Are You Going to Scarborough Faire

by Jessica on May 16, 2011

Every spring dusty, Texas farmland in Waxahachie is awoken from its year-long slumber to ‘throw wide the gates’ to the Scarborough Renaissance Festival. Celebrating the year 1533 with King Henry XIII and Queen Anne Boleyn on the throne, the Festival offers continuous entertainment, unusual arts and crafts, fabulous food, and family fun.

There are certainly elements of Scarborough that are decidedly more adult, including some PG-13 shows and an ample amount of taverns and pubs. *Let me just take a time out here to say that it is shameful that the taverns are the only buildings with air conditioning. Can’t you give the mom with four kids a break?* Aside from that, Scarborough is a great way to spend the day and full of family fun.

Festivities

Families will want to arrive early in the day to take advantage of the cooler weather and get a front row seat for the opening ceremony. King Henry and his court give a pronunciation filled with fun and humor and then with a loud cannon boom the gates are thrown open to let the merriment begin. The opening ceremony sets a jovial tone for the day and kids enjoy the spectacle.

Other not to be missed festivities includes the Grande Parade and the Joust. The Grande Parade, complete with the entire cast of characters parades through the center of the festival. The parade can be viewed easily anywhere along the parade route, but the best viewing is near Carillion Stage where you can listen to the bells as you wait for the parade.

The Joust occurs three times daily with knights battling to the cheers of the crowd. Arrive early to get the best seats in the shade and to allow kids the opportunity to participate in the preshow. Before the joust, kids are allowed on the joust stage to compete in a stick horse race and then are presented in ceremony to the Queen

Games and Rides

Carnival barkers must have originated from the Renaissance for there is no shortage of carnival style games and rides at the Festival. Be prepared for each ride to cost at least $3 per rider and to be made to feel like your love for your child is dependent upon your ticket purchases. The Kiddie Joust is a great fun themed ride for the kids, as are any of the swing rides. You will get the most bang for your buck at the Maze. A $2 ticket allows kids to run the maze all day long, where the operator will offer kids increasingly difficult missions to keep them entertained.

Animal Encounters

If you have an animal lover, you will find something at the Faire to delight and entertain. The Royal Falconer offers a regal and amazing introduction to falconry. If that’s a bit too serious for your taste, check out the Turtle Races, where you are guaranteed a giggle. After watching the animals, you may want to get up close and personal. A petting zoo is perfect for the little ones, while older kids may enjoy a ride on a camel or gallant war horse. If you want a truly unique experience, head over to elephants for an opportunity to ride a gentle giant.

 Food

Take any food, skewer it with a stick and it is not just food, but Renaissance victuals. It is impossible to go hungry at the Festival with every kind of food available. If you are watching your budget, bring along a sack lunch, but if you would like to sample the Renaissance fare, check out the Royal Kitchens. Enjoy your meal under the shade trees as the kids play on the playground or take a turn with the juggling sticks.

Family Fun Entertainment

You could attend the faire for days and never see all the performances available. Families will find many performances that are perfect for a day of entertainment, but be aware that some shows are not family friendly. In years past, families were on their own to discover the appropriateness, or lack thereof in the various shows. Many a family would wander unknowingly into a show and soon be seen scurrying away while covering their kids ears. Now, the show program very clearly lists the shows that are PG-13. Families can assume that all other shows will be PG, which means that there may be some adult humor that will go right over most kid’s heads.
 
Here are some of our favorites:

Don Juan and Miguel have been performing at Scarborough as long as we have been attending, which is close to two decades. They are the main stage performers and are a must see for whip cracking, sword fighting, side splitting action.

Adam Crack and the Fire Whip Show is an award winning show about whips and fire. Adam Crack is as quick with his whip as he is with his wit, and his show is top notch amazing.

Daniel Duke of Danger entertains with self deprecating humor and unbelievable stunts without a net. From the kids, this performance earns two thumbs up for funny and extra side of just plain weird.

Just for Kids

Scarborough has plenty to offer that is just for the wee ones. Nature of Mercy is a highly energetic and interactive sword fighting comedy show that teaches children the power of honor and compassion. At the end of the festival, your lords and ladies will delight in the knighting ceremony by King Henry XIII and Queen Anne. Don’t miss the Maypole dancing midday for a unique, although hilariously complicated Renaissance pastime.

Demonstrations

Many artisans offer demonstrations to add to the Renaissance flavor. With such a full day, we look for something unique to catch our eye. When looking for fun for a group of boys, you can’t miss with huge swords and loud cannons. The cannon drill and weapons demos offered by a Scottish character name Boomer are enlightening and entertaining as rolled into one. We also enjoy the armor making and the demonstrations of the Gutenberg press.

Wacky and Weird

If you haven’t picked up on it yet, there is plenty of the odd at a Renaissance festival. Fortunately, kids love a little bit of strangeness now and then. Just think of it as a preparation for the possibility that your child will grow up to be a drama major or have one for a roommate.

The Mythical and Monster Museum is filled with all manner of monsters from tiny fairies to unicorns and krakens. The monsters and the weapons used for capture are displayed in an intriguing, but slightly creepy manner. If you are an eight year old boy the best part is when mom goes screaming from the exhibit because she is caught off guard by the shaking box. Every single time.

Scarborough Renaissance Festival begins in April and runs every weekend through Memorial Day

{ 4 comments }

Chrissyb May 16, 2011 at 10:21 am

Looks like FUN! New Follower from the Monday blog hop. Hope you follow me back, too1
http://lilbabybootie.blogspot.com/

TheKidIsRich May 16, 2011 at 12:27 pm

Hey there – GREAT blog!! Stopping by from the

Monday blog hop – I'm your newest follower via

GFC :) Would *so* appreciate a follow back!

Alex
http://www.thekidisrich.blogspot.com/
Educating kids and teens in entreprneurship.

Frugal on the Cheap May 16, 2011 at 2:22 pm

New follower from today's blog hop, please visit me back: http://www.frugalonthecheap.com

Self Sagacity May 16, 2011 at 2:35 pm

Awesome captures. Wish that I could go to one of those, always fascinated me. Thanks for stopping by SelfSagacity.
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