By Lauryn Starke and Hallie Millstein
Leave your worries in the past—or should we say the future?—and travel back in time to 16th-century England. The New York Renaissance Faire returns to the Hudson Valley for its 45th year of whimsy and fun for the whole family.
For seven weekends from August 27 – October 9 (including Labor Day), visitors can relax and rejoice in a quaint Renaissance-era village in Tuxedo alongside fairies, pirates, knights, and maidens. Featured guests will include Robin Hood and his Merry Men as well as Queen Elizabeth I herself, so don’t forget to dress for the occasion in your Renaissance best.
Stroll through the charming marketplace and shop for art, accessories, and other oddities to bring home a little piece of the past. The Faire features over 125 artisans skilled in the ancient crafts of glassblowing, blacksmithing, candle making, and more. Hear your fortune from the King’s Oracle, have your hair woven into beautiful plaits like a forest fairy, or save up your shillings to purchase a custom-made sword worthy of the Round Table.
Many colorful characters reside in the fantasy village, bringing the town to life with their performances. Watch in amazement as entertainers swallow swords, juggle fire, and perform other daredevil feats that leave audiences on the edge of their seats. For something less dangerous—but equally thrilling—laugh at a jester’s comedic acts or let yourself become spellbound by a magician’s spell. The main event is the full-contact joust that truly transports Faire-goers to the past as noble knights compete for honor and glory in this modern take on an old-timey sport.
Between shows, chow down on classic Faire food like turkey legs, bangers and mash, and chocolate-dipped fruits. Although there may not have been vegans in yesteryear, the Ren Faire offers plenty of options for vegans, vegetarians, and all lords and ladies with dietary restrictions. Wash it all down with a hearty jug of mead or a refreshing Italian soda at one of the festival’s many taverns and inns.
Speaking of drinks, the Renaissance Faire’s legendary Pub Crawl commences thrice daily. Join a rambunctious crew of pub crawlers for an afternoon of merriment as you sample beverages from the shire’s finest taverns.
For the little lads and ladies, the Faire has Boffer Wars, where knights-in-training can sharpen their sword-fighting skills and become heroes of the land. After their epic battle, settle the kids down at the Storybook Stage with fanciful tales told by princesses, puppets, and pirates.
Tickets and additional information are available on the New York Renaissance Faire website.