If your kids are fans of swash-buckling knights on horseback, let them try a little swordplay themselves under the guidance of some local knights in shining armor.
On Sundays throughout the summer, Medieval Times Dinner & Tournament gives kids ages 5-12 the chance to step into the arena for a little knight training.
"We've never let common folk into the arena before," says Marla Hart, marketing director for Medieval Times. "But as a company we realized our strength is our knights and the kids just love them, so we wanted to come up with a script, something safe that would give them an added benefit."
Children can arrive at the Schaumburg castle an hour before the show, and must have tickets to the show. They head into the arena, where wooden swords are stuck in the sand just waiting for new knights. The 10-minute training session is led by the knights and the king.
The training session includes a special weapons demonstration and knightly comportment training. In addition, the young knights-in-training will engage in sword fighting sequences under the watchful eye of the Medieval Times knights.
"At the very end they're actually knighted," Hart says. "They all have to kneel in the sand and the kids are knighted and then they have to face their parents and be cheered on. It's really cute."
Kids don't have to register for the event, but they do have to get to the arena prior to the 3 p.m. knight training start time (doors open at 2:30 p.m.). Shows start at 4 p.m. on Sundays. There's no additional cost for the training. Closed toed/closed back shoes are required to participate.
Liz DeCarlo is the senior editor at Chicago Parent.
See more of Liz's stories here.