Escape to Another Time in Your Own Backyard Explore the Magic of the Arizona Renaissance Festival

Did you ever wonder what it was like to experience a jousting tournament or maybe try on attire from a few centuries ago? Well, if so, you are in luck as you can experience all of this and more at the Arizona Renaissance Festival located southeast of Apache Junction on US HWY 60. For this adventure, we will discover everything that this 50-acre festival has to offer.


Arizona Renaissance Festival


On an absolutely beautiful February weekend day, thousands of local residents and out-of-town visitors converged onto an area of Pinal County to all share in the experience of a true by-gone era, the Renaissance.  Come rekindle some amazing memories as we check  out the Arizona Renaissance Festival.


 What is the Renaissance Festival?


For those that are new to the area of have never experienced a Renaissance Festival, it is a one-of-a-kind experience that blends together games, retail shops, various food offerings, live demonstrations, music, and other entertainment, all in one, large outdoor festival. While there are several Renaissance Festivals throughout the country, there is only one such festival in the Phoenix metro area and we are so fortunate for it to be right in our backyard.

Specifically, this two-month long outdoor festival contains a plethora of offerings mainly revolving around the Medieval and Renaissance time-period including: 16 stages that host a variety of live acts, historical music and mini plays, 18 vendors delivering a fresh assortment of food and drinks, over 20 different rides and gaming stations for attendees to try their luck, and well over 100 retail shops that provide something for everyone to help memorialize their trip.


Medieval Festival Apache Junction


Tell Me About the Food


On your trip to the Arizona Renaissance Festival, be sure to come hungry and bring cash. Yes, all of the food and beverage stands are cash only booths, but good news, there are several ATMs conveniently placed around the entire property.  Just like the ATMs, the various food and beverage stands are located throughout the festival grounds. There are many offerings for all taste buds including turkey legs, chicken, pizza, soups, and deli sandwiches. Got a sweet tooth, well don’t be surprised to see several chocolate stands filled with chocolate dipped fruit and even a couple of coffee bars that sell cookies, croissants and other baked goods.


Escape to Another Time in Your Own Backyard Explore the Magic of the Arizona Renaissance Festival


While visiting, I had several family members with me and we all purchased various items throughout the day and tried each other’s tasty treats. Everything was spectacular and delicious. In case you need a reprieve from all of the shopping, walking, and enjoying the festival, there are several picnic tables and even covered eating areas to sit and relax. Also note, there are signs while entering the festival grounds that no outside food and drinks are allowed – that includes water. Bottled water is available for purchase at nearly every food and beverage vendor.


Full Of Food? Go Check Out the Games, Shops, and Live Acts


If you are looking for a great laugh or to learn more about the crafts of the Renaissance era, then you have come to the right place. With 16 stages scattered throughout the festival grounds, be sure to stop, sit, and take in the huge variety of acts and music. One stage we visited was The Tortuga Twins which included a lot of great jokes, singing, and audience interaction.


The Tortuga Twins Apache Junction live performance


Another smaller stage encompassed a harp player where the musician covered beautiful songs composed centuries ago. I recommend utilizing all of your senses while exploring the Arizona Renaissance Festival as there are so many talented singers and musicians who added to the ambience of this timeless day.


Medieval Harp


Every step a guest takes within the festival grounds will bring a new experience. It is impressive to see an actual blacksmith making swords and daggers, an artist making hand-blown glass, and a potter making small dragon figurines. In fact, after chatting with the potter, I learned that he and his wife travel the country to other Renaissance Festivals to help spread their craft and sell one-of-a-kind pieces.  They mentioned that they are originally from Minnesota and appreciate the beautiful Arizona temperatures compared to the much colder temperatures back home.  One major point they brought up is that all of the vendors are individual entrepreneurs so the proceeds from purchasing a gift or a memento goes right back to the small business owners.


Escape to Another Time in Your Own Backyard Explore the Magic of the Arizona Renaissance Festival


After shopping for a bit, it was time to try our luck at a few of the games. A couple of my family members played a game that tested both their strength and hand-eye coordination, the Catapulting Frogs!  For this particular game, a rubber frog gets put on the edge of a catapult and the participant needs to hit the other end of the catapult with a hammer. Once the hammer hits the catapult, watch the rubber frog fly into the air and hopefully lands into one of the baskets. My family members both got a couple of frogs into the baskets and won a cute prize.


Escape to Another Time in Your Own Backyard Explore the Magic of the Arizona Renaissance Festival


Make Way for the Princesses and Knights


One of the main reasons to attend the Arizona Renaissance Festival is not to just have fun, it’s to dress up! Both staffers and attendees go deep into their closets to pull out the fanciest garments to show off their styles and, in some cases, their sewing talents as the costumes add to the lure of this unforgettable day.  In case festival goers do not have such a garment, then browse the many shops throughout the grounds to find a suitable gown or a hat for the lads.


Escape to Another Time in Your Own Backyard Explore the Magic of the Arizona Renaissance Festival


Some festival goers take their outfit to the next level as there were several sightings of knights in full amor and another person that was literally a tree! At some point in the day, everyone may get the feeling that they are literally back in time given the historical garments and the historical-looking structures in the background.

Overall, the Arizona Renaissance Festival is a special place highlighting a unique period in human history. There are so many things to buy, stages to be entertained, food to try and games to play that you cannot find anywhere else in the Phoenix metro area. So go explore the festival grounds as it runs through the end of March. If you miss it this year, don’t fret as it will be back next year starting in February.


Escape to Another Time in Your Own Backyard Explore the Magic of the Arizona Renaissance Festival

  • February 26, 2024
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  • Adventure , Outdoor
  • Comments Off on Escape to Another Time in Your Own Backyard Explore the Magic of the Arizona Renaissance Festival

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