As soon as the State Fair ends, there is just one thing on my mind, the Minnesota Renaissance Festival. I love everything about the festival. It’s the place where people let go.
They are not worried about being politically correct, they’re just there to have a fun time. It is this reason that keeps bringing me back every year.
What Not to Miss at the MN Renaissance Festival
There are two main types of Entertainment at the Minnesota Renaissance Festival: Stage Shows and Street performers. The 16 stages allow for a variety of different entertainers to appear.
You have your staples like the Danger Committee, Johnny Phoenix and the Puke and Snot. But there are new acts coming too.
The shows range from Family Friendly to Loose Cannon. Plus everything in-between. One of the great parts about the shows is that they use audience participation, so it changes a bit each time.
If you ever feel like the shows are getting dull, it’s because you aren’t changing the shows. I’ve been in this trap. But new acts come every year.
While the Stage Shows are fun, the Street Entertainers are where I have most of my enjoyment. This is where I paid a man $1 to kick himself in the head, twice.
Yep, you heard right. He told me he would show me a cool trick if I gave him a dollar. Then he kicked his own head. It happened so fast, I told him he couldn’t do it in slow motion. So he proved me wrong! Defiantly a two for one!
There are also some fun puppeteers calling themselves the ‘Conversationalist’. They are a pair of puppets that will hold a conversation with anyone. Including my three-year old.
Most entertainers will heckle with you, pick fun and give you the full experience. It’s best to embrace it. If you try to resist, it will only get worse. This is what they are paid for.
Highland Fling, Wine, Chocolate & Romance, Pets & Pirates, Steampunk and Octoberfest are just some of the themes this year at the Minnesota Renaissance Festival.
Each theme has a variety of different events that support it making each visit a little different. I make it out at least once a year to the festival and pick a new weekend every time just to make things a little different.
The Food at the MN Renaissance Festival differs greatly from what you would find at the State Fair. They are less focused on the stick and more on peasant foods.
Ok, I’m sure the only thing that the peasants ate were the turkey legs and soups, but that doesn’t take away the fun.
New foods this year include a Unicorn Sundae, Spam Sliders, and a Pickle Juice Icy. If the SPAM sliders are anything like what I tried in the SPAM Museum, I’m excited to try it.
A trip to the Renaissance Festival would not be complete without some good drinks. What was once a Beer and Mead scene other spirits are making their way in.
The wine section has doubled in the last couple of years to start including Masscato’s. They have even started to sell mixed drinks.
The court is ruled by King Henry the Seventh and Queen Elizabeth. Not to be mistaken with King Henry the Eight who beheaded his wives. These two were madly in love and started the Tudor Reign.
I ran into the King a few times walking around and each time got butterflies in my stomach. Yes, I know he’s not real, but being there with his entourage was impressive for anyone.
The second time around, I had my daughter with me and he even waved at her. She talked about it for weeks.
You will see the royal court all over the place. They do a lot more than open the gates and wave goodbye. The Kind and Queen also attend special functions like the joust occasionally.
They are found in the parade held at 11:30 each day. At 3:30 they will knight all the kids. The best place to catch a glimpse is at the front stage.
I feel like it’s incredibly girly to say, but the shopping is amazing. There are so many handcrafted items. They are all the things I wish I had the skill to make myself. If you love leather work, steampunk, pottery, swords, you will have a great time.
A lot of times these artisans will handcraft something special for you if asked. If you are concerned about carrying around all your purchases, you can drop things in the front to pick up later.
You can even have someone else pick up your goods for you.
Dressing up at the Festival is not required but still so much fun. Last year I came up with all kinds of idea’s for you to try out. If you are looking for some more idea’s check out: How to Dress for the Minnesota Renaissance Festival.
Even if you don’t plan on dressing up just go to enjoy what everyone else has come up with. This year we saw some pretty amazing pieces.
And if you want, snap a picture with some of them! This year we went when there was a heat advisory so we kept the costumes at home.
Where to get Discount Tickets for the minnesota Renaissance Festival?
The best deals for discount tickets to the Minnesota Renaissance Festival are online. You’ll save a few dollars and be able to walk right in.
Alternatively, you can bundle up a four pack of family tickets. The deal is $69, which is about the same as getting 1 kid in for free.
Advance Tickets are available at participating Cub Foods, Kwik Trip, Menards, Coborn’s and Cash Wise locations after August 11.
How to get to the Minnestoa Renaissance Festival?
The easiest way to get to the Minnesota Renaissance Festival is to head south on highway 169 to Shakopee. From there, take the exit Red Rock River exit. Take a left at the fork. It is almost always a stream of traffic. You can’t miss it.
Alternatively, you can take country road 41 and enter through the Queens Gate. This road has been closed all summer in 2023 due to construction. But is slated to reopen in Fall. Fingers crossed is opens soon.
*** You need a parking permit to park onsite. It must be purchased in advance.
Where to park for the Minnestoa Renaissance Festival?
Because of traffic backups on 169, in 2023 they are charging for parking. You need get your ticket in advance online. It’s $10 a car. This is to limit the congestion and impact on the roads to other business.
There are two non-stop park and ride lots you can view. Park and ride lots change week to week. Check their website to find out what is running. Bus rides cost $5 for adults, kids are free. Each paying rider will get a $5 coupon that can be used for General Admission tickets at the gate, or for a souvenir at the merchandise shop.
I end up at the Minnesota Renaissance Festival once a year. Maybe even twice depending on if we can get a sitter for the kids one of those days! We are always finding new things to do. I wouldn’t miss it for anything! Its why it’s part of my 28 Things to do in Autumn in MN.