The Bristol Renaissance Festival sits on 30 gorgeous acres of land and starting in early July for 9 exciting weekends (including Labor Day) you can transport back into the 16th century to the Elizabethan times. The faire has many open stages featuring jesters, sword-fighters and minstrels. You can even meet Queen Elizabeth or Robin Hood!

This renaissance festival has a lot to offer when it comes to food and drinks. There is a plethora of vendors to choose from serving all kinds of good food such as: pizza, ribs, sandwiches, chicken, turkey, potatoes, desserts and more. They also have food to feed the hungry vegan, vegetarian and even those who need gluten-free food. Vendors that sell beverages like milk, lemonade, water, soda, etc. are scattered all over the fair grounds. There are many pubs to choose from to get that beer or alcoholic drink, but for the greatest selection try visiting: The Town Square Public House, Three Sheets to the Wind, Import Ale, Black Swan Inn, Pig ‘n Whistle Tavern, The Joust Tavern or Tuscany Tavern.

There are all kinds of unique games and rides at the fair. In fact, the rides aren’t operated on gas, electrical or motorized power—everything is human powered. For the kids there are games, giant sand boxes and crafts in the Kids Kingdom; at the Military Encampment there’s the Kiddie Pike Drills or children can try on armor; Mooseboro Pond has a sandcastle play area and wooden boats; and your kids can be part of a Knighting Ceremony where they will be knighted or made a Lady of the Realm by none other than Queen Elizabeth! Fun for everyone can be had for a small charge with games and activities like: Archery which is loved by Robin Hood, get ready to spin in Barrel of Bedlam, for the tiny tots there’s the Butterfly Ride, Catapulting Frogs, Climbing Wall, Crossbows, Fight the Knight, dart games, Knife and Axe Throw, get lost in and try to find your way to the giant slide in the Maze, Petting Zoo, combining bungee jumping with a trampoline and you have an adventurous ride called the Pirate’s Assault Catapult, a wet time in Royal Stocks, Star Throw, Voyage to a New World and you can’t forget to visit the Treasure Pit where you can dig for buried treasure! The well-liked supreme game of Barbarian Battles where you fight with foam-padded weapons will continue this year too. There are lots more games and activities to do as well.

Let’s not forget about all those entertainers! There’s something for everyone, so join in and have fun! Dance to the beat of Celtic, dance or folk music from 3 Pints Gone, Bawdy Beautiful, Tinker MacLea, Rambling Sailors, Ogham (pronounced Om) and many more. The acrobat artists, like Bristol’s favorite Barely Balanced, will surely amaze you! There are comedians, belly dancers, jugglers…the list goes on and on. However, those with children should know that there are several acts that are either rated R or PG-13. Some of them include: 2 Merry Men 7 Deadly Sins, Christophe the Insultor, Ded Bob Sho and more. Adam Crack: Fire Whip is certainly something for all to see; he’s been in the Guinness Book of World Records seven times and his skills are unmatched everywhere! There are many audience participation acts as well such as Bluebeard’s Pressgang Pageant where you can be interviewed to be part of Bluebeard’s crew on his ship.

At the Bristol Renaissance Festival you’ll find all kinds of items to purchase. The merchants bring artistry, skills and imagination to the marketplace at the fair. Unlike the food and drink merchants, most marketplace merchants will take credit cards, but it’s really left up to each merchant to decide their policy. So bring plenty of cash for the day!

So what are you waiting for? Make those plans, buy those tickets and have a relaxing, fun-filled day at the Bristol Renaissance Festival!