No summer is complete without a visit to the Bristol Renaissance Faire in Kenosha. It happens to be our family’s most anticipated summer event; we can’t wait to make our merry way through the Elizabethan town of Bristol, a fantasy world where knights, fairies and a queen walk.
Here’s what you need to know to party (with kids) like it’s 1599. Huzzah!
Don’t miss your chance to see the joust! The jousts are the real deal—it’s an actual competition with solid pine lances. Points are accumulated throughout the day until the final duel to the death (OK, maybe not death).
Oh my, the food (and drinks)! Plenty of food awaits ye! From feasting on giant turkey legs to snacking on famous Wisconsin cheese fritters, you won’t leave hungry.
Strolling around town is certainly a feast for the eyes. People dancing, singing or even engaging in random sword fights. Fairies can be found flitting about, and don’t even get me started on the costumes! If you’d rather rest those weary legs, watch any of the scheduled acts onstage. Just be sure to scope it out first or check the rating—some of the shows are suited for a mature audience.
Kids’ Kingdom is the place to be. Instagram-worthy photos await at the entrance of Kids’ Kingdom where kids can sit at one or all of the six themed thrones. Once inside go on a treasure hunt or play aboard two giant ships. For a truly magical experience, stop here at the end of the day to get knighted by the Queen herself.
Complimentary family games are offered three times a day. Every game is different, so don’t forget to check the weekly stage schedule. Want to learn a few tricks of the trade? Stop by Queen’s College for free hands-on-history activities. If you’re willing to dish out a few bucks, you can create your own history-made-real souvenir! If adventure’s your calling participate in RenQuest, a live action adventure where you get to be the hero or the villain and you have a chance to fight with foam weapons and spells. For younger kids and short attention spans, Kids Quest is another option that lasts 20-30 minutes.
Love carnival-like rides? Try out any of the unique rides and games are all powered by muscle.
Need elven ears and armor to add to your closet? From hand dyed scarves to kilts to leather hats and moccasins, they’ll have something for you.
Tips to have a merry good time
– Each weekend sports a different theme, so feel free to don your costumes. Love pirates? Have a yo-ho-ho good time during their Swashbuckler weekend.
– Calling all heroes and villains, monsters and magicians, they’ve added those new weekends for you.Moms, need a place to nurse and/or change the kids? There is an air-conditioned room inside Kids’ Kingdom for you.
– Everyone can bring in their own water bottle. Have a picky eater? It’s OK to bring their favorite snack.
– Credit cards didn’t exist back then, and only a few places accept them here. Keep cash handy.
– Potty time? For bathrooms with real running water and other modern necessities, make a stop at the facilities by the front of the entrance.
– Plan to spend the day there. After all, how often are you transported to the 16th century?
If you go:
12550 120th Ave., Kenosha, Wis.
Weekends and Labor Day, July 7-Sept. 3, 10 a.m.-7 p.m.
Admission: $25.95 adult, $11.50 kids 5-12 and free kids 4 and under