Disclosure: I was given tickets to visit the Michigan Renaissance Festival and give an honest review. All opinions are 100% mine.
Do you remember a couple of weeks ago when I posted about the special deal on tickets for the 37th Annual Michigan Renaissance Festival? (the deal is still good for a few more weeks!) This past weekend we finally had the chance to go. Each weekend there is a different theme. My son really wanted to go to one of the Highland Fling Weekends. This weekend was Shamrocks and Shenanigans, an Irish version of the Highland Heavy Games. Irish Dancers performed in addition to a lot of other Celtic entertainment.
There were five of us who went. Two grown ups, two teenage boys and preteen girl. One of the teenage boys and the girl had gone before, but the rest of us had no idea what to expect. Parking (which is FREE) is in a field, and then you walk down a long path through the woods to the front gate. Right away we noticed a lot of people were dressesd in all kinds of costumes. A lot of the costumes were traditional Renaissance outfits, but there were also a lot of other very creative people out there. We saw some unicorns, fairies, and even a Pikachu. You could pretty much wear just about anything and you would blend in. I was dressed as a mom in jeans and a sweatshirt.. :)
As we walked into festival, we saw Crannog, a band that played traditional Irish, Scottish and Medieval music. There were many little shops all around, with all kinds of things to look at. Almost immediately one of the teenage boys disappeared into a shop. He had been there before, and had an idea of what he was looking for. Since the other two kids were not really into browsing, we decided to see what else we could find.
Right away we saw the petting zoo. Being animal lovers, the preteen girl and I had to go in and see them. This one was her favorite. It was a very sweet, and good natured. There were also some baby goats, a few lamb, a llama and a calf. There were brushes available if you wanted to brush the animals, which she did.
We were hoping to take a peek in the castle, but there was a wedding going on so it was closed to the public. We thought we might come back later on, but we got busy doing other things and forgot.
On a nearby stage we stumbled upon the Ric Roc Zoo and his "dumb show". His show is true to it's name. It was pretty dumb, but it was also funny. He brought up volunteers from the audience for parts of the show, and they were really funny too. He did some impressive juggling and balancing tricks that we all enjoyed. When his show was over he announced that his next show was "the stupid show" with different tricks.
While walking through another part of the village, we stumbled across this familiar face. He was happy to pose for pictures with the guests.
We caught the tail end of the Manolete Pyro Gyro Show. We were definitely entertained by the part we did see.
We then went to the joust field, because it was time to see the joust. This was definitely the favorite part of the festival for all three of the males in our group. It was a lot of fun to watch for us females as well. The two knights on the left were the good guys, the ones on the right not so much.
There were three rounds in the joust. The winner of the first round, and the winner of the second round went head to head in the third round. The losers of the joust were not very happy with the outcome, and challenged the winners to a rematch. A match that would be to the death! We were told to come back a few hours later to see the "final" joust, and to find out which knight would actually survive.
There was a little over an hour before the final joust, so we went to see a few more attractions. Us girls wanted to see the live mermaid at Mermaid Lagoon. The guys decided they would go watch some of the Highland Heavy Game events while we waited in line. There was a little bit of wait to meet the mermaid, but we enjoyed looking at all the themed murals submitted by festival guests that lined the path. The mermaid was very nice and chatted with each of the children in her special language. She also gave each of them a special pebble from the bottom of her tank. We were told when we left that there would be other mermaids to visit if we wanted to come back.
There was still a little more time after visiting the mermaid, so next we went to the fairy house garden. When the festival first started in August, guests were encouraged to submit a fairy house for a contest. The houses were all so different from each other, but very creative. This was one of our favorites, a treehouse for Tinkerbell.
For the final joust we sat in a different area with a better view of the action. The Queen was present for this event. She tried to talk some sense into the knights, as there must be a better way to fight for their honor instead of fighting to the death. As expected, the knights disagreed.
I don't want to give away how the joust ended, just know that it was action packed. There was fighting on horseback and on the ground. There was a final winner, and all of the knights do come back to life, so that they may fight again each weekend.
I did not get any pictures of the food, but there is a lot of choices to choose from. There is everything from giant turkey legs, to burgers, soup, and ice cream. There are even pickle vendors selling giant pickles. For adults who like alcoholic beverages, there are also several places were you can try out your favorite beers and wine.
If you would like to go to the Michigan Renaissance Festival an experience it for yourself there is still time. It runs through Oct 4th This upcoming weekend is the Harvest Huzzah which has a BBQ competition and festival. On Sunday the 27th, there will be Pie Wars for those who love pie. On Friday Oct 2nd, there is a special Festival Friday with an after hours Masquerade Ball, and free admission for military. If you have a sweet tooth, you may consider going to Sweet Endings, That weekend there will be a chocolate festival with free samples, a cupcake crusade, and fencing competition. More information about each of the weekends, times and directions and can be found on the festival website HERE.
We all very much enjoyed our day at the festival. If you go, we think you will too.