If you have a Renaissance festival near you & you've never been, you should check it out at least once. They are such a fun and unique experience that is sure to leave lasting memories of the fun you'll experience. This year the Arizona Renaissance Festival opened again and will remain open every weekend until April 3rd, it is located at 12601 East US Highway 60 Gold Canyon, AZ 85118. Ticket prices raised slightly this year, but are still a great price for the amount of entertainment the festival offers. Tickets are currently $20 per child and $30 per adult, children under the age of four are free.
Before heading out it is a good idea to prepare for the festival. Depending on where you live in Arizona it is a long drive to the festival. For my family and I, it is about an hour drive away from where we live. In previous years we were able to get to the festival & into the parking lot without much issue so we didn't think it would be much different this year, however we were wrong. The day we decided to go on was a day everyone and their mums decided to go! It took us an entire hour to go eight miles once we reached the line of cars waiting to get into the festival grounds, I heard others say they had a longer wait than we did. So give yourself some extra time for the drive, it is better to arrive earlier than expected just in case of a line so that you aren't missing out on having that time inside of the festival.
You are allowed to bring in one factory sealed water bottle per person, I recommend doing this so that you are staying hydrated and it will have you some spending money. I also like bringing a round blanket or two to lay out and sit on when we need to be seated in a grassy area for a show/food. Most merchants at the faire allow you to use cash or card, however most of the food/beverage stands along with the games/rides are cash only so I'd bring some with unless you want to search for a "Ye Old ATM". There is some shade at the festival, but you will mostly be in the sun all day so be sure to pack some sunscreen or put it on before you leave to prevent yourself from getting a sunburn. It is also a good idea to bring a pack of hand wipes or hand sanitizer to clean your hands before eating.
One of our favorite things about the festival is that you are able to dress up! There is a wide range of costumes at the festival from Pirates to Witches, Dragons and Fairy type costumes with everything in-between. My family likes dressing up for these events so we have specific costume pieces we pull out to use at the festival and we love seeing everyone else in costumes as well. If you want to dress up, but don't own any clothing you think would suit the festival they have costumes for rent!
There is a TON to see and do at the festival, so much in fact it could take you the entire day to try and do everything. Before arriving decide how much time you have to spend at the festival and whether you'd like to watch shows or look at shops/play games. A lot of the shows over lap and everything is a little spread out so they offer schedules posted around the festival to help you know what is going on, and maps are available at the front. You can easily get lose track of time looking at all of the shops, so if you mainly want to watch shows be sure to keep an eye on the clock. Each shop you'll visit has a plethora of goods for sale ranging in price from just a few dollars to a few hundred, you can find pet dragons, clothing, jewelry and more.
A neat fact about their rides is that none of them run off of electricity! All of them are pure man powered, you'll see a number of festival workers at each station using just their bodies & strength to get the rides to turn and move. If you are hoping to see a mystical creature, you are in luck!! Not only are their guests who dress in a variety of creature costumes, the festival itself has a Unicorn in the petting zoo, Mermaids you can visit & watch swim in the water, a woodland fairy + her friends and more for you to see & enjoy. Between all of the staff members being in costumes and the elaborate shops/booths you will really feel like you stepped back in time.
One of my favorite shows to watch has always been the bird show! I love seeing the birds up close, this time around we were able to get great seats up close and I got a very very close encounter with a falcon. It was flying from one side of the performance area to the other and it's path brought it right towards me, I was so happy with a look of glee on my face and then I realized just how close he was to my face and I had to duck down a little. I normally wear a set of fake horns to the festival and I realized he might have thought they were branches, my husband and kids said if I didn't duck down a little he might have hit me. But I would have been alright with it, hahaha I love birds and it was a cool experience that I still talk about.
What kind of show would you want to see at the festival? Or what is something you think you might want to buy at a festival like this?
Disclaimer- The Arizona Renaissance Festival provided four tickets to the festival for the review free of charge no other compensation was provided. However, no product compensation will influence the outcome of any review. My honest opinions are used in all reviews, they are solely my own & they may vary from others. My reviews are posted for readers in order to provide an informed decision before purchase.