As you walk through the gates of Scarborough Renaissance Festival, you’re immediately transported into a 16th-century setting filled with lords and ladies, the smell of food-on-a-stick and a hospitality you could only find in Texas.
As we were heading to the food court, a jester in bright red garb noticed the two 6-year-old boys in our group were looking a bit squeamish at the sights and sounds of the fair. The Scarborough sentinel immediately had them engaged in a game of hide-and-seek until their frowns turned into laughter. Little did they know, it was the legendary Pier Piper who played tricks with them.
Everyone at Scarborough is a character and plays a part, and that’s why the festival, which runs through Memorial Day weekend, is such a hit with families and fans alike.
Here are five activities that families shouldn’t miss.
The Royal Court, artisans, villagers and knights come together to march through the festival grounds in a boisterous display of goodwill.
Where: Village of Scarboroug
When: 1 p.m.
Choose a side
The live joust is more theatrical than violent. Find a nice spot in the shade then cheer on your favorite knight or villain.
Where: Joust Arena
When: 11 a.m., 2 p.m. and 6 p.m.
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Meet a Mermaid
Did you know that you could schedule a visit with a mermaid? That’s right Mermaid Lagoon offers one-on-one time with these mythical creatures. Even if you don’t schedule your visit, the line goes quickly considering that each of the four Mermaids do a stellar job at engaging their captive fans. If you're nice, a mermaid may even give you a shell as a souvenir.
Where: Mermaid Lagoon
When: 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. and 1:3 p.m. to 5:45 p.m.
Cirque du Sewer
What child wouldn't love a rat circus? Ring leader Melissa Arieth combines acrobatics, comedy and her four-legged friends to put on an entertaining show you won't forget.
Where: Idlewyld Stage
When: 11 a.m., 12:30 p.m., 2:30 p.m. and 4 p.m.
Unfortunately, our family and friends missed the knighting ceremony because we needed to catch a train in Fort Worth. However, children of all ages should love the chance to be recognized for "acts of courage and deeds of meritorious service." Each participant gets a seal that a Knight of the Realm or Lady of the Court.
Where: Royal Marquee
When: 4 p.m.
Scarborough Renaissance Festival
When: Saturday and Sunday eight consecutive weekends April 8 through May 29, 2017. Also open on Memorial Day Monday.
Where: Thirty minutes south of the Dallas/Fort Worth on FM 66 off of Interstate 35E at exit 399B. Parking is free.
Cost: $28, adults; $13, ages 5-12; Free, children ages 4 and younge. Discount tickets can be purchased at D/FW area Tom Thumb & Albertsons stores.
If you go
▪ Wear comfortable shoes and clothes. Of course, feel free to dress up in costume.
▪ Don't forget to apply sunscreen.
▪ Bring cash as some food and activities require it. Most vendors do take credit cards and there are ATMs on the premises.
▪ Check the schedule online to plan your day.