Family Fun at the Minnesota Renaissance Festival
Did you know that you can travel to a 16th century European village without leaving Minnesota? At the Minnesota Renaissance Festival in Shakopee, you can experience the sights, sounds, and tastes of a bygone era.
The Festival is a fun event for the entire family, with discounted ticket prices for children ages 5-12 and free admission for children ages 4 and younger. In addition to plenty of family-friendly entertainment, there are free kids activities including storytimes and crafts. The Festival is dog-friendly, too—more information, including the registration form required for bringing your furry friend along, is available here.
Tickets can be purchased at the gate, or you can purchase discounted advance tickets online or at local ticket outlets. If you’re planning to attend more than once, consider buying a season pass (valid throughout the duration of the festival) or a weekend pass, which is good for two Festival entrances. Keep in mind that passes are non-transferable.
Now that you’ve made your way to the Minnesota Renaissance Festival, the biggest challenge is figuring out what to experience first!
Jousting, music, magic, comedy: whatever type of live entertainment you enjoy, you’ll find it at the Festival. Over the years, it’s been a starting point for many nationally known performers, including magic and comedy act Penn and Teller. Enjoy shows on 16 stages featuring folk dancers, musical groups, jugglers, fire artists, sideshow entertainers, comedians, and more. Cheer on your favorite knight during the thrilling armored jousting tournament. In addition, there are street performers roving throughout the festival.
Be sure to bring some spending money—the Festival is a one-of-a-kind shopping destination. There are over 250 artisans selling unique handcrafted wares including jewelry, pottery, leatherwork, wood and metal items, and hand-blown glass. It’s also an opportunity to shop local, since many vendors are Minnesota-based and make their products in Minnesota.
If you’ve worked up an appetite, there’s a wide selection of food vendors on-site. Expect to find classic carnival fare, deep-fried delights, lots of options on-a-stick, whimsical desserts, and Festival favorites like a honey mead and turkey legs. There are also plenty of vegetarian and gluten-free options.
For the ultimate foodie experience, treat yourself to the Feast of Fantasy, a two-hour comedy show and a six-course meal. There are several seatings daily, and advance tickets are required—buy your ticket as soon as possible since this popular event sells out. Note that since the show contains adult humor, you must be 17-plus to attend.
Entertainment, shopping, and food are just the beginning—you’ll also spot fairies, mermaids, Vikings, and plenty of elaborate historical attire. Other activities include rides, artisans demonstrating their crafts, and an exotic animal petting zoo. Check out the Minnesota Renaissance Festival website for the most up-to-date details and schedule, and start planning your trip to the 16th century!
Shakopee hotels and campgrounds are conveniently located to the Minnesota Renaissance Festival, and some offer discounted Festival rates. Shakopee is also home to Valleyfair (the largest amusement park in the upper Midwest) and is a perfect base to enjoy area attractions including Mystic Lake Casino, the Minnesota Landscape Arboretum, and Chanhassen Dinner Theater.