The Maryland Renaissance Festival has been bringing merriment galore to Revel Grove, a charming hamlet in the woods of Crownesville, MD, since late August. But with a very busy schedule this fall, we didn’t make it there until yesterday. This was actually quite serendipitous, as it turned out to be one of the most beautiful days of the season so far. The cool, crisp, sunny weather made for perfect conditions to roam the lively, sprawling grounds. And the early fall scenery, with the first tinges of autumn foliage glowing amid the fading green, was a gorgeous backdrop for all the festivities.
Surely, you know by now how much I love Ren Fest and how strongly I recommend it for a fantastic, fun-filled outing. So, I’ll just get to the gist of this post. Along with scenes from our day there yesterday, I wanted to share a few extra tips (more are already listed here). Let’s get to it…
1) The best tip you’ll get for the rest of this year’s Ren Fest is DO NOT WAIT TO GET TICKETS! They are selling out, and earlier than they have in previous years. This past Saturday was sold out by Wednesday. I bought Sunday tickets for our family early in the day last Thursday, and when I went back on the website to get a couple more for friends, they were all gone. And I just checked… the weekend of October 15-16 is already sold out, leaving only the last weekend, October 22-23. So, again, if you know you want to go, get your tickets!
2) It almost pains me to share this one because I never want to discourage anyone from going to Ren Fest, BUT if you really hate crowds and being around a lot of people, this may not be the event for you. A lot of people love Ren Fest, and sold out days means a lot of people will be there. It’s not like you’ll be walking shoulder-to-shoulder — there is still plenty of space to move around comfortably — but it’s heavy on stimulus and lines can get long.
3) And that leads to my next tip… be prepared to wait in lines for food and drinks, especially right around lunchtime. This can be tough with little ones, but you can be strategic about it if you’re with other adults and take turns waiting and walking around with the kiddos (but note that if you’re buying adult beverages, all must be there, only one per person). You can also plan to eat a little later in the afternoon when the lines let up. But don’t skip the food! There are so many fun, yummy options: Turkey legs! Meat on sticks! Fried mac-n-cheese balls! Fried pickle chips! Cones of cookies! And much, much more.
4) Get to the jousting area early, at least 30 minutes ahead, if you want decent seats to see the show. The jousts are a highlight of Ren Fest (fun fact: jousting is Maryland’s state sport!), and if you want to guarantee you and the kids get a good view, you need to get seats. I suggest getting food and “having a picnic” at your joust seats to pass the time while you wait for the events to begin.
5) Dress up! Our crew did not, but it felt like more people than ever were in costume this year. It makes for the best people watching, and it would have been fun to be part of it.
6) This one is random, but good (credit goes to my friend, Margaret, for it) … If you plan to eat a turkey leg, bring some of these along. It will make a big difference in your comfort for the rest of your day.
A few more scenes…