Knights! Queens! Chivalry! Mead! New Hampshire’s esteemed Renaissance Faire transports one back to the time of kings. Not only can you explore an entire compound completely transformed into a real-to-life world of swords and shields, but you can partake in a variety of Renaissance themed activities as well. Shoot an arrow! Watch keen-eyed falcons dart to and fro in the air! Bear witness to the terrible yet exciting jousting match between the king’s high guard and a notorious foe! This is one of the most enjoyable spring outdoors activities that New Hampshire has to offer.
Wow! Where is this Renaissance Faire?
The New England Renaissance Faire, or NHRF, takes place every May in Kingston. Typically it will be run during two variable weekends in May but it is best to check out the website to be sure: http://www.nhrenfaire.com/. If you need help booking a hotel or finding a campground, please refer to these very helpful links: Lodging and Accommodations or Campgrounds.
Ok. Wait. What exactly is a Renaissance Faire?
Generally, a renaissance faire is any organized gathering with costumed actors and attendees that seek to recapture or relive the spirit of that age. Once you arrive at the faire grounds you will immediately sense a different aura, or magic, in the air. Jesters will begin laughing and twirling around you. Proud queens will stride by you with their dignified grace. A variety of entertainers will blow fire, juggle and perform an endless array of tricks to keep you mesmerized. As you walk about you will notice blacksmiths crafting armor, weavers selling thick cloaks and capes and self-proclaimed wizards seeking to bring you under their spell. Once you go to a renaissance faire, especially the New Hampshire Renaissance Faire, you will never be the same again!
That sounds awesome! What else is there to do?
Well, in most cases with renaissance faires, there is simply too much to do. It is wise to pick up a copy of the hourly schedule when you arrive as different events happen simultaneously. For instance, if you would like to watch fire-breathers spit fire daringly out into the air instead of watching an axe-throwing contest, you should make sure to be in the right arena at the right time. For a complete list of activities please refer to this link: New Hampshire Renaissance Faire Activities
I heard that visitors are encouraged to dress in costumes, is this true?
Yes! Although it is by no means a requirement, all renaissance faires appreciate those that are happy to keep the spirit and magic of the age alive in costume. If you are unsure what to dress up as, here is a list to guide you:
- Make sure you are historically accurate. Any characters between the 14th and 17th centuries are “faire” game.
- Develop a persona. Are you a queen? A pirate? A jester or something else?
- Avoid uncomfortable shoes. You will be walking in the grass and perhaps over more variable terrain, prepare for this.
- Consider elaborate makeup, crowns, masks and other accoutrements.