This last weekend we went to the Arizona Renaissance Festival. It was my first time going here- growing up in southern Utah we had Renaissance stuff every Summer so I had a general idea of what it'd be like. The Arizona Renaissance Festival is a big event that lasts 2 months here. Open only on the weekends it's like a renaissance theme park. Sort of.
So here's the low down-
You pay to get into the festival. Adults are $22 and children are $12. You can find some coupons and discounts on tickets though- for example if you get your tickets at Fry's grocery store they're $20 & $10. The festival also does promotions occasionally like buy a adult get a kid free, or bring a book and get a free kids ticket, etc. Check their website for current specials.
I made costumes for our family to wear, which added to the fun of going to a place like this.
So what do you do once you go inside? Well there are lots of shows for entertainment that are free. And throughout the festival there are performers that will entertain you and your kids (and sometimes suggest you tip them) My kids had a lot of fun with this guy- he had them toss balls and rings to him and he juggled them. He didn't talk at all- just used a kazoo and gestures to tell them what to do, it was cute.
The food was pretty good. Expensive, but you also get large portions. We got 2 turkey legs, 2 taco salads and a shepherd's pie to share between the 7 of us and it was plenty! We had leftovers that the kids snacked on later.
There's a really good bakery right by the entrance that had large cookies for $1 each- it was a perfect treat as we were leaving the festival.
If you're planning on going to the festival- plan on bringing and spending a lot of money. We took $100 cash and it was gone pretty quickly. Every ride/slide/etc costs money. That was the one thing I didn't like. Even with $100 after getting lunch we had enough money for each of the kids to go down the slide once ($2/kid) and the 4 oldest kids jumped on the high jumping trampoline ($6/kid). As much as they loved doing both and wanted to do them again we just couldn't justify the price.
The shows were pretty fun to watch, so if you can distract your kids from all the things that cost money you'll have a fun entertaining trip. Be careful though- not all of the shows are "kid friendly". We watched the fire whip show and as awesome as it was there were a few off color and adult only jokes he said throughout it that we could have done without our kids hearing.