Posts Tagged ‘kids’

Huzzah to all my fine readers! Those of you who checked in on my post at our sister site, www.mycrazy8.com, will have found some fun information on this years Arizona Renaissance Festival. I wanted to add a few fun facts to that post as my family and I were able to attend once again this year. There were so many new experiences offered this year and I wouldn’t want you all to miss out on any of it! There is a special offer at the end of this post that you won’t want to miss! So read on! Hope you enjoy and take your own family for some amazing experiences of your own! This weekend is the last weekend of this annual spectacular medieval spectacle and we want to make sure you don’t miss out!

Don't be shy! Get in on the fun and dress up for the fair! You won't regret it as the artisans and performers will heartily welcome you in on the merriment!

Don’t be shy! Get in on the fun and dress up for the fair! You won’t regret it as the artisans and performers will heartily welcome you in on the merriment!

First of all, I would like to second my earlier advice to fully embrace the time period by dressing up as your favorite Renaissance character. Don’t have a costume? No problem! Near the entrance of the fair is a wonderful little boutique where you can rent your costume for the day! There are lots of sizes and fun character themes to choose from. It makes it super easy and convenient as well as exceptionally more fun!

Costumes are available for rent to help everyone fit right in with the fair folk!

Costumes are available for rent at the entrance of the Fair to help everyone fit right in with the fair folk!

A couple of new items we tried this year included some of the food items that are both old and new. If you are curious as to which items are the best on the menu, we have tried many but have yet to find the equal of the “steak on a stake”! Well worth saving your appetite for! This is definitely the finest food item we have found at the fair! It would be enough for small children to split but older kids or adults with appetites will definitely want their own! We sampled the Turkey leg (which has always been a favorite) as well as the corn on the cob which were both wonderful. The corn was especially popular with my kids. A new item we discovered was the frozen orange! Not sure exactly what goes into this one but it consists of an actual frozen orange with a frozen icy orange-flavored coating that is absolutely addictive as well as refreshing on a hot afternoon! We shared one and ended up getting another very quickly! Definitely going to make our “must have” list next year! And no visit is complete without a stop at the chocolate shop located near the entrance…we highly recommend the chocolate strawberries!

The line might be long but it is worth the wait! Plus, you get to be entertained by Captain Drake, the pirate, while you wait!

The line might be long but it is worth the wait! Plus, you get to be entertained by Captain Drake, the pirate, while you wait!

Don't forget to stop in on the fairies as well! Twig and her sister, Juniper, will surely delight every child with an eye for magic!

Don’t forget to stop in on the fairies as well! Twig and her sister, Juniper, will surely delight every child with an eye for magic!

Of course, you have heard of the newest exhibit of mermaids…yes, you read correctly…MERMAIDS! These are live, swimming, performing mermaids that not only swim for show but interact with your kids both under the water and above it! If you have any little mermaid wann-bee’s out there, this is a must see exhibit. It was exceptionally busy though. We were a little slow making our way back to this exhibit and by the time we arrived, it was about an hour wait to get in. So I would highly recommend you make your way back to this exhibit FIRST before you dally anywhere else in the fair to avoid long waits! But if you have to wait, the pirates in attendance are MOST entertaining! Pay attention though, they LOVE to give oblivious passerbys a little trouble!

Captain Drake is always to be found lingering around the mermaid pools! He's quite the scoundrel so watch yourself!

Captain Drake is always to be found lingering around the mermaid pools! He’s quite the scoundrel so watch yourself!

We visited one of the braiding stations called “Twisted Sisters” and were blown away by the talent and service here! Very friendly ladies, very gentle on the hair (for those with sensitive heads, this is a must!) and extremely talented stylists! They use real flowers in your hair which just adds to the magic of the ambiance! Check out some of their handiwork in the photos included here!

Meet Tom Selectomy! He is a crazy, sword swallowing daredevil!

Meet Tom Selectomy! He is a crazy, sword swallowing daredevil!

Don’t forget the Sword Swallower! This show is definitely not for the delicate stomachs but it is quite amazing to behold!

