Last Weekend, our family took an impromptu trip all the way down to the Senoia/Fairburn area to visit the Georgia Renaissance Festival. Although the annual festival opened in the middle of April, we had yet to visit (I hadn’t been since I was in college!) and there were only a handful of weekends left to attend! We finally had a free weekend day to do whatever we pleased, and with a good weather forecast, we slathered on the sunscreen and headed out to the vast park that the Georgia Renaissance Festival occupies each year.
I had forgotten what a fun time you can have down there! We took lots of pictures, ate some yummy foods and Red had a blast with the character interactions, face painting and joust tournament. In fact, he loved it so much, I’m giving you 6 reasons you should visit with your own family!
1. The Family Pricing
Adult tickets are $22 at the gate, and even cheapers when you pre-buy online ($19-20). If you’re paying attention to Groupon, Amazon Local and the like, you’re sure to find even better discounts during the season. In 2015, opening weekend tickets were Buy One Get One FREE! AND: All children five and under are FREE. That means families with small kids can go for just the price of adults! Parking is also ample and free.
2. The Free Shows and Entertainment
With so many stages all over the park, you’re sure to take in not only the 2-3 joust and knight games a day, but singers, circus-style acrobats, comedy shows, and in-character entertainment anywhere in the park. There are benches, seats and stands at each performance (several shows rotate through the stages all day long) and the standing room is vast and hilly, so you’re sure to catch a good view. All of the shows are family friendly and have different levels of humor, so those slightly dirty jokes are buried better than in the Muppet movies! I enjoyed all the walking character interactions – from fairies (Red’s favorite) to the bawdy friars singing and even the flower merchants and “mayor” walking around.
3. The Photo Ops
We took tons of photos, and still not enough! We were enjoying the shows so much I forgot to snap some shots, and I laughed and smiled at the characters so often that I was listening and being in the moment with my family instead of documenting everything (which is how it should be sometimes, don’t you think?!) So you’ll have to visit for yourself to catch those. I happen to love face cutout photos – they are always a little silly and for some reason they produce great memories. Red was asking to be in them before I had a chance to pull out my camera! There are tons of these set up throughout the park. See how many you can find!
4. The Fun and Affordable Face Painting
While you’ve paid for admission to the park, there are some added costs if you choose to incur them. Food, drink, games and rides all cost a few dollars each. We made sure to tour everything and see what we really wanted to do before choosing. Red asked to have his face painted, and chose a great green dragon that was only $5 and really well done! He enjoyed it all day until bath time, when he was sadly devastated that it was gone….
5. The Artisan Wares, Goods and Costumes
I won’t even call these souvenirs, because they aren’t. What you’ll find isn’t chotchkies or snow globes, but historically represented goods, jewelry, works of art, metallurgy, costumes of all kinds, beauty products. Wares that adorn the market shops and stands at the Georgia Renaissance Festival are really pretty awesome. While I didn’t pick anything up this year, we toured a lot of storefronts and found some pretty cool stuff. I have my eye on a copper fountain and sculpture shop to set something nice in our garden out back!
6. Children’s Entertainment and Family Fun
There is so much to offer on this front. A petting zoo, a free large playground, animal interactions (taking small donations to benefit their home), character greetings, safely manned swing/slide rides ($1-3 each), honest games of chance, and more. We chose to ride one ride, meet all the free entertainment, play on the playground and meet several geese and even a cockatiel that sat on Red’s head!!
BONUS: The Car Naps Home
After only 3 hours at the park (admittedly in the noon heat, but shaded!) Red was just about done. He had great spirits about him, but as soon as we had finished our slide ride, he was asking to “go home and rest.” And no sooner did we hit the interstate did he crash out in his car seat. And slept nearly 2.5 hours. Talk about a nice little break!
Red talked to us that evening and the whole next day about the Georgia Renaissance Festival, asking to return to see the fairies, recounting the knights and telling his teachers all about his “green dragon!” Next year, we’ll be sure to take him back as well as his baby sister. After all, the kids will be free admission! Have you visited with your family, or do you have a renaissance festival where you live?
* Linking up with Really Are You Serious? for Mommy and Me Monday!*