talk to everyone in the audience. He was nearly ten feet away and Emma Marie lost her marbles. She COULD NOT get over how amazing it was that they were riding horses. Real Horses. Raymond cheered for our knight and participated in all of the chants from our section. The entire ride home he talked about which knight color he would be and what horse he would ride when he was older. Then he spent some time figuring out what colors and horses we would ALL ride. A family of knights. He asked if I could be a knight… and I said, “YES!”. I may be a lady but I know how to ride a horse well.
Throwing it out there… perhaps sometime at some fair, there could be a knight that keeps their helmet on and at the end it could be revealed that they are in fact a “she”. I remember dreaming about being a knight when I was little and not a princess.
We feasted. The prices for food(CASH ONLY) was awesome and my little ones ate an ear of corn each while watching the jousting competition, a whole skewer of chicken, and I ate a delicious garlic pretzel. Everything was toddler approved.
After the Joust we grabbed some cold beverages and watched the horses get tended to at the stable. Raymond could have stayed there all day- a boy after my own heart. Loved talking to him about the horses.
Blacksmith making a spoon.
After four hours of fun in the sun, sweet Emma Marie passed out on my shoulder. We would have loved to watch another Joust Competition, perhaps next year we will stay for both remaining Joust Competitions as they were the family favorite!
Without a doubt we will be making this an annual tradition! There is even talk of us dressing up in costume…