Get ready for adventure at the Scarborough Renaissance Festival. From jousting to juggling, it’s non-stop mid-century entertainment. It’s a magical experience and you may even run into a mermaid or two. Eat See Play’s Taryn Jones turned into a pirate and spent the day sword fighting, blacksmithing, and lighting cannons. Along the way she picked up some tips you might find helpful before you travel back in time to the 16th century.
Tip #1) Pirate boots were made for walking! The festival is BIG! The grounds are 35 acres of dirt paths and uneven ground (this is the renaissance after all) so make sure your footwear is ready to explore all of it.
Tip #2) Play dress up! Trust us, you won’t be the only one in costume. If you don’t have anything handy you can rent one on site from Suite Your Fancie Costume Rental. If full costume isn’t your thing that’s ok too! Flower crowns, simple adornments, and even hair braiding can be found throughout the festival if you want to dip your toes in. Some patrons go all out but you can recognize official performers by their circular pins.
Tip #3) Go green! With cash that is. Most vendors accept credit cards but food and drink is mainly paid for the old-fashioned way. If you forget the paper stuff don’t worry, they still have modern ATM’s on the grounds.
Tip# 4) SUNSCREEN AND RAIN COATS! It’s Texas people, we know the weather can’t make up its mind but Scarborough is open rain or shine.
Tip #5) Rise and shine. The opening ceremony is an event in itself. The King and Queen throw open the gates with a boom of the cannon. A REAL CANNON! It’s loud and fun and certainly sets the tone for the rest of the day.
Tip #6) Become a historian. Well maybe not a historian but you should look at the show schedules and shop you want to visit before you travel back to the 16th century. It’s a big place and it’s best to have a plan if you want to pack it all in. Popular shows can fill up fast so arrive early. Handy dandy maps can be purchased right when you walk in and list all the performances for the day. Adults that want to participate in beer and wine tasting are encouraged to purchase their tickets in advance. Pro tip: Try the Scarborough Mead, a honey wine that’s considered to be one of the oldest drinks known to man! (It’s also pretty tasty)
Tip #6) GET A TURKEY LEG. We’re still knee-deep in our research into the historical accuracy of the turkey leg but that didn’t stop us from enjoying it. Go ahead and ditch the utensils all together because Scarborough has the largest food-on-a-stick selection in Texas! Again, we haven’t nailed down the historical accuracy but when you see fairies, pirates, dragons, and wizards chowing down on giant roasted legs of meat it’s so magical you don’t really care.
Above all have fun because this family friendly renaissance festival is unlike anything else.
Scarborough Renaissance Festival is open Saturdays, Sundays, and Memorial Day from 10am to 7pm. The opening ceremony starts at 9:45am. The festival runs from now until May 28th. Make sure to check the website for theme weekends and special events.