Perhaps you dream of visiting a Renaissance Festival in another state. If you are taking a road trip, traveling for a wedding, or doing a college tour, you could add in a day at a Renaissance Faire as well.
The following list focuses on some of the biggest Renaissance Festivals around the United States. You’re likely to see new and different entertainers, a myraid of costumes, theme days, and a wide array of vendors if you venture to one of these larger Renaissance Faires. A few of these events have permanent and highly beautiful venues.
All these Ren Faires have websites and lots of reviews. Thus you can learn more online about dates, hours, ticketing, parking, rules, entertainment and what to expect.
Renaissance Pleasure Faire of Southern California
Location: Irwindale, California (near Pasadena)
Dates: Weekends from the beginning of April to the end of May
Website: The Original Renaissance Pleasure Faire
The Renaissance festival that started them ALL way back in the 1960’s. This Southern California festival runs for several weekends and includes themed weekends like Pirate Weekend, RennCon (a celebration of all cosplays including sci-fi, fantasy, anime, comics, television, and fairy tales), Gnome Weekend, and Pub Crawl weekend. Some theme weekends like Pirate Weekend include a pirate costume contest. If you are wondering about the pub crawl, it’s is a loud and lusty event that takes you to four different fine taverns and public houses. Be filled with merriment at the most bodacious songs, jests, and stories, the humble shire has to offer.
Northern California Renaissance Faire
Location: Hollister, CA (near Gilroy)
Dates: Weekends from the second week of September to mid-October
Website: Northern California Renaissance Faire
Carolina Renaissance Festival
Location: Huntersville, North Carolina
Dates: First weekend of October to end of November
Website: Carolina Renaissance Festival
Watch knights battle for the Queen’s favor in a Renaissance-era jousting tournament at the annual Carolina Renaissance Festival. More than 500 costumed “villagers” roam the grounds providing entertainment for all. Be awed by the ancient art of falconry. Witness the skills of a variety of raptors that captured the hearts and minds of nobles long ago and became the sport of kings.
In the grotto you and your kids can watch the mermaids or sea fairies do underwater flips, blow bubble hearts, and splash their tails. As for rides, you’ll get to spin in Da Vinci’s flying machine and ride the (alleged) largest rocking horse in the world. It sounds like unending fun!
Texas Renaissance Festival
Location: Todd Mission, TX (NW of Houston)
Dates: 8 weekends, October through November
Website: Texas Renaissance Festival
At the Texas Renaissance Festival you can take part of 8 themed weekends, including The Queen’s Birthday, 1001 Fairy Dreams, Oktoberfest, All Hallows Eve, Pirate Adventure, Barbarian Invasion, Highland Fling and Celtic Christmas. We recommend the Fire Whip Show lead by the award-winning Adam. Don’t miss the high-energy whip routines along with ballon popping and knife throwing.
There are 77 acres of historic and magical entertainment from knights jousting on their mighty steeds to the ethereal fairy court. You can even get married or renew your vows at this magnificent location.
Scarborough Renaissance Festival
Location: Waxahachie, TX (South of Dallas)
Dates: April through the end of May
Website: Scarborough Renaissance Festival
Maryland Renaissance Festival
Location: Crownsville, Maryland
Dates: Specific weekends from August to October
Website: Maryland Renaissance Festival
Stroll through Valley Meade, Kenwood Lane, White Stag Grove, King’s Field, Kenwood Lane, Meadow Lane and Mary’s Dale Way. Sample tasty food like smoked turkey legs, friar’s fritters, meat pie on a stick, peasant bread, king’s dogs and many more delicious delights.
New York Renaissance Faire
Dates: Weekends from late August to early October
Website: New York Renaissance Faire
The New York Renaissance Faire gets high marks for ambiance. It’s located on a beautiful former botanical garden and forest. Nestled in the groves of Sterling Forest, the festival is a full-on experience of Elizabethan England, complete with 16th-century games, rides, arts, crafts, food, music and dance. Additionally, there are themed weekends like pirate and time traveler.
There are 100 shops in the marketplace, from candle making to wooden swords, medieval clothing, and fresh olive oil. There are many games to play such as ax throwing, archery, and throwing tomatoes at a man whose job it is to insult you! (That’s what one reviewer said.) And there are children’s games as well. The fair celebrated its 45th year in 2022, and the event just gets better and better each year.
Bristol Renaissance Faire
Location: Kenosha, WI
(Border of Wisconsin and Illinois, in proximity to Chicago)
Dates: Early July through Labor Day
Website: Bristol Renaissance Faire
The Bristol Renaissance Faire is held in a 30-acre Renaissance village. It recreates a visit by Queen Elizabeth 1 to the English port city of Bristol in 1574. The grounds are beautiful – lots of trees and flowers everywhere – and plenty of fun shows to watch, with the jousting being many people’s favorite. More than 200 artisans are set up in shops to sell their wares, including jewelry, pottery, tapestries, pewter and crafted leather.
