Who knew that Kansas City so closely resembled 16th century England? Apparently the thousands of people who visit the Kansas City Renaissance Festival every year. Running for seven weekends, starting at Labor Day, many people come to experience the magic of the Renaissance. Here is a guide to help you plan a fun weekend away.
First, there are some things you should know if you’ve never been to a Renaissance Faire. Most importantly, try to leave all your modern conveniences behind. It’s ok if you choose not to dress up in clothing that is in the renaissance style, but no matter what you are wearing, cell phones look out of place. Most of the shop owners are good sports if they hear it ring, and occasionally you will get one that is a real prankster who will crack jokes about it. And that is the beauty of the renaissance faire. If you ask about their computer, many will ask, “What type of pewter?” or if you ask whether they have a website, they will point at the rafters and tell you that they’ve seen a spider lurking, so there should be a website within a few days. But it’s more fun to leave these modern things behind and play in this fantastic world for an afternoon.
As far as Renaissance Festivals go, the admission is average ($16.95 at the gates for adults) but there is no cost for parking. Two unique points about this Faire are that it does allow pets with a small fee, and it does not allow weapons, even if they are “peace sheathed.” This typically means that you are allowed to carry a sword for your costume, but you cannot wave it around, even in play.
The Kansas City Renaissance Festival, like many other festivals and faires, have themed weekends. If you are interested in pirates, you can go on the pirate weekend. If you want to see a lot of men in kilts, go on the Scottish festival weekend. This adds an extra bit of fun to each weekend, because it allows you to experience certain additional things that you do not normally get to experience.
There is a children’s area which has games and activities for younger children to participate in. Also, the boys can sign up to be “knighted” by the King, and the girls are made “ladies” by the Queen. This is especially exciting for the kids. My own children preferred the art area, where they made pictures to take home.
The food is also something that must be experienced. Where else are you encouraged to walk around with an enormous turkey leg in one hand, and a “meter of mead” in another? There are also cinammon roasted almonds, which are excellent, cheesecake on a stick, and lots of other wonderful fare.
And finally, my favorite reason to go- the shopping. One of my favorite places to go is “Royal Eggs.” There, a skilled artisan sells real eggshells that have been carved or cut, and some even include tiny chess sets inside of a goose egg. Although I do my own egg art, I am always thrilled to stop by her booth to see the wonderful designs she has, and I admire her skill level. She is truly a master. Another store I like is “Majika Perfumery”. Make sure if you stop to smell the scent “Vampire.” “Devonshire Apothecary” has not only some of the best smelling bath products, but they also have the friendliest people working at the store.
If you are looking for a fun weekend out of the house, or something to entertain the kids, a renaissance festival is a safe bet. And the Kansas City Renaissance Festival is one of the better ones that I’ve been to. There is truly something for everyone, and chances are high that you will not regret it.