2022 Family Guide to the Maryland Renaissance Festival
Lucky for you, we’ve laid out everything you need to know before you go and have a complete family guide to the Maryland Renaissance Festival.
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The Maryland Renaissance Festival has officially hit town, and for over 42 years, the Festival has brought entertainment to hundreds of thousands of visitors each year and never disappoints its crowds.
But what are the must-see activities for families? Lucky for you, we’ve laid out everything you need to know before you go and have a complete family guide to the Maryland Renaissance Festival.
Before attending the Festival, let’s start with the essential details you’ll need to know before you go. Remember that schedules can change without notice, so it’s best to check the official website for the most up-to-date information.
Basic Info about the Maryland Renaissance Festival
2022 Dates: August 27 & 28, and weekends in September and October through Oct. 23
Hours: 10 am - 7 pm
Address: 1821 Crownsville Rd, Annapolis, MD 21401; take a look at the directions before you go. The entrance is a little unassuming, but the lines of cars will let you know you’re at the right place.
Ticket Prices August 27-September 11: Adult (16-61)/$24, Child (7-15)/$12, Child (7 and under)/Free, Senior (62+)/$21
Ticket Prices September 12-October 23: Adult (16-61)/$30, Child (7-15)/$15, Child (7 and under)/Free, Senior (62+)/$26
- Ticket sales are online only, and it’s highly recommended you bring cash for on-site purchases. Some vendors accept credit cards, and ATMs are available; however, it’s better to be prepared.
- Opening weekend, children 15 and under are free with a paid adult ticket.
- Labor Day Monday - Seniors 62+ are free
- Group rates are available
- Active Military personnel should purchase tickets online and can receive a refund by showing their Military I.D. at will call
- Take a look at the map before you go to have an idea of what spots you don’t want to miss. It also will let you know where the restrooms are, which is necessary with little kids.
- Tickets can sell out, so plan a day or two in advance
- Pets are not permitted, except for service animals
- Parking is free and handicapped parking is available
- The Festival is rain or shine, and tickets are non-refundable, so check the weather before you make reservations. You also can’t transfer your tickets to another date.
What You Should Expect When You Arrive
If you’ve never been to a Renaissance Festival, you’re in for a real treat. I grew up going to the one in South Florida and have fond memories of it. I’ve been to several along the east coast, and I appreciate that they all have their slight differences.
The Maryland Renaissance Festival sits on 25-acre grounds in Anne Arundel County, or Revel Grove, as the faire refers to itself. You can enjoy the King and Queen greeting everyone with trumpet horns if you arrive right before opening.
I can guarantee you’ll never leave the faire saying you were bored, as the diverse group of people who attend the festivities helps make it unique.
Don’t be surprised to find visitors dressed up, as that’s part of the fun of attending. You might even want to check out Amazon ahead of time to find yourself the perfect outfit.
You can also rent a costume after your arrival, but they are on a first-come, first-served basis, so it’s not guaranteed you’ll be able to get one. Adult costume rentals cost between $20-$35 and must be returned by 6 pm. Children’s costumes run between $10-$20. However, since reservations are not permitted, you can make it a game-day decision, depending on how festive you feel.
In addition, numerous crafts are for sale, including masks, footwear, woodworking, leather work, tapestry pillows, quilts, and ceramics. Shopping at the Renaissance Festival is a whole activity, and you should not miss the fantastic items vendors have for sale. There also is face painting, hair braiding, assorted readers, henna, and massages.
As a tip, if your kids want their faces painted, wait until later in the day if it’s too hot. The last thing you want is a sweaty, smeared mess of a face at the beginning of your day.
Family Friendly Activities at the Maryland Renaissance Festival
One of the best parts of the Renaissance Festival is its activities. The Festival has performances for children of all ages, and you’ll enjoy exploring the various entertainment stages. The Festival has over 200 performers, ranging from juggling acts, storytelling, jousting tournaments, street acts, and much more.
I love the street acts because you’ll encounter them throughout the day, and it makes for an enjoyable time. You never know who you will bump into!
Also, specific activities are geared toward children, like the Knighting ceremony that occurs daily on the Cottage Stage from 3:45 - 4:10. Newly appointed young knights can pose with the King afterward.
Here is a short list of the top activities for kids at the faire:
- Slides at the back of the park -$1 per person
- Playground with a large pirate ship, tunnel slides, climbing ropes, and secret staircases
- Cottage Stage has lots of kid-friendly performances
- Climbing wall to test your strength
- Juggling school for children six years or older
- Games are scattered throughout the Festival for children of all ages. Prices vary between $1-$2
- Maze for $2 per person
- Kids sing along on the Cottage Stage at 2:45 pm
- Jousting events are always a family favorite
- Hilby, the skinny German juggle boy is a fun activity for children
As you can see, there are plenty of activities for children of all ages. I appreciate that there is something for every age group, so the young kids stay entertained and the older kids can experience the fun too.
Also, the games are another reason why you should bring cash. For example, you probably don’t want to use the ATM to get a few bucks for a game.
You can find a more thorough look at the schedule of events here.