Of course, no visit to the fair is complete without a stop at the weapons shops! There are many available throughout the fair and I highly recommend shopping around as the pricing will vary, in some cases dramatically. This applies to most of the artisans in the fair that have duplicate offerings. We found that the further back into the fair we ventured, the more reasonable the pricing became so don’t be shy about visiting all the artisans…you will not only find different pricing but differing styles, quality and materials. Plus, every artisan is in full character and are so much fun to interact with! They are exceptionally knowledgeable about their trades and love to share their discoveries, wisdom and expertise with all who are interested! The weapons shops are particularly entertaining because you can even get them to divulge secrets behind the proper handling of each weapon and how it was used! My boys are particularly attentive during these interactions! For those interested in the actual process of weapons-forging, make sure you stop by the blacksmiths shop near the mermaid tank! See firsthand how weapons came into being and ask questions of these very knowledgeable artisans.

We brought our hair leathers back this year and the Captan treated us to some free braided coifs!

We brought our hair leathers back this year and the Captan treated us to some free braided coifs!

One of the artisans we discovered last year was the beaded leather braiding shop. Those of us who have long hair but are “braiding-challenged”, this was a unique and super fun discover! They are beaded leather straps that you can use to easily braid your hair in seconds with decorative accessories. Super easy to use and super cute! Plus, any year you return to the fair with your beaded leather, they will style and braid your hair for free! This is quite a deal since most braiding stations in the fair will cost you upwards of $20 or more! He made good on his offer with four of us this year and it was a wonderful treat!

We also were able to meet some new characters this year! One especially fun character was the ever-elusive young dragon, FireFlicker! He is exceptionally hard to find and considered quite the find to capture him on camera! He’s always on the lookout for shiny objects to add to his dragon hoard!

Try to catch FireFlicker, the friendly dragon! He is quite illusive but well worth the hunt!

Try to catch FireFlicker, the friendly dragon! He is quite illusive but well worth the hunt!

A tip on attending the joust…be sure to arrive at least 30-40 minutes early for your joust of choice as seats fill quickly (especially if you want one in the shade!). The first joust of the day is merely exhibition. Skills of dexterity and horsemanship as well as sword and lance handling. Very tame for the feint of heart! But those wishing to see a match to the death should be sure and make the final joust of the day. This joust will see only one winner and is much more violent as all the knights are pitted against one another in defending their honor. Of course, they still maintain the humor and light-heartedness and all the “dead” knights rise once again at the end, much to the cheers of the crowd! But if you have sensitive little ones, stick to the earlier joust. If you would like to congratulate your favorite knight, get to know his horse or ask questions about the more technical aspects of the joust, be sure and stop by the paddocks after the performance as each knight will be available to sign autographs and talk to the crowd!

Make sure you ask for a demo of the dragon flute! You won't be disappointed!

Make sure you ask for a demo of the dragon flute! You won’t be disappointed!

Some of the new musicians we discovered included the traditional dulcimer. This is a harp-like instrument played with a pick. It is absolutely haunting to listen to and very fun to watch a master at work on the strings! We encountered this talented fellow near the mermaid tank. But you haven’t heard real magic until you’ve visited the flute shop and seen what they can do with the “dragon flute” and the “fairy pipes”! Ever seen a wooden saxophone? We have! And so can you if you stop by their store for a demo!

If you haven’t visited the amazing artisan-filled Renaissance Festival yet, don’t worry…there’s still time! The fair runs through April 2, from 10:00-6:00 (rain or shine) Saturday and Sunday. Tickets can be purchased online at http://www.royalfaires.com/arizona/. But there is a special contest going on right now to get a free adult ticket with VIP parking over at our sister sites facebook page https://www.facebook.com/MyCrazy8/! Jump on over there and get entered! Contest winner will be announced tomorrow!

Have you been to the fair? Share your experiences below! There are so many things to see that we’d love to hear what new discoveries YOU made! Huzzah!

