From Shakesperian plays and a pirate treasure hunt to handmade jewelry and live glass blowing demonstrations, the Florida Renaissance Festival, which turns 30 this year, is a treasure trove of fun experiences, delicious eats, and so much more.
The festival was canceled in 2021 due to COVID-19 but is back again in 2022. Between February and March, Quiet Waters Park in Deerfield Beach is a 16th-century town filled with costumed guests for the long-running celebration that attracts people from all over.
Whether you attend every year or this is your first time, here is everything you need to know about this family-friendly annual event.
When Can You Go
The Florida Renaissance Festival is taking over Quiet Waters Park for seven themed weekends between 10 a.m. to sunset, Feb. 5-March 20.
If you’re traveling to town for the special event, check out the area’s diverse lodging options, from family-friendly (and pet-friendly) beach hotels to luxury resorts near the park grounds. While in town, check out the local restaurant scene and other area attractions.
Entertainment for the Entire Family
Between live demonstrations and shows, interactive games (some involving water), and rides, there’s something for everyone in the family at Ren-Fest.
Test your aim in archery or ax throwing, try to find your way out of a maze, or fly high on a bungee trampoline or zipline. For some friendly competition, hop on a kayak and join a pirate treasure hunt on the lake to win the ultimate prize.
Daily 16th-century-style demonstrations include live steel fighting, cannon firings, and glass-blowing. Get a feel for what life was like back then while making modern-day memories with loved ones.
Every day of the festival features live music and stage plays. A quartet of musicians called The Reelin’ Rogues will perform Celtic hymns and other traditional music for attendees. A one-man act will retell (with a twist) the famous stories of William Shakespeare, including “Romeo & Juliet.” And you don't want to miss The Pirates of Tortuga Bay, a swashbuckling crew performing an adventurous tale on a shipwreck-style stage.
The whole family will enjoy Dragons The Gathering, the world’s largest touring display of robotic dragons and a new attraction at this year’s Ren-Fest. More than a dozen monstrous dragons from myths of many cultures — from Persian winged lions to Mexican feathered serpents — will be roaring, slithering, flapping, and singing at the Fair.
If shopping is your favorite pastime, you’ll find one-of-a-kind items here — from handmade jewelry and renaissance-style attire to wooden swords and fairy wings. Complete your medieval look with a henna tattoo or a hair braid, two services offered at the festival.
Medieval-Style Ale & Grub
Food and drink aren’t in short supply at this renaissance party featuring vendors to appease every taste bud.
Enjoy old-world dishes like meat pies and polish sausage, fast food items, including hamburgers, hot dogs and fries, and Greek and Latin cuisine. If you're craving something sweet, choose between kettle corn, funnel cake, caramel apples, and churros.
Wash down your meal or snack with an ice-cold glass of cider or beer, or perhaps a frozen cocktail or mead. Non-alcoholic options include smoothies, lemonade, and a variety of coffee drinks.
Tickets, Parking & More
If you plan on attending the festival, event organizers recommend purchasing tickets ahead of time online as they predict tickets will sell out fast. Tickets are also available for purchase at the on-site box office.
You can choose between a one-day ticket or a season pass (which comes with fun extras like discounted VIP parking). There’s also a group rate for parties over 20. Fun add-ons include a pub crawl and VIP parking. General parking is free at Quiet Waters Park.
You may wear renaissance-style costumes to the event, and closed-toed shoes or sneakers are recommended.
Once you’ve selected an outfit, rally your family and friends for an adventure filled with pirates, knights, and plenty of pixie dust at Ren-Fest.