From chivalrous knights and tankards of ale to handmade wares in the enchanted artisan marketplace and performers taking over a dozen stages, the Florida Renaissance Festival, which turns 32 this year, is a treasure trove of fun experiences, delicious eats, and so much more. 

Beginning February 3 and running for eight consecutive weekends until March 24, Quiet Waters Park in Deerfield Beach is transformed into a 16th-century town teeming with costumed guests for the long-running celebration that attracts people from near and far. 

Whether the fair is an annual tradition or a brand-new experience, here is everything visitors need to know about this family-friendly annual event.

When Can You Go

Florida Renaissance Festival

The renowned Florida Renaissance Festival is taking over Quiet Waters Park for eight themed weekends from 10 a.m. to sunset. The festival dates are Feb. 3 to 4, Feb. 10 to 11, Feb. 17 to 18, Feb. 24 to 25, March 2 to 3, March 9 to 10, March 16 to 17, and March 23 to 24.  

For those traveling from out of town for the special event, check out Greater Fort Lauderdale’s diverse hotel options, from family-friendly (and pet-friendly) beach hotels to luxury resorts near the park grounds. While visiting, check out the local restaurant scene and other area attractions

Entertainment for the Entire Family

Florida Renaissance Festival

Between live demonstrations and shows, interactive games (some involving water), and rides, there’s something for everyone in the family at Renaissance Festival. Play games of chance and skill that challenge both young and old alike, such as archery, Jacob’s Ladder, Royal Darts, making wax hands, throwing produce at the Tomato Torture, climbing the King’s Rock Tower, and the Jester’s Jup Bungee Jump. A note: games, and rides are not included in the festival entry fee and must be purchased separately.

Daily 16th-century-style demonstrations include battles between knights, cannon firings from the H.M. Royal Artillery, projectiles flying from a trebuchet, and glassblowing. Get lost in the era's excitement while making modern-day memories with loved ones.

Florida Renaissance Festival

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.

If shopping is your favorite pastime, you’ll find one-of-a-kind items here — the Merchants of Brittany will set up shop selling everything 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, and gasp in awe at the sword swallower performing multiple times per day.

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 from a dozen vendors serving up meals like meat pies and Polish sausage, fast food items such as hamburgers, hot dogs and fries, and Greek and Latin cuisine. Craving something sweet? Choose among giant cookies, cotton candy, caramel and candy apples, snow cones or strudel from eight vendors appeasing everyone’s sweet tooth.

Wash down each meal or snack with an ice-cold glass of cider or beer, or perhaps a frozen cocktail or mead. Non-alcoholic options include smoothies, magical (color-changing) lemonade, and a variety of coffee drinks.

Tickets, Parking & More

Florida Renaissance Festival

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.

Prices range from $32 for adults and $14 for children (ages 6 to 11 years of age). Children 5 and younger are free. Special seasonal passes are available for $160 (adults) and $70 (children). Group ticket rates are also offered but must be purchased in person at the box-office only. Pub Crawl tickets are also available for $38 for adults 21 and older. 

Parking is $1.50 per vehicle and VIP parking is available for $25. Avoid standing in line at the box office line by buying ahead of time, online.

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.