John had me save the date on my calendar for a Renaissance Festival in Kentucky weeks ago. If I'm being honest, I did not know what to expect or imagine... but put it this way:
my expectations were surpassed and I want to work as a character full-time.
Upon arriving at the location, it is deceptively empty. This is because the property - the ENTIRE property - is a time capsule of an era as you drive down the gravel road, into an open field for parking. Finding the Entrance signs, you pay and receive tickets, go through security and bag checks, DONT FORGET THE MAP, and its like all my LOTR, Harry Potter, Disney, and historical romance dreams came to life, all in one incredible 5-10 acre town.
Step 1: Coin of the realm.
Exchange cash for wooden coins - even though most vendors and activities accept both currencies, its fun to just live in the moment.
Step 2: Schedule - To Joust or throw Ninja Stars?
This entire village is laid out with shops, costume stores, souvenirs - the girls found zip-up bullfrog purses which turned out to be real... we passed on that, but made our way into the town square where we met the easter bunny and tooth fairy... only they were the viking versions. Well the tooth fairy was at least.
We made our way through town to get to the jousting and battle arena, only to find we just missed the latest show, but no worries! Turn around and just before you is an ax, knives, and ninja star throwing station!
Step 3: Libations and Sustenance
You can find taverns, turkey legs, cotton candy, and more...but may I personally recommend the Hot Dog & Taco stand next to the mud wrestling? I have thought of this more than I care to admit, but the combination of cucumbers, carrots, cilantro, and may was (chefs kiss) so good! The girls had chicken tacos, John had the spicy special hot dog and said it was legit.
Step 4: Archery, Sand art, and Face Painting in Fairy Forest to kill time before the Joust
This was probably as much fun for us as parents, as it was for the girls. Everything at this festival is hands-on and kid friendly.
The sand art and wax candle shop was a MASSIVE WIN for us. We stayed here for a solid 25-30 minutes without a word from the girls other than, "I am making potion." and "I need more pixie dust..could I make a new bowl for you?" to the Fae shopkeeper.
Finally...it was time to meet Sir Sebastian and his amazing steed at the arena...
We thought being 10 minutes early to the joust and show would allow for a good seat... we were wrong. Get there sooner if you need a good view! We got lucky with a bench in the sun and I had my giant umberella on me for shade, which was perfect actually. Right up on the fence line, we could hear everything clearly for the performance.
FYI: They are wearing mics so you should be fine to listen from the back.
You can guarantee we will be in costume and full festival attire in the coming weeks as we are 100% returning again for more fun.