Two trips in two weekends- we’re living on the edge over here.
Well, not really, but we did pile the kiddos, and Oma & Daddo, into the car for another adventure this past weekend!
This time, we went to The Maryland Rennaisance Faire in Annapolis MD. We did our research (discounted tickets), checked the weather (89- a little warm but still perfect) and planned to arrive at gate opening and leave around nap time. A solid plan, indeed.
Tickets- totally discounted. This was the last weekend before tickets went up full price and the kids were free!
Weather- 89 my left foot! By the time we arrived at opening, around 10 am, it was about 92 and sunny. Whew! Hot!
Regardless, we saddled up and across the grassy parking lot to the Faire we went.
Now, if you’ve never been to a Renn-Faire its an entirely different beast than anywhere you’ve been before. Think of it this way: when you go to Disney World, kids get excited to dress up as their favorite characters and live out their wildest dreams. A Rennaisance Faire or festival is sort of the same, except the ones who dress up are mostly teenagers, and adults- mostly adults. Usually adults in the 25-65 age range wearing hundreds of dollars worth of accurate medieval attire. The property even has signs up specifically stating that all weapons need to be left off the premises. They’re not talking about legal concealed-carry sort of stuff, they’re talking battle axes, swords, and daggers. Yes, swords and daggers. Also, all weapons purchased inside the festival needed to remain sheathed and wrapped… awesome.
Great place to take your kids, lady.
No really, it was great for the kids. Promise.
Do you have a mental picture yet? No, let me help some more: imagine the following, a mother and her young daughter (around 3-years-old) walking calmly through the festival hand-in-hand followed closely by the father, dressed from head-to-toe in black leather executioner style garb, period specific. Talk about dedication. I was melting like ice cream in a heat wave and I was in a skirt and short sleeves. Now, our group didn’t don renaissance apparel but there were plenty who did.
Our visit started with the welcoming at the gate where Bubba engaged in conversation with some of the members of the royal court and then watching a welcome dance around the May Pole in the center square attended by the King and Queen. Too much fun.
Due to so many individuals in costume, it is often difficult to determine who works for the Faire and who is simply visiting (nametags would be out of character, of course). They all stay in character for most of the time. Lucky for us, shortly after the dance a lovely lady approached us to see if we had any questions. As a matter of fact, I did! I quickly asked if there happened to be a designated place for mommies to feed their babies (Little Bear is still EBF). I figured I’d ask before we needed to know instead of when she decided to scream a blue streak due to her famished state. (I kid, this child eats like clockwork, she’s nowhere near starvation.) Unfortunately, or understandably, they didn’t have a designated space but recommended that when needed I find a stage that didn’t have a show scheduled for that time, it should be secluded and mostly empty and I was free to choose anywhere I’d feel comfortable. That was a huge relief, especially in today’s world. I also think the people of the renaissance festival scene are a bit more understanding about boobage as most of the women in costume have done all they can to display their goods. Nearly toeing the line of indecency. Ahh- tis the trend of the era, I suppose. No one would notice a woman feeding her baby in these parts. (Side note: all was good, no one bugged us while Little Bear ate, no worry necessary)
We then walked about the festival visiting shops, seeing those in costume and sampling the plethora of food available. If you’re on a diet, you should not come to the faire to eat. Most of the food is fried, covered in sugar or salt and delicious. Also, true to the time there doesn’t seem to be electricity, except hidden away behind the food vendors, to be found. No lights, running water or anything. Could be why the faire is only open from 10am to 7pm. No need for lights. We caught one show, the sword swallower named Johnny Fox. Bubba was intrigued at his ability to swallow an entire sword. We didn’t really think that one through as he repeatedly reminded us that swords are not food. More on this later.
The majority of the Faire-grounds are in the shade so we were able to stay mostly out of the sun as it continued to scorch as the day continued. We found a giant wooden slide, play sets and more and more people watching. Our plan was to be on the road around 1pm, as that is naptime for Bubba and we were hoping he’d nap in the car. The joust was also at 1pm, dagger. The joust was also in an arena completely open to the sun, no shade over the seats or viewing area. Just before jousting time we made our way to the arena. Just beyond the seating was a vendor with wooden swords and shields. How can you go to a renn-faire and not check out the souvenirs. Little Bear isn’t big enough for them yet but I’m sure if she had been we would have walked out with princess-stuff-galore. Her time will come, I’m positive. Instead, Oma & Daddo took Bubba to look at the swords. We proceeded to spend 10 glorious minutes checking out wooden swords of every shape and length. At one point Bubba took out five swords and presented each of us with a color of his choosing. Oma & Daddo graciously purchased a blue sword (a shorter one) for Bubba to keep as his own. What’s the first thing he did? Tried to swallow it… Thanks, Johnny…
Now don’t be alarmed, it’s a wooden sword, for children, with a “blade” that’s not only dull but about an inch and a half thick. No matter how big his mouth seems, that’s not going to be able to fit in it. After discussing, yet again, that swords are not food, he tried to ever-so-non-delicately shove it in my face. Thanks, Bud. He loves his sword, or his knife as he’s been calling it. I’m really glad he doesn’t go to school yet, I can’t imagine having to explain that to the teacher.
We headed back to the car, shortly after watching the horses and knights, clad in full silver jousting gear (can you say sweaty) parade around the arena. Too hot for us.
Both kids were great until the super-warm walk back to the car when we all felt the heat. Turned on the AC, fed Little Bear again and got back on the road by about 1:40- not too shabby.
Bubba did not nap for a second but Little Bear did. 1 for 2 on that one. Instead, we were serenaded by the lovely chit-chat of a toddler for the next 90+ minutes.
We all needed a break and a nap at O&D’s after that. Everyone napped, except Bubba. 7pm bedtime for you, bucko.
A great day at the Faire. I’m so happy we decided to go!
Sunday was spent recovering and both kids not only slept through the night, but slept in.
Thanks Renn-Faire, see you next fall!