Hear Ye! Hear Ye!
Enter a beautiful kingdom of knights in shining armor, fair maidens in flowing dresses, juggling court jesters and jousting galore. The Pittsburgh Renaissance Festival truly has an old world feeling the whole family can enjoy. When I visited last year, I felt as though I entered through the castle walls and traveled back in time.
Today, I’m super excited to have an amazing guest post from a true Renaissance woman, fellow Pittsburgh mom blogger and talented author, Elizabeth Pagel-Hogan. She recently visited the Pittsburgh Renaissance festival with her husband and three boys.
A writing mom on the run, Elizabeth Pagel-Hogan is a Runner, writer, wife & mother. She’s the owner of Pittsburgh-based Sweet Tooth Communications, LLC and the author of three books including The Bumpy Grumpy Road and My Food Notebook. Follow her adventures at http://www.TryItandYouMay.com
Pittsburgh Renaissance Festival
By Elizabeth Pagel-Hogen
The dawn broke and the glorious sun promised to shine from the heavens bright and warm. After breaking our fast with a hearty meal of bread and meat, my children and I donned our archer’s gear and prepared for the long journey to the Pittsburgh Renaissance Festival!
I promise, I won’t write the whole post in Renaissance language. Because even though this is my family’s third straight year attending, and even though we love wearing costumes to the event. I do know the whole thing can seem a bit weird to non-Renaissance goers, but it’s fun! Even my husband, who doesn’t wear a costume, agrees.
This was our third year attending and our boys, ages 8, 6 and 3, were eagerly anticipating wearing their new homemade costumes
and hitting the archery area.
The Festival happens in a huge field and wooded area off of I-70 in West Newtown, PA. We used coupons from Qdoba that got our kids in free when we bought adult tickets. The cost of the ticket gives you admission to the Festival and includes the jousting shows an interesting parade, some street performers and of course a variety of stage shows. But be prepared to pay for basically every other activity and remember it’s good form to tip the stage performers.
There is a small selection of carnival games that run a little pricey but the folk hosting the booth are rather cheerful and may give your kids more than one chance. A new booth for us this year was Vegetable Justice: throwing tomatoes at a fellow in the stocks.
My 8-year-old was eager to give that a try and I said I’d line up with him. I warned him it was an insult game so if the man getting hit tried to tease him, he should just laugh.
“Oh no, I’m being attacked by the president of the Harry Potter fan club!” cried our human tomato target. My son wears glasses and had a cape. It was a good jab.
“And his hot mom!” the fellow added. I laughed immediately and threw my tomato way off target.
My son winged another one, hitting right above the man’s head. I hit the wall close on the left.
“How do you escape a cougar attack?” the man called. “Buy her a martini and slip out the back of the bar!” I couldn’t help laughing and was distracted again. My tomato fell short.
While Vegetable Justice was fun by far my boys love the archery activity the best and this year they asked for archer’s costumes. I am really inexperienced at sewing and aimed for simple cowls. But when I had a free moment and sat down at the machine I realized making hooded capes was possible even for a pantster like myself. Using a few items we already owned, my boys attended the fair in costumes that cost under $15! Of course, my costume cost a bit more because I needed the adorable faux suede boots that were the perfect touch.
Get the details on how Elizabeth made the archer costumes here!