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Maryland Renaissance Festival: Something a teen (and parents) can enjoy.


This past weekend was the opening of the Maryland Renaissance Festival, a two and half month event just outside of Washington DC.  It was our first visit and I was expecting carnival rides, games and food.  I was wrong.  It was so much better.

As we went through the gates, I was surprised to see a tiny village from the 16th century.  The shops and stages were permanent structures.  Most visitors were dressed up.  If you didn't bring a costume, you could rent one.  I felt I just left the real world. 

Although we attended several shows, wandering through the village and the shops was just as fun.  I loved the buildings and the unique items you could find here. 

Lots of music and shows throughout the festival
We ended up staying for over five hours.  Much longer than my original estimate of 2-3 hours.  And we didn't get to see everything.  My teens want to come back.  This is not a festival geared for young kids.  It was for adults.  Yes, there were small children and there is a kid area but the target group was for adults.  I appreciated it.  So many events today are geared towards young children, it's hard to entertain the older kids and get them away from their electronics.  This one did it for my teens.

  • Tickets are cheaper if bought online.
  • Jousting is the most popular, get seats early (we got ours 15 minutes early for the first show and did fine.  I imagine the later shows are more difficult to get seating.).
  • Bring cash, not everyone takes credit cards.
  • Food is reasonably priced.  We paid $6 for a turkey leg (delicious!), $2 for soda/water.
  • The shops were expensive but merchandise was unique:  drinking horns, swords, artwork, furs, leather canteens, costumes, jewelry
  • Go early, it was full by noon and packed by 2 pm.
  • Although clean, the bathrooms are porta-potties and I hear there is a trough in the men's only area.  Just thought I'd mention it.

Things to note:
You can smoke.  I say this because it is the first place in a long time that I smelled a cigarette.  I'm happy to say that not many people were smoking but I thought I should mention it.


  1. Renaissance festivals are a lot of fun. We have gone to one in California and a large one which is the New York Renaissance Faire in Rhinebeck. I will have to check out the Maryland Festival next year as it is closer

  2. There are actually five designated smoking areas, and the rest of the grounds are non-smoking. This is a new policy this year, and not all patrons have caught on and are compliant. I'm glad you and your family enjoyed it. I love the Maryland Renaissance Festival! Come back again and dress in garb to really experience it! Also, tickets are cheaper if you go the first four weekends, or if you buy multi-day passes. Every year on Labor Day, seniors (62 and older) are admitted for free.

    1. OK, I like the designated smoking area idea. I did not see them but then again I don't smoke. And thanks for the tips.


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