Tags: , , ,
Posted in Crafts, Events, Family and Home, General, holiday activities, newsworthy | No Comments »

If your kids have ever dreamed of pirates, knights, princesses or fairies…then you need to pack up these little dreamers and take them to the place where these dreams can be real! My family and I have found a place where these characters come to life…at the Arizona Renaissance Festival! The Arizona Renaissance Festival is a medieval amusement park, a 13-stage theater, a 30-acre circus, an arts and crafts fair, a jousting tournament and a feast — all rolled into one non-stop, day-long family adventure! The Faire runs from 10am to 6pm (rain or shine) on Saturdays and Sundays from February 6 to March 27, including President’s Day on February 15th. The Festival is seven miles east of Apache Junction on US Highway 60.

The Renaissance Festival is a place where you and your family can experience over 200 handcrafted items, have a sword fight with a pirate, watch knights joust to the death, dance to the reed pipes of a fairy, laugh with the village fool or even gain audience with the King and his courtisans! Hop on a “man-powered” merry-go-round, ride a giant rocking horse, have a go at the crossbow or just take a load off on the lawn and catch the Bird of Prey show to see how traditional falconry was done! Even the booths are hand-crafted works of art. There are hair weavers, face painters, candle makers, pottery artists, leather and metal workers…the list goes on!

My family of 5 have been attending for several years and we wouldn’t miss it! There has been something for all of my ages to experience, learn from and participate in every year we have attended. We love mixing in with the villagers dressed in our renaissance finest and talking with the various artisans about their unique skills. I have brought my princesses, my fairies, my warlocks, my pirates, my knights and even my robin hood and we fit in perfectly in this fully immersive renaissance experience. Plan to spend the entire day! Munch on traditional turkey legs, steaks on sticks or take a sweet trip to heaven as you pass by any number of amazing chocolate covered treasures to be found all over the faire.

Some of the entertainment can be quite a mixed bag of joyful and inappropriate (this is, after all, the renaissance!). I have attended without incident with all my children on a variety of days (just avoiding the shows with more adult-oriented humor). But if you would like to avoid the “bawdy” all together,  I highly recommend attending on “Student Days” on March 1st and 3rd. This is a very special day when the more rambunctious crowd is toned down to make way for the likes of Galileo, Medicis, Shakespeare, Magellan and so much more! These two days cater especially to teachers and students to help bring to life the language, science, arts, engineering and overall ambiance of the 16th Century.

Tickets are $23 for adults and $11 for kids (ages 5-12). Discount tickets are available  here or check their website for a coupon partner near you. You can also hook up with their facebook page and join in the 16th century fun to win one of their daily giveaways!

Want to come with your teacher and all your classroom friends?? Then you need to enter their “Renaissance in the Southwest 2016 Essay Contest”! Teachers, this is a spectacular way to help your kids get excited about history!

A couple of tips when attending the faire…

  • Traffic can be a problem getting there…plan to leave at least an hour or two early if you can. But once you get there, parking is free and very well organized.
  • They do not allow outside food and drink but when I have come with children under the age of 5, they have allowed me to bring small snacks, bottles and drinks specifically and only for these little ones. But I would try to pack light…they won’t let you bring coolers or any large items.
  • It’s dusty! If you have allergies or are otherwise affected by the dust, be prepared.
  • It can be very warm! Wear sunscreen…a hat…bring a fan…you will be much more comfortable! Bring water…you can refill at drinking fountains throughout the park.
  • There are bathrooms throughout the faire but the lines can be long…try to get your little ones to go before you get there.
  • Leave your pets at home…they will not be allowed into the park.
  • Costumes are super fun and usually will win the attention of the street performers for an even more interactive and fun experience!
  • There are 8 ATM’s located across the Festival grounds but I would recommend having cash on hand. The food can be a bit pricey but well worth the experience and you won’t want to miss out on purchasing some one-of-a-kind souvenirs from your time traveling adventures!

Tags: , , ,
Posted in Crafts, Events, Family and Home, newsworthy, Teacher Tips | No Comments »