While the Midwest is often considered the “Flyover States” by the rest the country, we’re here to tell you Kansas City has an abundance of possibilities for those who visit. One of the most joyous experiences for locals and visitors alike, is the Kansas City Renaissance Festival. The Ren Faire is a much anticipated festival that occurs in September and October and offers everything from fantasy, exotic entertainment, great food, and music.
For those looking to fly their freak flag, experience life during the Medieval Ages, or grab a smoked turkey leg, the KC Ren Fest is one that will not disappoint.
What is the first thing that comes to mind while walking around the Renaissance Festival grounds? Costumes! While wearing your own costume to the festival is optional, you will be surrounded by volunteers and employees of the Faire who are fully decked out in Renaissance and Medieval era threads. While folks try to stick to those eras, there is a lot of creative freedom – you can run into a Viking or a barbarian, a Steampunk satyr, or a man covered head to toe in mud. Yes, mud.
If you are feeling the FOMO (fear of missing out), there is a costume rental station at the front of the grounds. The options are limitless! Channel your inner wench, your pirate alter-ego, or even a mystical pixie!
If you aren’t one to wear costumes, never fear, there are plenty of folks around to people watch and enjoy their outfits. All are welcome.
Did I mention turkey legs? Yes, the smoked turkey legs are the most popular item available and they are well worth the line. Walk around the festival holding your turkey leg like a chivalrous knight after winning a jousting competition.
Not feeling very knightly? The food options at the festival are endless! You can find fried vegetables, chicken tenders, soup in bread bowls and delicious candied pecans. There are also several alcoholic beverage options as well – anything from mead to KC Boulevard stouts.
Food vendors accept credit and debit cards; a convenience that can prevent the stress of not being able to pay for the delicious treats available.
Have you ever been serenaded by a group of Scottish singers and bagpipers in kilts? Seen four fully armored knights bludgeon each other with axes and swords? Observed two Medieval gentlemen challenge each other to a duel in the middle of a crowd? You will be entertained one way or another at the Kansas City Renaissance Festival.
The costumes you see usually come with characters who are there to amuse you with their fake British accents and lots of “Thou arts” and “Thy will, sires.” Some of the characters roaming on site are silly, adventurous, or just plain weird. You could be stalked by a man completely covered in black garments and a bird skull for a face for 20 feet. You don’t realize your being followed until you see the other folks snickering and pointing behind you. It is all in good fun though and if you or your kiddo isn’t enjoying the playfulness of the entertainers, they will leave you alone.
There are many group singers, musicians, and dancers around the grounds who are very talented. You can purchase their CDs, give them a nice tip for their skill, or just dance along. There are many shows of magicians, jugglers, story tellers, and fire breathers. Thou art will be entertained!
For those who want to be fully immersed in the Ren Faire world, look no further. The Enchanted Forest and Mermaid Cove is the perfect place to experience the “otherworldly” side of Renaissance and Medieval era myth and lore. Fairies, pixies, satyrs, fauns, mermaids, and many other Fae prance around the Enchanted Forest. You can take a picture with these winged folks or compete in the Fairy house contest by entering your own homemade fairy house.
The Enchanted Forest is draped in all things mystical and nature-based, so it truly feels like walking into another world. If you are bit by the Fae bug, stop by one of the vendors selling prosthetic fairy or satyr ears and horns so you can start your own costume! You don’t have to be a child to enjoy your own imagination at Ren Fest, so run with it!
The vendors who get the opportunity to sell at the KC Renaissance festival are truly talented – try not to buy everything, I dare you.
You can find anything from handmade leather bags, corsets, mail outfits, or sticks of incense. Some of the artists who sell prints or paintings have so much to offer. There are also plenty of smaller items for kids like wistful streamers and hula hoops or getting their hair braided, and face painted.
There are also items you can pay to make like candle making or creating your own fragrance oil blend. Don’t be surprised if you see someone walking around carrying a small bonsai tree or swinging parachute chair.
If you’re ready for ye olde goode time, the Kansas City Renaissance Festival is a place to experience laughter and silliness. Bring your wallet, because you will want to fully experience the faire. Most importantly, bring your smile and an open mind.
For all things Ren Fest, check out their website here.
If you find yourself in the neighborhood and want a little more Kansas City fun, check out what to do in Kansas City with the family
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