Ohio Renaissance Festival
Location: Harveysburg, Ohio
Dates: Early September to the end of October
Website: Ohio Renaissance Festival
Ohio Renaissance Festival is situated in 16th-century English village of 30 acres where guests can rub elbows with Queen Elizabeth and over 150 costumed characters. There are multiple themed weekends. In addition to fantasy, pirate and time travel weekends, there are also unique themes like Viking, Highland, Romance, Feast of Fools, and Trick or Treat. Don’t miss the fire-eating show some reviewers said.
Minnesota Renaissance Festival
Location: Shakopee, Minnesota
Dates: Weekends from the end of August to October
Website: Minnesota Renaissance Festival
Recreating a 16th-century English village, the event includes comedy shows, plays, interactive contests and a food festival. There are also 250 artisans, wedding packages, and a multiple course feast with a comedy show. The themed weekends include Once Upon a Time, Highland Fling, Wine, Chocolate and Romance, Woofstock, Middle Eastern Bazaar, Shamrocks and Shenanigans, and Oktoberfest.
Arizona Renaissance Festival
Location: Gold Canyon, Arizona (outside Phoenix)
Dates: February and March
Website: Arizona Renaissance Festival
There are demonstrations of time honored crafts such as weaving, jewelry making, glass blowing, blacksmithing and pottery throwing.
They hold multiple themed weekends such as Renaissance & Romance, Royalty, Pirates and Brews, Time Travelers, Wizards and Wonder, and Comedy. Also, you can host a party or a wedding at the Arizona Renaissance Faire. Fans can also buy a ticket for the The Pleasure Feast. It’s an all you can eat, five course medieval feast with live music and comedy entertainment. Reservations recommended.
Oh, and you can bring your dog…see details on the website.
King Richard’s Faire
Location: Carver, MA
Dates: Weekends from September to October
Website: King Richard’s Faire
Georgia Renaissance Festival
Location:near Fairburn, GA
Dates: Weekends mid-April to early June
Website: Georgia Renaissance Festival
Colorado Renaissance Festival
Location: Larkspur, Colorado (39 miles south of Denver)
Dates: Weekends from mid-June to early August
Website: Colorado Renaissance Festival
Made to resemble a 16th-century English village, the Colorado Renaissance Festival offers multiple stages, a cast of 100’s of costumed members, medieval music and jousting 3x’s a day.
One thing we appreciate at the CO Ren fair is that they rent costumes! For first timers and others, renting a costume makes it so much easier.
Medieval Fair of Norman
Location: Norman, Oklahoma
Dates: First weekend of April
Website: Medieval Fair of Norman
While this Medieval fair isn’t as well known as the others, it’s unique because there is no entrance fee, though there is a $10 parking fee. That’s impressive considering this is Oklahoma’s largest weekend event.
As the Medieval Fair of Norman is a medieval festival and not a renaissance festival, you can expect many differences. For example, the year is 1360 in Avalon England near Glastonbury Abbey. King Edward III and Queen Philippa have decided to visit the town of Avalon’s first market fair of spring. The black plague is believed to be gone and England has just signed the treaty of Bretigny with France after 20 years of war. So there is ample cause for celebration.
Prepare for jousting, play a human chess game, catch short plays and be mesmerized by talented jugglers. A marketplace of handcrafts and delicious foods are available.
Michigan Renaissance Festival
Location: Holly, Michigan
Dates: Weekends August through October
Website: Michigan Renaissance Festival.
Walk the magical 16th Century town of Hollygrove and take in the seventeen stages with magicians, jugglers, musicians and jousters keep people coming back to this fun event. More than 100 independent vendors sell their crafts at the marketplace.
Other highlights include the pub crawl, pony ride, feasting at The Feast of Fantasy, and a birds of prey show.
And you can bring your dog, though note the best time for canine companions is the Pirate and Pups weekend. To bring your dog, pay the fee and register on the website.
Pennsylvania Renaissance Faire
Location: Manheim, Pennsylvania
Dates: Weekends end of August to the end of October
Website: Pennsylvania Renaissance Faire
Expect beer tastings, fire dancers and stage shows galore. You’ll get to explore the 35 acre Mount Hope Estate, normally called the Shire.
Interact with the costumed characters, get some unique handcrafts and dig your teeth into the seriously delicious food.
And you can bring your dog, but tickets and rules apply. See their website.
Typical Rules and Policies
Rules and policies vary from event to event. Each event has a long FAQ page that answers the following types of questions. So please check the website!!
Here the typical questions:
Do I need cash or are credit cards accepted?
Can I bring food and/ or water?
Is parking free or paid?
Can I bring a weapon? Or a costume weapon?
Do I need a costume for the Renaissance Faire? (on our Raven Fox site)
Can I wear a fantasy costume to Ren Faire?
Can I dress like a pirate for Ren Faire?
Can I rent a costume at the faire?
Can I bring my dog or pet?
How to style a cloak? (on our Raven Fox site)
Again, please check the website, and have a fabulous weekend!!