How to have the best day ever at the Carolina Renaissance Festival

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This post is brought to you in partnership with the Carolina Renaissance Festival. All opinions are our own.

The Carolina Renaissance Festival is in full swing, and it’s time to start thinking about how to plan the perfect visit. We teamed up with the Festival to provide you with a step-by-step guide to an amazing time.

Step one: get discounted tickets.

The Festival offers great ways to save with discounted tickets. Check out any regional Harris Teeter store, which carries discounted tickets to the festival, or purchase discounted tickets online. Of course, tickets are available at the front gate as well. There are savings for senior citizens and revelers with military IDs, and children under five are free! This weekend, all children receive free admission for the Halloween Daze and Spooky Knights event.

If you want to take a guided tour of the Festival’s craft beers and brews, make sure you purchase tickets to the Pub Crawl in advance. These tickets include the price of admission. Already bought your general admission tickets? No problem. You can purchase pub crawl tickets with the price of general admission discounted by entering the code HAVETICKET.

Step two: decide what to wear.

The Carolina Renaissance Festival is all about crowd participation. Don’t be afraid to unleash your inner 16th-century self and come decked out as a medieval knight, page or town crier. This weekend is the Halloween Daze and Spooky Knights event, so there will be special prizes awarded to costumers who stand out from the crowd.

Of course, you can come to the Festival in your normal clothes as well. But why not try dressing up in medieval regalia in a place that welcomes that creativity? Don’t own a costume? You can rent one from the Belrose Costume Rental Shop located outside the village gates.

Step three: plan to arrive early.

You don’t want to miss any of the special, time-sensitive events that go on at the Carolina Renaissance Festival: like the Opening Gate Show at 9:30 a.m. or the Queen’s Court Morning Agenda at 10:30. Arriving early also means that you will beat the crowd for up-front parking.

To help you arrive on time, the Carolina Renaissance Festival has extensive directions online. No matter where you are coming from, you can find your way to the merriment.

Step four: find your favorite food.

The Festival is stuffed to the gills with delicious delicacies for the whole family. Find amazing breakfast foods at places like The Waffle and Crepe Inn or The Cottage Bakery. Chow down on enormous turkey legs or sausage-on-a-stick at The King’s Kitchen, The Queen’s Kitchen or The Lancer’s Kitchen.

Plus, there are several roaming carts throughout the Festival where you can buy melt-in-your-mouth pretzels, pickles, jerky and beer.

Step five: make sure not to miss these shows.

First-timers at the Carolina Renaissance Festival might become overwhelmed upon seeing the size and scope of the entertainment on offer. There are so many performers and so many fun games and activities that it is impossible to do everything in one day.

But don’t let that worry you! Circle some of the events that seem the most interesting to you and make sure you stick to your schedule. Try out the crowd favorite A Joust to the Death at 4:15 p.m. or the special Rated-R hilarity of the Tortuga Twins at 4:30.

If you have children with you, make sure to have them attend the Children’s Knighting Ceremony in the Royal Pavilion at 1:30 for a moment they won’t forget.

For more show details, check out last week’s 25 reasons to visit the Carolina Renaissance Festival.

Step six: make time for games.

Watching performances can be exhilarating, but it’s even better to join in the fun yourself. Try your hand at some of the Festival’s games to win prizes and become the talk of the village.

Take a ride on Da Vinci’s Flying Machine, navigate the mysterious Maze, give the toddlers a go on the Swan Swing and try your hand at the Axe and Star Throw. You can even throw tomatoes at unruly peasants by taking part in Vegetable Justice. The Festival has a game for everyone.

Step seven: don’t forget to bring home memories.

No trip to the Carolina Renaissance Festival should go undocumented. Grab an awesome souvenir from one of the village’s 100-plus craft artisans and vendors. From wire wraps and hair adornments at Jen’s Crown Jewels to carved candles from the Royal Candlemaker, you can find the perfect item to take home with you.

Burnt Mountain Crafts is a hit with the kids, where they can take home hand-made swords and shields. Ophelia’s and Sultry Treasures both feature Renaissance clothing for your next trip to the village. Add into the mix glasswork, leather work, furniture, decorations, books, musical instruments and more, and you begin to have an inkling of the kinds of crafts you can find.

Whatever you do at the Carolina Renaissance Festival, remember the most important step: have fun!

Want to learn more about the Carolina Renaissance Festival? Click here for more information.

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