Today we visited the Utah Renaissance Faire at Thanksgiving Point’s Electric Park. This is an event that happens every year during the last weekend in August, and it is a great way to introduce your children to the culture of the Renaissance. We had so much fun exploring the fair, and we have some tips to make your day great, too.
Once you enter the Renaissance Faire, you will feel like you stepped back in time. People are dressed in costumes, there is quaint music playing, and there are vendors with wares from that time period. It felt like you were walking through some old European streets. Many of the people attending the festival were also wearing Renaissance attire, and blended right in with the crowds.
There are lots of places to play for kids, too. I was a little nervous that my 5 year-old would be bored, but he wanted to stay longer than I did. He loved launching the cannon (I’m sure it had some official Renaissance name, but I can’t remember), trying on armor, petting the animals wandering around, and playing on the pirate ships. We even splurged so he could take a ride on the dragon Zipline. There were also places where kids could try their hand at sword play or ax throwing that we didn’t make it to those areas.
He also loved all of the shows that we visited. First, we watched the bird show. Those of you who follow our adventures consistently know that we love birds, but this show was interesting because they explained how birds were used in falconry during the Renaissance. People used to take their birds to the dinner table and even to church. It is always fun to see amazing birds.
We watched live combat fighting where two fighters wore armor and fought with swords and shields. I was amazed at how strong these fighters are, and there are both men and women fighting. It was intense! My five year-old loved the magic show, too. The magician was a lot of fun, and he was great with the kids. He had an awesome message about reading, too. I am a fan of promoting education any time!
But the best show of all was the jousting tournament. Make sure that you arrive to see the royal procession arrive. The lords and ladies of the court walk in, as well as the knights who will be competing in the joust. It is a blast watching these two knights battle. The crowd gets really into the show, which also makes it a ton of fun. Luckily the knight that we were cheering for won the competition. There are only two jousting shows perday, so make sure to plan your day accordingly.
We didn’t make it to every show because there were so many. There are puppet shows going on throughout the day, concerts, dancers, and a whole variety of other things. You will also come across places to take pictures with lots of people: Queen Elizabeth, knights, mermaids, and pirates.
There are also tons of vendors. We didn’t spend much time here, but there are costumes, weapons, and all sorts of items to purchase. If you love to shop, this will be fun for you. There are also food trucks for when you get hungry. We recommend bringing cash. People that were paying with cards were taking quite a long time.
This event costs $15/adult and $8/children (6-11). 5 and under is FREE! There is also a family pass for $30 for up to 5 people. If you are a member of Thanksgiving Point, you receive $2 off on each ticket. This is a little pricey, but we spent almost 4 hours, and we could have easily stayed longer if we didn’t need to pick up the other kids. So plan on spending a good chunk of time, and the cost is worth the fun.
We really enjoyed the Utah Renaissance Faire, and were surprised at how much there was to do for kids. You will love experiencing the atmosphere at this awesome event.
Tips for Families
- Make sure to check the schedule. Decide which shows you want to see, and plan your route accordingly. You definitely want to watch the jousting show! So make sure to note the time of that show, and go early to get seats. They have maps and schedules available when you enter the venue.
- Wear sunscreen. There are shady spots, but it was super hot and sunny the day we were there, so you will want a hat and sunscreen.
- Dress up! We didn’t dress up, but there were lots of people who were dressed up, and I think it definitely added to the fun of the Renaissance. Also, people who dress in costume get $2 off their entrance fee. Dressing up is not required.
- Bring cash. We were glad we had cash when we paid for activities because we were able to get in really quickly. Most places accepted credit cards, but cash was definitely more convenient.
- Pack a lunch and water. You can bring in your own food, so plan on bringing in a meal. We arrived at 10 am when it opened, and brought a lunch to eat, plus a few treats. It definitely kept the kids happy.