4 Reasons to Visit the Renaissance Festival

The Renaissance Festival is Super Unique

In 2021, the Renaissance Festival celebrates its 50th anniversary in Shakopee, Minnesota. The Renaissance Festival features a 16th-century European-style village with 16 stages of entertainment, more than 250 vendors with handcrafted items, a wide variety of food, local beer and cocktails, and so much more. After visiting the Renaissance Festival many times over the years, here are some key things I’ve learned:

  • Go during off-peak days and hours. It’s always better to walk around the grounds with lighter crowds, wait in shorter lines for food and get a better seat for the entertainment. But the biggest difference is the long line of cars that forms around the block as you try to enter the parking lot. There have been times where we’ve sat in our car waiting to enter the parking lot for 45 minutes.
  • Wear comfortable close-toed shoes. You’ll spend hours walking around the grounds which are mostly dirt, or mud if it’s recently rained. Not only will your feet get tired in uncomfortable sandals, but they’ll get very dirty and dusty. Also, don’t wear clean new sneakers that you don’t want to getting dusty.
  • Wear a hat or bring sunscreen. There aren’t any trees or many opportunities to find shade at the Renaissance Festival. Wear a baseball cap or bring sunblock so you don’t burn. Sunglasses are also great too.

1. The Entertainment

The entertainment and live performances are one of the best parts of the Renaissance Festival. One of my favorites is the Danger Committee, and they’ve even been on America’s Got Talent. There’s also a lot of live music, street acts, jousting, belly dancing, people juggling with fire, walking on tightropes, and more.

2. The Activities

If you’ve watched enough performances and now you want to get in on the action, there are plenty of options for that! You can ride an elephant or camel, take a ride on a pirate ship, go zip lining, try jousting or ax throwing. You can also play a game of giant chess, go rock climbing, visit the petting zoo, get your hair braided or your face painted.

3. The Food

You’ll definitely want to go to the Renaissance Festival hungry. My favorite things to eat are the giant turkey leg, cheese curds, and chocolate-dipped strawberries. You’ll also find burgers, deep-fried PB&J, ice cream, popcorn, and cotton candy. And there’s no shortage of beverages to wash it all down. Enjoy local beer, specialty cocktails, or wine.

4. The Shopping

Be sure to check out the many shops scattered around the grounds. I love looking at all the beautiful pieces of jewelry and gorgeous pottery. You’ll also see ornamental garden items, impressive woodwork, blown glass, hair accessories, beautiful writing pens, and more.

The Renaissance Festival is a Blast

The Minnesota Renaissance Festival is a unique way to step back in time. You’ll encounter costumed characters, liked peasants, royal courtiers, and nobles. Be sure to check out the calendar for special themed weekends and events. The Renaissance Festival typically runs from late August through early October and it’s a good time!

Looking for more inspiration? Check out my blog posts on the Minnesota State Fair, Ruttger’s Bay Lake Resort and 12 Unmissable Things to Do in Mantorville.


  • Josy A

    Heh! Those buildings look like a Disney version of Europe, but this looks like great fun anyway!! I would have been tempted by the giant turkey leg too; There is something so medieval about munching on meat like that! 🙂

    The entertainment looks like the best bit. That must have been so nice after a year and a half of covid-19!!

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