Thursday, March 22, 2018

Trip Report: Texas Renaissance Festival

Taking Beginners to a Ren Faire

In December 2017, Jarrett our dad Bmo, and I went to the Texas Renaissance Festival in Todd Mission, Texas. Out of the three of us, I’m pretty sure I’m the only one who has been to a Ren Faire, and I’m slowly becoming an old pro!

Background

The Ren Faire grounds are on 55 acres and there is even more space for camping facilitates. They claim to be the nation's largest Ren Faire and most acclaimed renaissance themed park. Once inside, there are over 200 daily shows on 20 different stages. Every year they open on every weekend from September 30th to November 20th if weather permits. Every weekend even has its own theme and some nights have after dark (adult) activities. As for pricing, online it’s $26 for adults and $14 for kids. Gate prices are $29 and $14 for kids. Even better, weekend passes are available for $39

Themed Weekends

Oktoberfest -Polka music and Traditional German beers are served.
1001 Dreams - Fantasy themed with contest, such as scavenger hunts and costumes.
All Hallows Eve - Halloween themed with contest like pumpkin carving.
Pirate Adventure - Pirate themed with plenty of gold for all.
Roman Bacchanal - Spaghetti eating and toga contest for all.
Barbarian Invasion - Indulge in an eating or barbarian battle cry contest.
Heroes and Villains - Iconic figures come together for entertainment.
Highland Fling - Traditional Scottish costumes optional but be ready for the bagpipe-playing.
Celtic Christmas - Christmas decorations and music for the candy cane hunt and guess the present contest.

The Drive Out

The Texas Renaissance Festival is located in Todd Mission, which is about 50 minutes north of Houston or about 2.5 hours to the east of Austin Texas. Unfortunately, the roads to the fair are not a straight shot and you have to take multiple smaller roads and highways at least from central Texas.

The Adventure

I was lucky enough to receive a free ticket from my good friend on Facebook, so not only did I want to go, but now I had to go. I was even luckier and got another free ticket from my good friend’s friend, so it was set in stone that I had to go. On the second ticket, it was actually 2, but one was used and one wasn't. I printed them both out and was prepped to get a third ticket at the gate.


We planned on getting to the fair around 10, but that means I'd have to wake up around 7 AM and I’m not about that life. We finally make it to Todd mission and had to sit in a vehicle line for about 20 minutes. Mainly because Todd mission is a tiny town, so be ready to wait. Finally, we get to Park the car and thankfully the parking lots are surprisingly not bad, but you do have to walk a good ways to the entrance. If you don’t feel like walking, they do offer cart rides for a small price; however, we are but peasants so we had to walk.


We get to the gate and I explain to the gentlemen checking tickets that we have three tickets, but one won't work, and I will go buy one after two go in. He was kind enough to see that we are but peasants and let all three of us go in any way.


A good rule of thumb of places like this is to make a few laps and take note of all the cool places you want to see. We decided to get some food pretty early in the day, which is on the expensive side but a fun and delish time. While we were on our food quest, we ran into the daily parade and stopped to watch all the characters march through the grounds. After lunch, Jarrett and I went on a quest to try some mulled wine and some mead. The mulled wine was pretty good and the mead we got was quite sweet.


After our first few laps, we were ready to start seeing the sights and watching the shows. And first up was a walk through the Magic Garden, which was neat, but packed with kids and parents. The garden ended pretty near a musical stage, so we took a seat and waited for the next event. It turned out “Cast in Bronze” was the next show, which is where a masked guy plays a giant piano of bells, called a carillon really quickly. It was pretty impressive and loud.


Later we watched one of my favorite shows, the jousting tournament, which is one of the larger/longer shows they have. After the joust, we decided to browse some of the shops. There are hundreds of shops on the fairgrounds and they have stuff for everyone. Jarrett and I (mostly me tho) have a thing for cool/wooden mugs, so that’s where our shopping efforts were directed. Finally, If you stay to the end of the day they have a final show with lots of fire and a grand fireworks display. I unfortunately, got sick as I like to do so we had to miss the final show and head home early. I will manage to watch it next year tho!

Final thoughts

The Texas Renaissance Faire can be some amazing times and I would for sure recommend going at least once in your life. Just be prepared to bring a good bit of cash (paper money at that) with you and get ready for lots of walking and standing.

Tell us about your experience going to the Ren Fair and your favorite themed weekend? Also, if you like the blog or our videos, check us out on Patreon.

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1 comment:

  1. I have been to two Renaissance Faires. The first one I went to was in the mountains in California. The second was close to Waxahachie, Texas. I like the one in California the best, because it seemed more authentic. That was in 1969. I don't remember what year we went to the one in Waxahachie. I enjoyed your blog and may have to find that one and see how it compares with the other two.

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