If you’re looking to trying something new, or if you’ve ever dreamed of stepping back into medieval times, you can do it for an entire weekend at Scarborough Renaissance Festival in Waxahachie, Texas. As one of the largest Renaissance-themed festivals in the country, this festival is taking place from April 4 to May 25, 2020, and makes for a fun weekend getaway for everyone in the family or even just a group of friends.
Even if you don’t know much about medieval history, you’ll be able to learn all about it at the festival. You can watch a jousting competition (a medieval-style duel on horseback), as well as birds-of-prey exhibitions, and sword fighting. Artisans also demonstrate crafts from the era, including glassblowing, blacksmithing, and armor tooling, while retail therapy is guaranteed with more than 200 stalls selling anything from jewelry, clothing, and pottery to leather goods and toys.
You’ll also be able to choose from more than 200 performances each day, including acrobats, jugglers, Renaissance instrumental music, and country dancing. Members of the Scarborough Academy of Performing Arts play different period-specific characters – the queen, king, courtiers, peasants, and knights – roaming the grounds to interact with visitors and taking part in the daily Grande Parade at 1 pm.
There are activities for kids as well, like a petting zoo, a daily knighting ceremony, pony rides, a carousel, themed swings, face painting, and hair braiding.
Eat Like Royalty
As for sustenance, the five food courts and specialty food carts should provide enough. The festival’s signature dish is giant roasted turkey legs, while other offerings include Scottish eggs, shepherd’s pie, meat pies, handmade pasta, and practically anything that can be served on a stick (like corn dogs). There are gluten-free and vegan food options as well. At the 12 onsite pubs and taverns – with fitting names like King’s Pub, Ale House, Hogshead, or Rose and Crown – Adults can indulge in daily wine and beer tastings.
What You Need to Know
The Renaissance Festival takes places every weekend in April and May, including Memorial Day. The setting is a 35-acre, 16th-century English village and is minutes away from downtown Waxahachie, with on-site parking, first aid, water fountains, and restrooms.
The best time to arrive is as soon as it opens at 10 am – the festival takes place rain or shine, so pack rain boots just in case. Although there are ATMs available, bring cash for games, rides, food, etc., and you can either bring your own costume or rent one on the premises. Be as whimsical and playful as you want – no one’s judging.
Visitors come from all over Texas and Oklahoma to this event. To give you an idea about distances, Austin is two and a half hours away, San Antonio is a little over four hours away, both Houston and Oklahoma City are three and a half, and while Dallas/Fort Worth is only 45 minutes away.
Our favorite place to stay while spending the weekend in medieval times at the Scarborough Renaissance Festival is the Hampton Inn & Suites Waxahachie. Just a short drive away from the festival grounds, the Hampton Inn provides comfy beds, free breakfast, and premium WiFi for those moments you need to come back into modern-day time.