Living History at the Texas Renaissance Festival

Walking to the gates of the Texas Renaissance Festival

Whether it’s the costumes, or the demonstrations, or just the atmosphere, there’s something about living history that appeals and opens the mind.

And the Texas Renaissance Festival in Plantersville, TX does not disappoint as a living history experience.

When Kgirl learned about the Renaissance Festival from a friend last year, she immediately demanded, “why haven’t you taken us before?”  And quite simply the answer was cost.

During the regular season weekends, full price for an adult ticket is $25, while kids ages 4-12  are $12. Kids 4 and under are free. When you multiply that out for the six of us, four of which are considered “adults”, it adds up to $124 just to get in the gates – ouch.

But thankfully, a limited number of discount tickets can be purchased online and through Randalls and Walgreens, and there’s even a family 4-pack available online that brings down the cost considerably. Parking is thankfully free – and nicely shaded.

But for homeschoolers, the best deal is the Texas Renaissance Festival School Days, where tickets are only $8/person – yep, just $48 for all six of us.

School Days are offered just two consecutive days each season.  By far these are the most family friendly days at the Renaissance Festival – no alcohol, family friendly shows, and completely kid-centered activities.  Also, picnicking is allowed during school days, where it is not normally during regular weekends – a bonus for keeping the costs reasonable for large families.

The arena at the Texas Renaissance Festival

This year, as our first year, we chose to take in a few shows and wander around, taking in the environment.  We gave each of the kids $5 for an extra activity.

Kgirl and both boys choose archery. (big surprise, since that’s their present obsession)

Kgirl practices archery at the Texas Renaissance Festival School Days

and Little E couldn’t wait to ride an elephant

Little E Rides an Elephant at the Texas Renaissance Festival School Days

By far our favorite show was Birds of Prey.

Birds of Prey show at the Texas Renaissance Festival School Days

But the Joust came in a close second. Afterall, what boy can resist knights battling it out with sticks and swords. :)

Joust at the Texas Renaissance Festival School Days

Little E and J both partook of the School of Sword, learning basic fencing and sword play.

Little E learning fencing and sword play from The School of Sword at the Texas Renaissance Festival

We stayed for over 5 hours, very slowly making our way out, drooling over the goods in all the shops, stopping along the way to watch a glass blower create his wares.

Watching a glassblower at the Texas Renaissance Festival School Days

And Kgirl, Greg, and Little E couldn’t resist taking to opportunity to discuss how pewter is cast while drooling over all the little pewter figurines and goblets.

Pewter art at the Texas Renaissance Festival School Days

In all it was an incredible day of history and science, and family fun.  If you missed this year’s school days and still want to check out the Texas Renaissance Festival, it runs on weekends through November 25th.  I’m told that Sundays are the most family-friendly days, as the alcohol sales don’t begin until after noon.

Otherwise, I highly recommend bringing the family out next year for the Texas Renaissance Festival’s School Days.  Complete details, maps, and schedules can be found on the school days section of their website. School days tickets can be purchased in advance or at the gate.

If you are planning on going during the regular festival weekends, be sure to check out the discount ticket availability online. Savings getting in the gates will leave you more for food and fun inside. :)

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