We visited the Bristol Renaissance Faire recently with our three kids and here’s what we thought.
The last time we visited one was in Michigan before Ellie could even crawl. Since then, we added two more littles to the bunch. They all have opinions and fast legs. This time we had a 17-month-old, a three-year-old and a five-year-old. It was a whole different experience. Our toddler doesn’t sit still for very long. He wanted to run and touch everything, but luckily he was okay once he was strapped in a stroller. The girls didn’t even complain until the very end about how tired they were. I’d call that a huge success! Here’s our takeaway after visiting the Bristol Renaissance Faire.
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The entertainment was plentiful.
Shows, shops, food and characters in costumes. The kids weren’t quite as into everything as we were. The leisurely stroll we experienced at our last Renaissance Faire was a world away. We had a lot of fun, don’t get me wrong, but our day was broken into small walks with numerous bathroom trips, snack breaks and stroller swapping. The kids enjoyed the fresh air and had a pretty great time.
What you can’t miss
We actually managed to make it all the way around the Bristol Renaissance Faire, seeing everything along the way (even if only in flashes) and here’s what we loved the most:
- There was a shop that let you pay $5 for a cute little treasure chest and the kids got to fill it up with pirate booty (plastic gold coins, colorful stones, and shells.) To our kids, this was by far the best part of the whole day! They still play with their treasure a week later.
- The food! There are so many options. Yes, they have chicken tenders for the kids.
- The playground. There’s a little corner full of pirate ship playgrounds and little hobbit houses (no you can’t go into them but they’re adorable.) They even have a storytime, but our kids wouldn’t sit still for it.
- The costumes. If you have money to spare, the costume shops are amazing. We enjoyed looking through the beautiful outfits, but didn’t buy any. Maybe next year.
- They have real bathrooms, not just port-a-potties. Running water, flushing toilets, the whole shebang! The last Ren Faire we went to did not.
- There’s a petting zoo! The kids loved this, and the lady was so sweet. For a couple bucks you can get a cup of food for the animals.
- There are rides, but a lot of them have height minimums and maximums. Our oldest two were too big for a few, but we did find one that was similar to a carousel that they loved.
Tips to make the best of your day
- You can buy tickets ahead of time at Menards. You get discounted rates and can skip the lines once you’re there.
- Bring cash. The food places only accept cash. I think some of the shops accepted credit, but not all.
- If you have young kids, bring a stroller or a wagon. This one would be perfect because it’s all-terrain. I couldn’t imagine how the day would’ve gone without these. It wouldn’t have been pretty.
- Bring water bottles. We have years of experience using these Thermos bottles for the kids. They work wonderfully and keep the water cold. Each person is allowed to bring a water bottle. There are water fountains by the bathrooms to refill them. Water bottles at the food stands cost $4!
It was a lot of work to go to the Bristol Renaissance Faire with kids, but it’s worth doing at least once. Nothing there is cheap, though, so plan ahead. I hope this helps you plan for your adventure! For more from us, check out our blog here and find out who we are here.