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What to Expect at the Ohio Renaissance Festival

Tonya Prater, Owner

This guest post about the annual Ohio Renaissance Festival was written by my friend, Aileen Stewart. She offers a couple of tips and shares her family’s favorite attractions at the faire. 

I always enjoy my friend Tonya’s destination reviews, so I hope I do justice to this guest post she has kindly allowed me to share. So where did my family and I visit you ask? Why the fabulously fun Ohio Renaissance Festival in Waynesville, Ohio of course!

A crowd of people approaching the turrets at the entrance to the Ohio Renaissance Festival

The Ohio Renaissance Festival

Ohio’s Renaissance Festival is held each fall in Waynesville, Ohio, which is about 30 minutes southeast of Dayton. It runs on weekends only from Labor Day Weekend through the end of October. (It is also open on Labor Day)

2023 dates are September 2 through October 29.

Renaissance Festival Tickets

You can (and should) buy tickets online in advance as you will save a little bit of money, and guarantee your admission. Season passes are also available; if you plan to spend three or more days at the Faire, a season pass will save you money.

They also have some special events and upgrades that you might want to consider.

  • The Royal Feast includes a five-course meal, all drinks, and a souvenir mug.
  • The Naughty Bawdy Pub Show is a special hour of jokes and limericks for adults only
  • The Whiskey Witches of Willy-Nilly Tasting six tastings of premium spirit drinks
  • There’s also a pub crawl, which is a guided interactive adventure

Discounted tickets for seniors, military, police, fire, and EMS are also available at the ticket booth.

Best Time to Visit the Ohio Renaissance Festival

In total, there are 19 days that you can attend the Ohio Renaissance Festival. Opening and closing weekend will be pretty busy as you might imagine. When deciding when to go to the Ohio Renaissance Festival, you should also take into account the themed weekends. That’s right, in addition to an overall Renaissance theme, each weekend also has a unique theme. The 2023 themed weekends include:

  • September 9 and 10: Fantasy Weekend
  • September 16 and 17: Pirates Weekend
  • September 23 and 24: Highlands Weekend
  • September 30 and October 1: Time Travelers Weekend
  • October 7 and 8: Viking Weekend
  • October 14 and 15: Romance Weekend
  • October 21 and 22: Feast of Fools
  • October 28 and 29: Tricks or Treats (kids under 12 are free this weekend!)

What to See at the Ohio Renaissance Festival

If you’ve never been to the Renaissance Festival, all I can say is what are you waiting for? And if you have been, you already know how much fun visiting this recreation of a 1572 English village is.

There are fabulous artisan vendors, and you can even watch some of them in action. Two of my favorite demonstrations were the glass figurine maker and the glass blower.

Man demonstrates glass blowing at the Ohio Renaissance Faire
Hand-blown glass ornaments at the Ohio Renaissance Faire

And then there are the wonderful musicians scattered throughout the complex. I especially enjoyed the hammered dulcimer player. 

The musical glass player.

The harp player.

 And the guitar player/singer.

Musicians at the Ohio Renaissance Festival
Performers dressed in period costumes at The Renaissance Faire

Lots of other people seem to enjoy this festival as much as my family and I if this picture is anything to judge by.

And although my twelve-year-old is too old for games and rides, this place is perfect for kids in the younger crowd. We are talking about bubbles and camels after all!

Bubble artist at the Renaissance Faire
Man walking a Camel at the Renaissance Faire

And you never know when the Queen might pass with her entourage

The Queen with her Entourage of performers at the Ohio Renaissance Festival

But if you don’t run into her on the street, you can see her at the jousting tournament. A word to the wise, however, get to the jousting arena early or you won’t get a seat. Fortunately, we had witnessed the jousting three years ago when we attended, so I still have great pics to show you what the jousting experience looks like!

Two performers Jousting on horseback
variety shows at the Renaissance Faire

 And then there are the performers. There are jugglers, comedy acts, and variety shows. Our absolute favorite performers are the Kamikaze FireFlies.

What to Eat at the Ohio Renaissance Festival

Festival food is part of the fun, too! Like any ancient or modern-day fair, there are plenty of food vendors to choose from. Giant turkey legs are probably the most popular food item to eat at the Renaissance Faire, and you’ll see plenty of lords and ladies gnawing on them. For the adults, beer and mead are popular drinks, and of course, it wouldn’t be a fair without funnel cakes!

There are plenty of choices for even the pickiest eaters, but you might browse the selection online before you go, and make sure you get in line early to try your favorite festival treats.

Did You Miss the Ohio Renaissance Festival?

Not to worry! There are other opportunities to travel back in time, as well as many Ohio Fall Festivals to enjoy! There are Renaissance Faires and festivals all over the country, so maybe you’ll catch one on your next road trip!

  • Rock Creek Ohio is home to the Great Lakes Medieval Faire and Marketplace, which is held on weekends from early July through mid-August.
  • In the Chicagoland area, the Bristol Renaissance Faire is held each summer in Kenosha, Wisconsin. It runs from early July through Labor Day.
  • Texas has the largest Renaissance Faire in the world, and it’s held in the cooler months of October and November.
  • Holly, Michigan is home to the Michigan Renaissance Festival, which is just 90 minutes from Toledo
  • Medieval Times is a fun dinner theater performance. Eat food of the medieval ages (without utensils!) while enjoying a live performance of jousting. There are nine locations in the United States, including Chicago, as well as a Toronto location.

Have you been to a Renaissance Faire or Festival? What did you think?

The Ohio Renaissance Festival in Waynesville

About Aileen:

Aileen Stewart lives in Shelby, Ohio with her husband, daughter, and three crazy cats, Max, Daisy, and Fluffy. When she’s not homeschooling, keeping house, and herding cats, she’s a children’s author, library board of trustee member, local farmers’ market manager, and blogger at Aileen’s Thoughts where she blogs about reading, writing, and life in general.


Oliver Terry

Sunday 24th of September 2017

great place to visit !! is really unique and special. Protection Status
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