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1st Renaissance Festival!!! Ummm...


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The premise of our Ren Fest is that the king/queen is coming to visit the town, and the town is having a festival, so a number of the people there are "actors" with parts as the queen, king, knights, etc. They stay "in character" all day.

 

We like to get there right when it opens to see the opening scene (at ours, they might fire a cannon or something when the king arrives on a horse.)

 

Before getting there, check out the website for descriptions of the acts. Some are rated PG or PG13. You can pre-print out a map, or get one at the door. Pick which acts you want to see and mark them. They'll be at a bunch of different stages, so you'll have to walk around to get to them.

 

You might need time to look at acts, time to get food, time to look in shops (if you do all those things), so pick carefully which acts to go to.

 

For my boys, I look for the trapeze or fire acts. They also like to see the blacksmith (if they have one) and the sword shops. Oh, and of course, the joust.

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Dressing up is great fun. Make a trip to the local Good will and buy boots, vest, blousey-sleeve shirt. The fun is multiplied when dressed up. Ask at the jousting if they will knight your children. That can be great.

 

Is your fair family friendly? Some of the acts can be pretty bawdy (or worse). But some fairs set aside a day specifically for families and fine the actors for foul lang, etc. on those days.

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There is a kids area...so I'm sure we will spend a good amount of time there. I couldn't find any rating for the acts :glare:. It's the Kansas City renn fest, so if anyone has specific acts I should avoid let me know. We probly will avoid the beer garden (darn kids ;)).

 

http://www.kcrenfest.com/generalinfo.html

 

Thanks everyone!!!

 

Do you have to dress up? will my kids feel out of place if they aren't?

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The food at our local fairs is pretty icky and expensive. We take lunch and water bottles, then buy something icky for dessert.

 

Except for the heat (we're in SoCal and fairs are often in peak heat times), my dd could stay all day, when she was six and now that she's fourteen. We stop and talk to absolutely everybody, finding out all kinds of things about the making of chain mail or the printing of ballads... dd saves her allowance beforehand because there's a guy who stamps coins on a huge, heavy, banging machine and she always buys one to wear as a necklace. Lots of fantasy-oriented arty stuff, clothes, weapons, etc. to buy also. One year when we talked to a lady who was weaving, we got given a huge bag of raw wool (washed and carded and spun it during our study of ancient times that year) and an invitation to the sheep farm.

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The food at our local fairs is pretty icky and expensive. We take lunch and water bottles, then buy something icky for dessert.

 

Except for the heat (we're in SoCal and fairs are often in peak heat times), my dd could stay all day, when she was six and now that she's fourteen. We stop and talk to absolutely everybody, finding out all kinds of things about the making of chain mail or the printing of ballads... dd saves her allowance beforehand because there's a guy who stamps coins on a huge, heavy, banging machine and she always buys one to wear as a necklace. Lots of fantasy-oriented arty stuff, clothes, weapons, etc. to buy also. One year when we talked to a lady who was weaving, we got given a huge bag of raw wool (washed and carded and spun it during our study of ancient times that year) and an invitation to the sheep farm.

 

Dh just read this and said "Don't you have to eat a giant turkey leg @ a renn fest?" :D

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Ours was lots of fun! It's every February around here. We watched a jousting tournament, watched a bit of the human chess game where they duel. We sampled some food. We ate lunch there. We watched a bird demonstration with owls, falcons, eagles, etc and how they used to use these types of birds back then. The kids rode a few human powered rides. I put my then two year old on one of the rides and nearly had a heart attack at how high the guy sent her flying. :001_huh: We shopped at the vendor tents, tried our hand at devil sticks. We watched a magic act and a jester act. The girls saw the king and queen and were dubbed royal princesses of the kingdom and received a necklace from them. It was a great time.

 

Last year was our first year and I didn't know what to expect. I wish we would have put together some sort of costumes. There were TONS of people dressed up!

 

I took lots of pics.....you can see some of them in this post on my blog: Time Travellers

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There is a kids area...so I'm sure we will spend a good amount of time there. I couldn't find any rating for the acts :glare:. It's the Kansas City renn fest, so if anyone has specific acts I should avoid let me know. We probly will avoid the beer garden (darn kids ;)).

 

http://www.kcrenfest.com/generalinfo.html

 

Thanks everyone!!!

 

Do you have to dress up? will my kids feel out of place if they aren't?

 

 

Ooohhh, I love KCRF!!! I haven't been in a couple of years, since I moved to south-central KS basically, but I have friends up there who do festival every year. Some are even actors/participants.

 

Things to avoid...hmmm, well if they still have the show "Get Shrewed", it is VERY not family-friendly, though it is a hilarious battle-of-the-sexes sort of production. I've never laughed so hard at a festival act before or since! If the LimeyBirds are still there, you should probably avoid them, too. I recall them being rather suggestive and hard to explain the jokes to small ears.

 

If you're only going for one day, you aren't likely to be able to see the entire scenario. It's basically an extended play put on by the court and actors, with scenes spread throughout the day. If you're lucky, you might catch some of the scenes here and there, but I always found that with kids it was too hard to follow the scenario and still get in quality shopping and fun at the other shows.

 

No need to dress up, either you or the kids. KC does have a lot of die-hard patrons who are as well dressed if not better dressed than a lot of the paid/volunteer performers, but your average visitor is going to be wearing regular clothes. No worries about not fitting in, in other words. That said, it can be lots of fun to dress up and if you're interested in doing it, you should be able to toss something together pretty quickly and cheaply. Just whatever you do, don't fall for the outfits being sold at festival unless you don't mind blowing lots of money. They are generally extremely expensive, and the vendors are good at getting you into them "just to see how you look". :glare: BTDT, many years ago.

 

Biggest suggestion for KCRF...take your own water/drinks. Seriously. Theirs are way overpriced, and you'll get thirsty walking the lanes.

 

Oh, and if your kids like to dance, be sure to stay for closing gate at the end of the day. It's a great way to exhaust them before leaving. :D

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