The Arizona Renaissance Festival – or Ren Fest…

Last weekend was the opening weekend of the Arizona Renaissance Festival…

We discovered this event the first year we were here in Phoenix visiting family, and it has become a tradition to attend each year. The Ren Fest is put on every winter for about 2 months; this year the dates are Feb. 11th through April 1st. Open only on Saturdays and Sundays (and this Monday for President’s Day), from 10am to 6pm.
Tickets for the Ren Fest cost (roughly) $20/adult and $12/child 6 to 12. 5 and under are free. Besides it being time for us to head out of Arizona – having stuck around specifically to go to the Ren Fest, we wanted to go opening weekend because adult tickets were buy one get one free! The kids were glad since the bigs buy their own tickets!

The kids all have medieval costumes, but this year everyone’s except Beth’s got left in our storage unit (oops! I had a little on my mind! LOL!). Eli ordered a new costume, and Beth a new cloak, and they had them delivered here in Arizona (a big Thank You to our AZ mail people Lindy and Doris!!! :).The sword and dagger we have toted all over the country for this event (and it’s not the only sword Eli has hidden under his mattress! LOL!)…My fam went opening day, and the weather was gorgeous…

One of the best parts of the Ren Fest is the jousting tournaments…

There are 3 tourneys every day, and our group went to all 3 this year.

The grounds where the festival is held is called the Village of Fairhaven, and the buildings, fences, grandstands… Located just out of Apache Junction, the shops and grandstands are permanent structures, sitting idle all year waiting for their 2 months of use. It’s best to get there right when the festival opens in the morning as it gets busier as the day progresses… our family got there about 11:30, and had to park way out in the ‘north 40′.
But it was worth it 😉

Besides the jousting tourneys, there are lots of people dressed in detailed costumes, quaint shops selling everything from costumes to brooms to hair ornaments to bird whistles, eateries (don’t miss the smoked turkey legs), and even a petting zoo and elephant rides! Most of the entertainment is included in the admission price, but it isn’t all family friendly (but you get a brochure that tells you about each show). A few games, rides, and of course the food courts, cost extra.

The 3rd and final tournament of the day is the big Fight to the Death show. The 4 knights (there are always 2 good and 2 evil), perform feats of skill astride their steeds, and then before the jousting, they each go back and talk to their cheering section.
Beth went forward to place her ‘favour’ on our knight’s lance (they came out before the show and asked her to place a ribbon, which they provided, on his jousting lance for ‘good luck’)…

to which Sir Philip gushed,”If I die on this battlefield, I’ll wait for you at heaven’s gates.”
The kids had a great time, stayed until the very end, and then trudged slowly back out to the north 40 for the long drive back home. They were exhausted by the end of the day! LOL!
(the 2 babies, Jake, and I were exhausted after a full day of hitting 3 Targets for jeans for Jake – score! all new jeans for his growing legs on clearance for $4/pr! :)
The Arizona Renaissance Festival is a fun outing! ~and there are still a few more days in the season that offer discounted admission (you can find out about them, and about the special events that are going on each weekend of the faire, by visiting the ‘special events’ page on the Arizona Renaissance Festival website).
As for us, while I still have a few more posts to catch up on all that went on while we were here, the plan is to pick up jacks and hit the road in the morning. Don’t know how far we will get, but we have 6 leisurely days to get to San Antonio (which is much better than the 2 very hectic ones we had last year when we met a film crew there!). Goodbyes will be sad, but we can’t wait to get back out there and explore this beautiful country of ours! Huzzah!!!

Lilla Rose

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  1. FUN!!! We have always wanted to see a Ren fair, but was concerned about family friendliness and we don’t want to dress the part, ha. We are doing that era in history next school year, so we may have to check one out.

  2. Oh and safe travels to TX.

  3. You probably know there are RenFests all over the country. The one in Minnesota is in the autumn. Good clean fun. Unless it rains. Then good muddy fun. :)

  4. So I should admit, first, that I have been following (*cough blog-stalking cough*) you for a while now, and I think that your entire lifestyle is fantastic. It’s something I have always wanted to do, but has always been just out of reach for me, and I love reading about it through your posts.

    That being said, I am a born and raised AZ girl from just outside Tucson, and that fact that you guys love coming back to my state makes me happy, in a very hometown proud kind of way :) And then there’s the RenFest, which is by far one of the best in the country and definitely the most interactive (We’re in TN for now, and their RenFest is okay, but the actors just don’t sell it like they mean it over here!)

    Safe travels to your next destination and bravo to your family for being so adventurous in everything you do!

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