Yesterday was the official kick off for our homeschool history studies this year. Yes, we've been back at the books for two weeks and doing history through all of that. It's been good. Our kick off had to wait because the event didn't begin until this week - a Renaissance Festival! Each weekend in September and October the action happens about 2 hours from our home. We had a grand adventure filling in our mental picture of things outside of our experience - swords, armor, knights, Vikings and pirates. We heard many people speaking in character and interacted with them.
There are some challenges that come with being a large family and the cost of tickets for events is one of those. Tickets to get in would run close to $120 for our family. You are not allowed to bring any food or drinks into the park so there is a cost of water and food that is easily more than the cost of tickets. We've learned to look for special opportunities and the Renaissance Festival has one that is perfect - opening weekend kids 12 and under get in free and adult tickets are buy 1 get 1 free. We were able to get in for under $44 for the 11 of us. We packed a large cooler of food and drinks and other than some water purchased in the park we were set. We took a break partway through our day to go out to the van and eat.
There was so much to see and explore and I took zero pictures. I swiped these pictures from my husband and my mom (grandma and grandpa came along for the adventure). There were shows to watch, hundreds of people wandering the festival in costume and in character, activities to do, and shops to explore.
If you ask my children what their favorite thing from the day was you get many answers but there were several repeated mentions. The top event to them was the live joust. Really, who can resist a trial at arms? The knights performed several feats of skill before jousting.
You could even get up close and see their horses throughout the day.
At one point we got to see the parade of characters, including the queen on her way to the joust. The costumes were amazing!
The shops had everything from real weapons and armor to jewelry, books, clothing, and costumes. We had fun playing instruments in one shop. Kids did sword fighting in another. There was a blacksmith working and many other wonderful things to see.
The show that was my children's favorite was the pirate comedy show. It was truly hilarious! They were having a competition to decide who would become the first mate on the next voyage.
Tomorrow we dive back into our medieval studies with a but stronger mental image of things like swords, archery, knights, Vikings, pirates, and so on. It's going to be a fun year!