New York’s Renaissance Faire: Escapism at its best!

Pickles man by David Thiel

If you desperately need an escape from reality, and you will be traveling in the vicinity of New York City, then a visit to the New York Renaissance Faire could be the perfect fantasy tonic for you.

Located in Sterling Forest, Tuxedo (about an hour’s drive out of New York City), the Faire is one of those tourist-type memories that only get rosier with time. 

Don’t think the fantasy aspect of the Faire is childish; it is not.  This is adult entertainment, but kids will have a blast, too.

Read on . . .

The Renaissance Faire is easily reached via a Short Line bus; you can catch one out of the Port Authority in New York City.  You’ll be dropped off about 11 in the morning.  You’ll be told that a bus will be back at precisely 6:15 P.M that night, and you must be there or you’ll be finding your own way home.

At first, a 7-hour stay in a theme park might seem like a little much, but that’s before you step through the gate.  You will have barely enough time to explore the entire faire, let alone experience the dozens of activities offered.

It all starts with costumed interactive characters, like the wizard who welcomes you at the gate.  Robin Hood characters argue in the town square, while a barrow-pushing pickle man charms the ladies with his “big and little” pickle jokes.  Everywhere you turn, something is happening.

Things of note:

Birds of prey show:  View a live demonstration and then visit the sanctuary with nearly 50 rescued birds.

Stage shows: Take in old-fashioned storytelling, a Shakespeare comedy, juggling, magic, music, jousting, and Medieval mud-wrestling.  (Uh-huh, you have to see that one for yourself.)

Crafts: Plenty to do and learn like how to make a glass sphere dance on your fingertips.

Clothing:If you came in shorts and a tank top, you might feel out of place.  It gets harder to tell the tourists from the performers because several stores sell costumes.  Tourists are encouraged to select the items that suit their personality, buy them, don them, and then step back out in their new medieval persona.

The shops offer hats, boots, shoes, adornments, and pseudo weaponry like wooden swords and shields; all are available to complete your special look.

Children:  Kids will find the place remarkable, even better than Disneyland, in some aspects.  There is no electricity, so the rides like the merry-go-round and the dragon swing are all “man”-powered.

Food:  All kinds of foods are available from the more common (burgers, chicken) to the unfamiliar like honey mead and frozen cheesecake on a stick.  Pubs and taverns overflow with ale, too.

Price:It’s a steal at $49 per adult including faire admission and a return bus trip to the Port Authority in New York City.

There is so much more to do at New York’s Renaissance Faire, but you will never do it all.  Six o’clock will roll around and you’ll wonder where the time went.  It’s best to heed the advice posted on the sign above the gate as you exit:  “Caution. Reality ahead!”

Sheree Zielke

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One Response to “New York’s Renaissance Faire: Escapism at its best!”

  1. paul says:

    these festivals really are fun. you’re right, at a well run festival there is simply too much to take in. and the food is ridiculous – completely over the top. the problem is you are usually exhausted by the end. but it’s fun.