Hear ye, hear ye! The year is 1521 under the reign of King Henry VIII and his beloved wife, Catherine of Aragon. Their guests have been invited to the Village of Scarborough for a festival of entertainment, artisans, food, magic and merriment.
And lucky for us in North Texas, we get to experience all of those festivities right here at Scarborough Renaissance Festival in Waxahachie, just 20 minutes away from downtown Dallas. The family-friendly festival attracts locals and tourists from all over the region, and the seven-week events takes places on the weekends through Memorial Day Monday.
My friends and I embarked on the trip, and with no little kids with us this time, we adulted out.
Photo credit: Scarborough Renaissance Festival Facebook page
Here’s a tip: Arrive early. My group arrived about 30 minutes in advance. This gives you time to park (which is free), get tickets at the gate if needed (or buy in advance to skip the line), and there’s a long line to get in. The staff does a good job moving guests along, though. The gates open at 10 a.m., and the staff kicks off the day with a cannon launch. Huzzah!
First things first…your attire matters at the fair. Do you want to be a Renaissance queen? Perhaps a pirate or a fairy? Many guests of all ages arrive in costume…. and you’ll see some folks in full blown-out attire. No one is judging here, so if you don’t have a costume, you can head into this shop and rent one for the day. A flower crown will do just fine, too. (Of course playing dress up is optional, but it adds to all the fun!)
Don’t forget to wear comfortable shoes (and bring sunscreen) because you’ll be walking outdoors a lot! Now if you do have any younger kiddos with you, the Dragon Wagon is available to rent for a few bucks.
There are plenty of activities to watch and do while at the fair. Ride elephants and camels, watch an exciting acrobatics show, experience knighting ceremonies, see live jousting competitions and a parade, play Renaissance games and rides and so much more. A large variety of vendors are around selling unique items like beer steins, fairy dust (I’ll admit I bought some!), leather goods, treasures, art and other specialty items. Plan on spending at least half your day here, if not more. There’s such much to see!!
The jousts are a must-watch at festival. Check your program for times throughout the day. We went to the 11 a.m. show, and it gets packed. The cast interacts with the audience and is pretty snarky with some PG-13 jokes.
Get your fortune read by an expert, which seems more appealing the older I get. (ha!)
Be sure to drop by the half-hour German show, which is geared toward adults and is hilarious. Two German brothers rap songs for the audience, tell jokes and more. The duo says the show is PG – pretty German! You probably get my drift. Grab a cup of German beer at the stand next to this area. Beer and wine is offered throughout the park, and you can start drinking as soon as the park opens!
One of the most popular features is the Mermaid Lagoon. Just open several times a day, walk through a trail of mermaids and get your photo taken. And it’s no surprise I saw a lot of guys head this direction.
Feast on food & drink fit for a king with 5 food court areas including the Village Bakery, Pasta Palace, the popular giant roasted Turkey Legs and the largest food-on-a-stick selection in Texas. There’s also a full service restaurant and 12 pubs and taverns. So, lots of adult drinks to choose from! The fair also hosts daily wine and beer tasting events, if you’re looking to try new beverages. Click here to learn more about the pubs and events.
Tickets are $28 for adults, $13 for children (5-12) and children 4 & under are FREE.
(Disclaimer: My ticket was complimentary, and all opinions are my own.)