Food at the Maryland Renaissance Festival
It would not be a Renaissance Festival without an array of fantastic food. From turkey legs to fried pickles to cheesecake on a stick (ok, a lot of things on a stick), you’ll get to taste an array of foods that likely don’t make it on your weekly menu.
If you’re anything like me, you must plan meals for the kids ahead of time. I have a tribe of picky eaters, so I always consider what a venue has to offer before I go. I’m actually impressed with the variety of food the Festival has, and I feel like I’d be able to find something for each of my three kids.
However, you can bring food in your bag, so if you aren’t sure, it won’t hurt to pack a few PB&Js and some snacks you know your kids will eat. If anything, they will love the wide range of desserts available.
Here is a listing of the various restaurants you’ll find at the Festival and what they offer. Remember, this isn’t a complete list, and available food may vary depending on your visit.
- Crab cake sandwiches
- Chicken or shrimp dippers
- Fish ‘n’ Chips
- Chicken, Pork, Shrimp, Vegan Rice Bowls
- Fresh Seafood (Oysters, Shrimp, Mussels)
- Spring & Egg Roll
- Homemade Crab Dip
- Bagels with Cream Cheese
- Hot Apple Dumplings
- Funnel Fries
- Croissant Sundaes
- Chocolate Cake
- Carrot Cake
- Mac n Cheese on a Stick
- Corn on the Cob
- Cookies and Milk
- Fried Pickles
- Meat or Spinach Pie
- Beef or Chicken Gyros
- Meatball Wrap
- Italian Ices
- Cheesecake on a Stick
- Sausage on a Stick
- Cheese Quesadillas
- Chocolate Covered Bananas
- Fruit and Ice Cream
- BBQ Ribs
- Chicken Sandwich
- Chicken Nuggets
- Hot Potato Chips
- Corn Dogs
- Sandwich Wraps
- Fresh Fruit Cart
- Turkey Legs
- Soup in Bread Bowl
- Chicken Empanada
- Pulled Chicken Sandwich
- Belgium Waffles
- Turkey Legs
- Root Beer Floats
Mary’s Dale Way
- Chicken Club Sandwich
- Grilled Steak Sandwich
- Potato Wedges
- Smoked Turkey Legs
- Apple Fritters
- Ice Cream & Brownie Sundae
- Crab Pretzel
Things to Consider Before You Go
The Maryland Renaissance Festival is undoubtedly family-friendly, but before you go, here’s a list of things to consider to get the most out of your trip.
- Strollers are permitted, but the terrain isn’t the best for smaller strollers, like an umbrella stroller. If you must bring a stroller, opt for a more durable one, like a jogging stroller. An even better option would be a baby carrier if your little one is small enough.
- You’ll want to wear proper shoes for the same reasons you want a durable stroller. Also, if it’s been rainy, expect some muddy conditions.
- Pack lightly and don’t bring anything you won’t need. You’ll do a good amount of walking and don’t want anything to weigh you down. A backpack is a great option, so you don’t have to worry about setting anything down.
- Plan out what shows you want to watch. If you want to ensure you have a place to sit, plan to get to your desired show about 10 minutes early. Some of the more popular shows fill up, so you want to be prepared. Here’s a breakdown of all the acts and performances you’ll find at the faire.
- Try to attend the Festival in the first part of the season when the tickets are cheaper and fewer people are in attendance. The Festival usually peaks towards the end of September, producing longer lines and a more crowded environment. So while the weather will start to become nicer, you want to weigh the pros and cons of when you visit.
- Don’t wait until closing time to leave. Unfortunately, there is a mad rush to go once the Festival closes for the day, and you’ll likely be stuck in traffic.
- You can get married at the Renaissance Festival! Yep, you read that right. From Sept. 10 - Oct. 23, weddings will occur at 11 am in front of the Chapel. Even if you’re already hitched, it’s a fun event to watch as a passerby.
Special Events Calendar
In addition to the regular calendar, there are some special events you might want to know about. While the special events are fun, they tend to attract larger crowds, so be prepared. You’ll want to buy your tickets several days in advance to ensure they don’t sell out.
- August 27 & 28 (Opening weekend): StoryTyme in the Grove - Twice Daily, 11:30 & 12:00 and Beale Street Puppets - Twice Daily, 12:30 & 3:45
- September 3 & 4- Romance Weekend Singles Party - Saturday, Sept. 3 from 1 pm - 5 pm and Renewal of the Vows - Sunday, Sept. 4 at 3 pm
- September 5 - Seniors Day- All seniors 62+ receive free admission.
- September 10 & October 9- American Sign Language Interpretation Days - Stage shows will be interpreted in ASL.
- September 10 &11 - Celtic Celebration with special guests and Celtic music.
- September 17 & 18 - Pirate Adventure Weekend with plenty of music and mayhem.
- September 24 & 25 - Myth & Magic Weekend with special magical performances.
- October 1 & 2 - Shakespeare Weekend
That’s a Wrap!
There is no shortage of activities for families at the Maryland Renaissance Festival, and fun times are right around the corner. Try to plan your visit earlier in the season to avoid large crowds and take advantage of the lower ticket prices. Have fun and don’t forget to dress up!
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