This post was brought to you by the Scarborough Renaissance Festival in Waxahachie, Texas. We were provided with free tickets and food/drink vouchers to faciliate this post, but all opinions are mine.
We moved to this area of Texas (south of Dallas) almost three years ago, and lots of people have, over the years, pointed to this huge field and told us about Scarborough Renaissance Festival, or "Scarborough Faire," as most people around here call it. It honestly does not look like much from the road, just the "castle" entry way and a field of parking. After hopping online and also visiting this place finally this May, we now know that there is so much beyond that desolate field! There is a world of enchantment, fun, excitement, and folly!
Scarborough Faire is only open on Saturdays and Sundays in April and May each year, plus Memorial Day Monday, from 10 AM to 7 PM. The opening ceremony begins at 9:45 AM and the closing ceremony is at 6:45 PM. There are plays, shows, music, stores, food, drinks, rides, a petting zoo, along with security personnel, first aid, restrooms, water fountains, ATMs, and everything is handicapped accessible. The actors that portray the Royal Court, villagers, and peasants are trained by the Scarborough Academy of the Performing Arts and can be recognized with a special medallion. (There will be times you will have trouble distinguishing between a performer and a dressed up guest, trust me!)
Through the festival are many places to eat and drink (regular bottled tea, sodas, and water, as well as alcohol.)
Daddy had a turkey leg and the boys and I enjoyed Chicken on a Stick. It was really good, too! The boys ate theirs and it was flavored well…definitely way better than I had expected! (I think I'll serve up some grilled chicken on a stick here and see if they'll gobble it up like they did at Scarborough Faire!) There are MANY more food options, not just what you see here!
The shows are really awesome and have trained performers acting and doing tricks. Some of our favorites were Cale the Juggler and magician. Some shows are not for kids, though, so make sure to check out the signs and your program to make sure you don't wander into an inappropriate for kids show. Other popular shows include the Fire Whip Show, Kamikaze Fireflies, and Arsene The Magikhana Show. There are countless choices including dancing and music, as well, so make sure to scout out your favorites and plan your day accordingly!
Some of the boys' favorite parts of the day included the rides, that are all man powered. This was the boys' favorite ride:
The rides are all about $3 per person.
Daddy and the Captain enjoyed climbing the rock wall, too!
The boys also really enjoyed the Petting Zoo. For $3 a person, you get a wristband that is good for all day entrance at two different parts of the petting zoo. Food for the animals can also be purchased.
Other fun things that we will have to see on our next visit:
- armor making
- face painting
- the Mermaid Lagoon
- turtle races
- birds of prey
- knighting ceremony
- elephant and camel rides
- much, much more!
We were pretty hot towards mid-afternoon, and I was glad that Daddy thought to pack some ice cold bottles of water!
The parking goes on forever and ever, so we were glad to get a relatively close parking spot when our day was over!
What to know about your first trip to Scarborough Renaissance Festival with your family:
- Leave early, or come from the other direction. The traffic is insane, lined up for miles on I-35. If coming through DFW, plan a detour through Venus and Maypearl. You will be able to hop in front of all the traffic!
- Wear your walking shoes. I wore flip flops and was okay, but my feet would have thanked me had I wore more comfortable shoes.
- If you are bringing kids under 5, definitely bring a good stroller, baby carrier, and both isn't a bad idea either.
- Pack a small cooler of water to keep under the stroller. While they have water and beverages there, it will never be enough to keep hydrated in the heat.
- Pack a lunch and snacks if you don't want to purchase the food there. The food is really good, but can get expensive.
- Bring money, and lots of it. Even if you bring your own drinks and food, there are still lots of rides, activities, and shops to spend your money on. Find out what you really want to do before spending money or it will be gone quickly.
- Wear sunscreen, sunglasses, hats, and pack an umbrella, too. We went in early May, on a day that was in the 80's and it was quite balmy. Our sunscreen wore off and even though it did not rain, an umbrella would have been handy to keep the sun off of Baby Brother (and the rest of us.)
- Prepare your little ones for what they might see. There are a lot of people dressed in traditional renaissance costumes, but also some shirtless guys in kilts, pirates, people wearing face and body paint, and others in random costumes, some that leave you scratching your head. We saw a ninja and quite a few people who were wearing very little clothing. Everyone was very nice, but some were in full character and so we just told the boys that it was like a play and some people might talk to them or even try to scare them, but it was all in fun.
- Pack your costumes! Many people change their clothes in the parking lot, but lots of people are in regular clothes. It doesn't matter what you choose, but I think D had more fun after he changed to his pirate costume.
- When you arrive, grab a program. It will cost you $3, but it is money well spent because it will help you plan your day!
- Prepare to stay all day, or as long as you can, because there is no way you will see everything, even if you do stay all day!
Have you been to Scarborough Renaissance Festival? What was your favorite part? If you haven't been, plan a visit soon!