The Bay Area Renaissance Festival at MOSI brings all the fun and merriment of the Renaissance to Tampa each year. Walking through the gates, you step back in time to a 16th-century village filled with lively townsfolk and shouting merchants.
You can enjoy diversions of the day like watching a jousting tournament, grabbing a drink (or two) at the pub, or have fun throwing tomatoes at a witty knave in the stocks.
There are also a lot of shows, events, games, and contests as well as fun things for kids to do. Whether you’re a history buff or not, the Bay Area Renaissance Festival is a unique experience that offers something for everyone.
You can come as you are, but dressing up is a part of the fun for many at the Bay Area Renaissance Festival. On the grounds, you’ll see a number of peasants, royalty, fairies, witches, warlocks, pirates, and Scots. You may even see a mermaid or an ogre.
You can make your own costume or buy one online, but you'll also be able to put together an eye-catching ensemble at the festival with the help of a merchant, or rent a costume for the day while you're there!
With over 100 merchants setting up shop at the Bay Area Renaissance Festival Renaissance Festival, you can see all kinds of unique treasures and take a piece of the Renaissance home with you.
Merchants sell a variety of wares including Renaissance-era clothing, leather goods, weaponry, jewelry, artwork, knickknacks, toys, and bath products. If its answers you seek, psychics can look into your future with palm and tarot card readings.
The Bay Area Renaissance Festival has you covered with a plethora of food and drink options. Try Renaissance fare like turkey legs, pasties, shepherd’s pie, Scotch eggs, or bangers and mash, or stick to modern comforts including burgers, quesadillas, nachos, gyros, and pulled pork sandwiches.
For dessert, sink your teeth into some deep-fried Oreos, strawberry shortcake, or a raspberry cheesecake chimichurri.
There's no shortage of pubs; scattered all over the festival, they're serving craft beer, wine, and mead, a staple beverage in the Renaissance. There are also cocktails like the Bee Sting, a delicious concoction of mead and apple cider.
Every day at Bay Area Renaissance Festival, you can watch a live jousting tournament and cheer on your favorite knight to victory. There’s also Human Combat Chess where queens, kings, knights, and peons go head-to-head against each other to win the board.
Other daily events include the Pub Crawl, Royal High Tea, and Henry’s Happy Hour, then there are a couple of specials events on March 27 like Ladies Shopping Day and the Royal Masquerade Ball.
Most of these events require you to purchase tickets in advance, so make sure to visit the Bay Area Renaissance Festival website for details so you can plan a fun-filled day!There are a number of fun games and activities like darts, Bishop’s Bowling, and tests of strength. You can also try your hand at archery or take a FREE lesson in Medieval combat so you can learn to fight like a knight!
There’s also plenty of fun activities for kids at the Bay Area Renaissance Festival. The Children’s Realm is a shaded haven with a playground, sandbox, and toys for kids to play.
There are also special events in the realm of story time, costume contests, Knight’s School, and Princess Boot Camp. Kids can also go to the Petting Zoo where they can pet and feed farm animals like goats and donkeys, ride a pony, and maybe even ride an elephant if they dare!
There are a number of stages of entertainment around the festival with comedy, music and sleight-of-hand show running all day. A fan-favorite is the Washing Well Wenches starring laundress cousins Pearl and Franny who give a lesson of courtly love...and make examples of unsuspecting men in the audience!
The Bay Area Renaissance Festival has themed weekends to bring new vendors and exciting events to the festival. Wine, Romance & Song and Highland Fling have already passed, but there's plenty more fun to be had over the next five weekends with:
Pirates & Pups - February 29 and March 1
Barbarian Brew Fest - March 7 and 8
Shamrocks & Shenanigans - March 14 and 15
High Seas Adventure - March 21 and 22
Wonders of the World - March 28 and 29
Spend a fun-filled day at the Bay Area Renaissance Festival any weekend through March 29. Adult tickets are $19.95 in advance while children's tickets are $11.95.
There are also season passes, so you can come to the Renaissance Festival again and again during the season. For more information about the festival, see our Ultimate Guide to Tampa's Renaissance Festival. Huzzah!