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Pennsylvania Renaissance Faire Information and Review 

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Pocono Raceway   Hickory Run State Park PA Renaissance Faire

What is the Pennsylvania Renaissance Faire?

The Pennsylvania Renaissance Faire is a magical event for kids of all ages.  The Faire, which started in 1980, has developed from a two-day jousting festival to a extensive production that spans 12 weekends.  The Renaissance Faire has more than a quarter of a million of guests that travel to experience the magic.  It is located on Route 72, in the Mount Hope Estate & Winery, which is 15 miles north of Lancaster, PA and 13 miles east of Hershey.

I have been to the Renaissance Faire many times with my children and I find it to be a wonderful event.  It is a great way to spend the day in a family-friendly environment.  There are plenty of activities and attractions to keep everyone entertained. 

Pennsylvania Renaissance Faire Attractions?

Once you step through the massive castle gates at this faire you are transported back in time over 400 years to 16th century England. Admission gives you access to thirty-five acres filled with over 100 colorfully costumed characters, authentic Tudor buildings, musical performances, Shakespearean plays, a Human Chess set, Jousting, magicians, jugglers, fire breathers, period foods, and Renaissance merchants. The Faire has over 90 stage shows daily on 13 stages including a replica of Shakespeare's Globe Theater.  The Ultimate Joust is held in the largest joust arena in North America.

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The thing that is most impressive about the Faire is that while you are there you are not just an observer but an active participant throughout the day.  The friendly and entertaining actors in period costumes, including Queen Elizabeth I, roam the area interacting with the guests and they never once step out of character.   All along the streets of the Shire the interactive theater is alive with song, swordplay, and performances.  In addition, you will also find guests, young and old who attend the faire dressed in costume. It is a great deal of fun to interact with the actors.

The kids will enjoy watching the medieval games of skill such as axe throwing, and the bow and arrow events. Guests can also enjoy a petting zoo, man-powdered rides, elephant rides and a maze.  There may be an additional fee ranging between $1 and $3 for these events.

The highlight of the day for most is the Ultimate Joust where guests enjoy the thrill of the event while cheering for their knight to win. Two jousting exhibitions occur daily at 2 pm and 6 pm.  These events draw a very big audience so go to the area early to get a good seat to enjoy the best view.

With 90 stage shows daily It is important plan your day.   A complete schedule of the events, a site map and vendor coupons can be found in the Elizabethan Times which can be picked up just inside the castle gates.

 

Renaissance Faire Food...

Along with the wonderful sights and sounds there are 22 Royal Eateries where you can get some traditional favorites.  You don't want to miss the giant smoked turkey legs which are a major attraction in themselves.  Steak-on-a-stake, fish-n-chips, soup in a bread bowl, brick oven pizza, grilled chicken, chicken nuggets, and fries can be found on the menu as well.  For your sweet tooth you will find fresh baked goods, ice cream, soft pretzels and other goodies.  You are not permitted to bring food or drinks (other than water) on to the Faire grounds.  

Hours of Operation

The Renaissance Faire is open on Saturdays, Sundays and Labor Day from the second weekend in August through the third week in October. Hours are from 11 am - 8pm.  The event is held rain or shine.

WEBSITE:  http://www.parenfaire.com/

Things To Bring On Your Trip To The Faire

The Renaissance Faire requires a great deal of walking on both paved and gravel paths.  The setting does not have a lot of shade so it can get hot.  Guests should wear comfortable shoes, sunglasses, and sunscreen. If you are visiting on weekends getting close to daylight savings time and you plan to stay until closing consider bringing a flashlight to help navigate the parking lots.  Although drinking fountains are available you may want to bring water. 

How to Pay

Cash, and Travelers checks, as well as Visa and Master Card are accepted for ticket purchase and in most shops.  Food merchants do not usually accept Visa and Master Card so be sure to bring cash.

Costume Discount

A discount  is offered to adults that visit the Faire in period or themed costumes.

Admission, Tickets and Parking

A single day admission ticket for adults for the 2010 season is  $24.95 and $9.95 for children.  A season pass, which includes admission for 25 days, a meet and greet with performers and special coupons, is approximately $100.00 for adults, and $45.00 for children.  Children between the ages of 5 -11 qualify for child pricing. 

Due to the fact that prices may change please visit the official  Renaissance Faire Website for ticket prices.

All ticket sales are final.  There are no refunds, exchanges or cancellations.  

Tickets are available in advance on their Website  or can be purchased at the door. Advance purchase is recommended to avoid long lines at the gate.

The Renaissance Faire has ample on-site, free parking.

College Student Discount

Check the calendar because discounts are given to local college students.  You can receive $10 off the ticket price when you show your school ID during your college's weekend at the Faire.  Click here for the official college weekend schedule.

Themed Weekends

Be sure to check their official website for scheduled events.  The Faire runs themed weekends that are very popular.   These events include:

  • Scottish Weekend with bagpipes, men in kilts and Highland games.

  • Irish Weekend where you will find Irish music and dancing, potato races and Irish culture.

  • Oktoberfest will allow you to dance the polka and participate in the bar Olympics.

  • Children's Fantasy Weekend allow the tots to have cake with the queen, enjoy Renaissance crafts and participate in a treasure hunt.

  • Heroes of the Realm is where Her Majesty recognizes all members of the military, as well as police, fire fighters and emergency medical techs.

  • Pyrate Invasion Weekend allows you to enjoy a pirate's life.

  • Halloween Daze & Spooky Nights allows the kids to trick or treat in the Shire.  This event lasts for three weekends.  Costume contest for children as well as adults in home-fashioned costumes

Historically the events that draw the most crowds include Pyrate Invasion, Scottish and Irish weekends and the Halloween weekends.

Directions

Directions to the Pennsylvania Renaissance Faire can be found on their General Information Page.