Thursday, May 1, 2014

Field Trip: Scarborough Renaissance Festival ~ Student Day Review & Tips

Who loves Student Day at Scarborough Renaissance Festival? Discounted admission, super-sized fun! Sophie {age 3} never got fussy or bored, which is pretty amazing since we were there from 10am to 3pm. That's a long field trip for her!

Still all smiles before the turtle race at 1:30 pm

Would we go again? Absolutely. Was it perfect? Not exactly. Here's the info you need to know for your visit:

Tip:  Don't be afraid to ask the vendors questions!

This was our primary reason for attending. There were tons of booths. Some of the vendors seemed a bit shy but really lit up when asked about their crafts.  

The place is laid out like a mini city! 

Storefronts, tents, booths ~ every nook and cranny had something interesting. But no matter how we tried, it was impossible to see all the artisan demonstrations.

Quite a few were selling their wares, but not demonstrating their process. That was a bit disappointing for an education day.

The artisans we did see were awesome though! We enjoyed watching the jeweler making medallion necklaces and the chain mail fabricator. They were very friendly with the kids and really took the time to educate them on what they were doing, why, and what the end result should be.

Tip:  Be sure to arrive at the main stages at least 30 minutes early.

This is really important for the larger demonstrations like knife throwing and jousting! Or else your kids will be crowded out and won't be able to see.

Even though the jousting was exciting, it was hard to hear them. I'm assuming they weren't wearing microphones. But the champions really got into character! There was even some lighthearted trash-talking by the squires prior to the champions entering on horseback.

Tip:  Bonus savings, you can bring in your own food 
only on Student Day.

Do it! I purposely did not pack our lunches to save having to lug them around. What a mistake! I waited in line for baked potatoes for over 30 minutes and just gave up. Instead, the kids feasted on fresh pretzels from a roaming vendor.

A woman sitting at our picnic table waited in line for a turkey leg for almost 2 hours! She gave up too.

What's really sad is that we missed the knife throwing demonstration because of the long lines. The pizza line had at least 50 people, so there was no way I even attempted that one. The food booths need a major prep and function overhaul! 

The small cooler I packed with drinks was completely gone by 3pm. All in all, we downed 8 half bottles of water and 4 juice boxes.

Tip:  Set a cash budget and stick to it.

It's easy to see all the unique offerings and want to buy everything. But it can really add up. Take cash to help stay on budget!

For their one special souvenir, the girls chose these little dragon pets. We actually saw them not far from the entrance, but Madeline wanted to see what other products were for sale before spending her -- ahem, my -- money! To me, they look a lot like Toothless from How to Train Your Dragon.

Loving her dragon pet!

You can't see it well in the picture, but each dragon had little leather saddles with metal rivets. Such a creative way to embellish those little dragons! The bodies are flexible and can be curled around your wrist, leg, or just about anything. Madeline even slept with her dragon curled around the frame of her bunk bed :)

It glows! And isn't the little leather saddle cool?

Study the Renaissance with these FREE resources from the Festival.

Art Appreciation Teachers
Drama/Theater Teachers
English/Language Arts Teachers
History/Social Studies Teachers
Math Teachers
Science Teachers
Download the Original Curriculum Guide Here

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