The Bay Area Renaissance Festival 2018 transforms the MOSI fields in North Tampa into a 16th Century kingdom, where fans can escape the realm and journey in time to a land where kings and queens rule and mermaids and fairies are more than just a dream. The Ren Faire celebrates its 40th year in 2018, and has evolved from a small gathering of renaissance dancing, archery contests and madrigals in the 727area to the festival you love today with turkey legs, mead, art, vendors, human chess-matches, enthralling themed weekends, and entertainers galore.

The Bay Area Renaissance Festival opens Saturday, February 10th and runs through Sunday, March 25th, operating from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m over the next seven Saturdays and Sundays only. The festival will also be open on Friday, March 23. As always, parking is free adjacent to the Faire. General admission can be purchased online or at the gate and are the following price points. As in previous years, there is a season pass option for those frequent visitors to the Festival.

  • Adults: $21.95
  • Children 5-12: $13.95
  • Seniors 65+: $17.95
  • Students (w/ valid college ID): $17.95
  • Adult Season Pass: $89.95
  • Child Season Pass: $53.95

Your favorite weekend-themed events are better than ever, which can make the experience even more exciting with just your general admission ticket. The events range from skills competitions to costume contests, some with free food and drink, and with dates ranging from Valentine's Day to St. Patrick's Day to Spring Break it's definitely worth going more than once.

Chocolate Fantasy: February 10th & 11th

Stop by the Piper's Valley for free samples from local chocolatiers, bakers and other sweet makers. Various events over the weekend include a fencing competition, fudge fling, vow renewal and a couples pie eating contest held at the Wyldewood Stage. Spend the weekend before Valentine's with your loved one, or loved-one-to-be at the Renaissance Festival! Saturday, February 10th also features the Rainbow After Dark Ball; celebrating our diverse community the renaissance way with food, merriment and mayhem. Admission is $60 that includes your ticket into the faire. The 21+ event goes from 6-9pm and includes appetizers, desserts and drinks. 

Highland Fling: February 17th & 18th

Join the fittest and most athletic in the land during the Highland Games, rally your crawlers for the Race for The Rattle and cheer on your favorite contestants in kilts during the Highland Fling.

Pirates and Pets: February 24th & 25th

Pet Fest with vendors and entertainment, pet demonstrations, a perfect pirate competition, pet costume contest and wiener dog races! Present your motorcycle license at the Festival Box Office and save $3 on an adult admission.  

Time Travelers: March 3rd & March 4th

Honor the popular alternate history where Victorian fashion and mannerisms are integrated into an evolving world of steam-powered machines. Including a Dr. Who Costume Contest, Steampunk Costume Contest, Belly Dancing Competition and a Time Travelers Ball. The Ball is held after hours and is $55 per person.  

Barbarian Brew Fest: March 10th & 11th

Embrace your inner barbarian with Medieval Combat Training, a beard competition and the Florida State Archery Competition sponsored by Tampa Bay Archery

Shamrocks & Shenanigans: March 17th & 18th

Spend St, Patrick's Day Weekend proving your strength in the Highland Games, participating in the Men in Kilts competition or the popular Bonnie Knees Competition. At 4pm, enjoy the best 21+ St. Patrick's Day Party in the Bay with The Bawdy Boys hosting the evening and much more! 

Free Beer Festival Friday: March 23rd

The only Friday of the festival features a few goodies. The annual Festival Friday is a commitment to the educational experience for students and is offered as a Field Trip opportunity for Bay Area schools. Students grades 1-6 receive a $9.95 discounted ticket, grades 7-12 receive a $14.95 discounted ticket and adult chaperones receive a $14.95 discounted ticket. This is a great experience for students of all ages to do more than study the Renaissance in a history book. Festival Friday also offers a Ladies Shopping Day for $13.95 that includes festival admission, glass of wine and a coupon book with discounts from select Festival Artisans. All Military, First Responders and USF students, faculty and staff (with a valid USF ID) receive free admission on Festival Friday and everyone with a ticket receives one free beer! There is also a Masquerade Ball for $85 featuring a six course gourmet meal, champagne, music, dancing, prizes and more. The Masque Ball is a 21+ event.

High Seas Adventure: March 24th & 25th

The final weekend is Deaf Awareness Weekend with ASL interpreters at select stages and shows. Show off your best pirate garb in the Pirate Costume Contest, try your hand (or leg) at the Pirate Peg Leg Relay Race or show off your best ink in the Tattoo Competition. 

Bay Area Renaissance Festival 2018

11315 N 46th St, Tampa FL , 33617.
If you haven't been to the annual Faire, the themed weekends just the tip of the broadsword of what the Bay Area Renaissance Festival has to offer. From food fit for a King like full turkey legs, chicken & waffles, apple dumplings, scotch eggs and fish & chips to beer, wine, and mead at various pubs and eateries. There are even daily special events like the Pig N' Swig beer and bacon tasting for an additional $20, the Pub Crawl hosted by your favorite entertainers for an additional $35, and Royal High Tea, dining on delectable and fancy teas, treats, finger foods and entertainment for an additional $20. These events also include a commemorative beer tasting glass or mug with your purchase. 
Looking for something romantic to do with your plus one? The Renaissance Romance package is a private, one-hour event that includes your admission, a personal servant, two keepsake champagne flutes, one bottle of champagne, and an array of gourmet hor 'd oeuvres for an additional $70. Spots are always limited so be sure to order your special event tickets early! Your favorite vendors will also be present so you can browse through the best woodwork, leatherwork and garments in the realm and purchase a souvenir or accessory for your renaissance costume.
As always, the Bay Area Renaissance Festival is growing and there are a few brand new featured events for 2018. Play a part in the Village of Fittlesworth by solving puzzles and playing games to win prizes with the newest edition of The Quest, enjoy a free beer tasting event each day at the Pit of Misery, see a live unicorn on site for meet and greets and pictures along with unicorn-themed treats throughout the Faire and enjoy two new pubs and stages including the Throne of Swords Pub where wanderers can travel beyond the Seven Kingdoms and sip on cocktails on the Throne of Swords! With so much to do, you'll have to visit the Ren Faire more than once to experience it all.

The Bay Area Renaissance Festival is a staple in the late winter and early spring in our area as over 80,000 guests will dress up in tunics and tights and take a trip through time to enjoy period food, drink and entertainment. While you're out in the greater North Tampa area, take a look at the newest restaurants, bars and things to do and don't forget to subscribe to for more updates; as always, it's free!