Review of the Florida Renaissance Festival 2015

February weekends in South Florida are just plain glorious with the cool air and shining sun.  Perfect weather for an outdoor event like the Florida Renaissance Festival at Quiet Waters park in Deerfield.  This event runs for 6 weekends from February into mid-March.  We spent a weekend visiting the Renaissance festival to scope it out for our readers and brought the whole family along.  We’ll tell you some of what we thought was neat about the event and give you a heads up with tips to make the most of your visit!

 

What makes The Ren Fest great for families?

  • Kids 7 and under are FREE.

  • Kid Zone with bounce houses and fun activities just right for kids under age 10.  The cost is $2 per visit (access to all inside) or $5  for a day pass.  

  • Unique old-timey rides and wooden swords, crossbows, catapults and other toy weapons to buy for your gallant knight.

  • Kids who enjoy fantasy can buy costumes, get some ELF ears installed (who knew there were elves during the Renaissance), or buy a pair of glittering wings.

  • Great demonstrations: blacksmith, glass blower, archery, jousting and so much more!

  • Live entertainment that is family-friendly.  The “racey” entertainment is marked “Rated R” with plenty of warning that it is for adults only.

  • Carnival Games that are themed for the Ren Fest...Throwing rotten tomatoes or a crossbow competition!  The vendors were great with the kids and let them get an extra chance or stand a lot closer to throw.  No prizes, just for fun.

  • Roving entertainers.  These were informative and or just plain quirky.  We loved the couple that showed us the “ocean in a box” which was an old-fashioned peep show (before peep shows were rated R).  The pirates are happy to lock you or your children up in the pillory (hinged wood that you place your head and hands inside) then point and laugh at you.  It’s a real hoot!

  • The King and his court as well as all the costumed participants in the Fest.  Kids loved seeing all the really ornate costumes and knights in armor.  The costumed folk really added to the already well-themed atmosphere.

  • Plenty of alcoholic drink was at the ready but perhaps because it is a daylight only event the revellers stay pretty calm. We didn’t notice any out of hand behavior.

Tips for making the most of the day:

  1. Get there by 10 when it opens.  There are some trams that roll out to the far reaches of the parking lot but they are infrequent.  Walking sooooo long to get to the entrance already tires out little legs and you haven’t even gone inside yet!  Get there early and park closer.
  2. Plan your budget ahead.  Bring along snacks and food so that you can splurge on the Turkey leg or specialty food you are most looking forward to from the Fest.  Buying less food will allow for more to spend on a special souvenir​ to take home.
  3. Bring Cash.  There are plenty of $3-fee ATM around but it’s better if you just come with it in hand.  Most vendors do not take credit cards.
  4. There is lots of area to cover so bring a large-wheeled stroller that can handle mulch or uneven ground.
  5. ​​There are actual restroom facilities but there is usually a line.  Porta-potties are available but aren’t great for diaper changing or helping a toddler in the restroom.  Prepare mentally for creative potty maneuvering.  

 

The Florida Renaissance Festival comes but once a year and with it’s themed weekends, live entertainment, games, rides, shows and costumes it is such a one-of-a-kind exciting event that you just will not want to miss it.  If you decide to go, the kids will talk about it for days afterwards and you’ll be saving up to go again next year!  

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