Every Renaissance Festival, large or small, is unique and has its own set of rules, etiquette guidelines and traditions. There are some commonly asked questions posed by first time Festival goers that can be applied to all the large Festivals and many of the smaller ones.
Here are the answers to some of them:
Is going to a Renaissance Festival very expensive?
Every Renaissance Festival charges a gate admission fee. The average cost of a ticket for the large Renaissance Festivals held in the US for 2012 was $25 for adults (less for children and seniors) As Renaissance Festivals are only held once a year planning ahead can save you quite a bit of money on admission costs.
All of the large Ren Fests offer Early Bird specials (usually available several months before the Festival begins) and for those who will want to make more than one visit to a Renaissance Festival – it truly is impossible to see and do everything you want to in one day so many people do – a half season or season pass usually offers considerable savings as well.
The ticket price covers basic admission to the Festivals. All Festivals have Special Events that will cost extra but just how expensive a day at the Renaissance Festival will be after that is up to you. There are a great many things available to buy that can be very tempting in the artisans marketplaces and the food and drink is priced at typical theme park levels.
Can I use my credit/debit card at Renaissance Festivals?
Relying solely on a credit card when going to any Renaissance Festival is not a good idea. Although a lot of the larger vendors will take credit and debit cards at the gate admissions and most food and drink do have to be paid for in cash, as well as incidentals like fee based games and rides.
Do I have to dress up?
There is no rule at any Renaissance Festival that says anyone has to dress up to attend. However a Renaissance Festival is supposed to be a full experience rather than just a visit to a theme park and dressing up can go a long way towards making your experience even better.
There are regular Renaissance Festival attendees that spend a great deal of money on their costumes but that does not have to be the case. There were a lot more peasants around in the 16th century than there were nobles and royals and creating a fairly authentic peasants costume is not that hard or that expensive.
Most Renaissance Festivals also offer rental costumes. Renting a costume can be a great way to get to wear a more elaborate get up without actually having to pay to own one. For more information and ideas for Renaissance Festival garb see our Costumes page.
Can I take my own food and drink to a Renaissance Festival?
Almost all Renaissance Festivals ban outside food and drink with the exception of food for babies and for those with special diet needs (as long as they have a doctor’s note.) Part of the Renaissance Festival experience is sampling the food and although most of the fare could not be called cheap usually the food and drink are fairly reasonably priced and a few minutes spent ‘shopping around’ might be helpful if you really want to try and save a little money.
Are Renaissance Festivals really suitable for kids?
Every Renaissance Festival goes to great lengths to offer amusements and activities that are especially geared towards children and most kids have a blast at a Renaissance Festival. Usually there is quite a bit of walking involved in attending a Renaissance Festival though, at least if you want to see as much as possible, so taking along a stroller for a toddler is always a good idea.