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The Minnesota Renaissance Festival is Fanciful Fantasy Fun

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Jousting knights at the Minnesota Renaissance Festival / Jennifer Arocha

The Minnesota Renaissance Festival is Fanciful Fantasy Fun

By Brian Fanelli

Lords, ladies, knights, fairies and everyone else (dogs, too!) are implored to journey back in time to the annual Renaissance Festival in Shakopee.

The 2020 Ren Fest is cancelled due to COVID-19 safety concerns, but you can still read about this longstanding tradition and plan out a trip for next year. When it's safe to hold large events again, this is one where you can can leave your inhibitions at home; this is a place where the best way to fit in is to be yourself.

Jugglers perform at the Minnesota Renaissance Festival

Jugglers perform for a crowd at the Minnesota Renaissance Festival / Ed Sjostedt

What Treasures & Entertainment Willst Thou Find in The Realm

Whether you're perusing the artisan marketplace, attending a live jousting show or flying through the air on the Wizard's Flight School Zip Line, the Minnesota Renaissance Festival has something for everyone.

Go Shopping in the Artisan Marketplace

Boasting over 250 artisans and makers, the Artisan Marketplace provides a singular shopping experience for anyone seeking unique, handmade goods. Wander from stall to stall admiring a bevy of handmade wares such as jewelry, pottery, leatherwork, paintings, hand-blown glass and fine metalwork. And for anyone who loves to shop local, over 100 of the featured artisans live and make their wares right here in MInnesota.

Are You Not Entertained?

From armored jousting to juggling, comedy, belly dancing and Robin Hood, attending stage shows at the Minnesota Renaissance Festival is practically a must. In addition to the scheduled stage performances, you'll also find plenty of costumed performers roaming the festival all day long. Gnomes, unicorns, pirates and more street performers are scattered throughout the grounds, spreading merriment and revelry wherever they go. 

Mermaid Cove at the Minnesota Renaissance Festival

Kids love visiting Mermaid Cove at the Minnesota Renaissance Festival / Scot Moncur

Festival Fun For the Kids

Bring your kids to the Renaissance Festival and revel responsibly with a variety of kid-friendly activities. Little ones love the daily Grand March Parade, which honors the festival's King and Queen, Royal Guard, Princess Court and more. After the parade, head to the Fairy Wing Forest to meet pixies, fairies and other extraordinary creatures. There's also a petting zoo (complete with Magic the Live Unicorn), a Mermaid Cove, and a daily knighting ceremony. 

Foods Fit For a King

After building up an appetite while wandering the festival grounds, sate your hunger at one of the Minnesota Renaissance Festival's 45 food booths. With everything from nachos and corn dogs to alligator and turtle—not to mention the ever-popular turkey drumstick—there's almost nothing you can't find and devour, medieval style. 

Renaissance Festival Village

Minnesota Renaissance Festival Village in Shakopee / Jennifer Arocha

Where Doth One Go For Such Revelry?

The Minnesota Renaissance Festival is held rain or shine, 9 a.m. to 7 p.m., on the Renaissance Festival Grounds. 

Tickets are available on-site starting at $15.95 for kids and $24.95 for adults, with discounts available when purchasing online or in advance at participating locations.

Brian Fanelli

Brian Fanelli is a writer and editor for Explore Minnesota. When he isn't writing about life in The North, you'll find him browsing the sci-fi shelves in a local bookstore, biking one of Minnesota's spectacular trails or walking his Chihuahua around Minneapolis.