To be honest, I’ve been in Atlanta for nearly 15 years and I don’t exactly jump out of my seat for very many large festivals. The Georgia Renaissance Festival is an exception. I stumbled upon this south Atlanta festival many years ago when some friends , had no idea what to expect, but it became an instant favorite of mine. I’ve gone nearly every year since. We got a chance to go again today and as always, it didn’t disappoint at all. I was shocked that my girls actually remembered some of the attractions from last year and we made it a point to check those out again.
If you’ve never had the opportunity to experience this, here are my 5 reasons the Georgia Renaissance Festival is one of the best Atlanta Festivals to visit:
1. It literally feels like you’ve stepped out of a time machine…into one of the coolest eras in history
What is the Georgia Renaissance Festival?
For those of you who have no idea about what this festival is all about, it is a recreation of the 16th century English renaissance period (think Game of Thrones). The park itself is designed to mimic that scene, as well as all of the characters and entertainment. From the moment you walk in, be prepared to see a host of knights, fair maidens, wenches, peasants, monks, etc. And these are not just staff members – everyone joins in on the fun! You’re greeted with a “Hello M’Lady” and bid a “Fare thee well.” Surrounding you are joust competitions, street jugglers, and even guillotines!
The Georgia Renaissance Festival hosts over 150 artisans – glass blowers, homemade soap makers, jewelers, weapon makers and much more. You can usually find some really unique items here that you won’t see at very many other festivals. Of course, if you’re trying to score that perfect corset or full-on renaissance costume, this is the place to go. There’s also this one company called Sky Chairs I see every year that makes these amazingly comfortable hanging chair. They may or may not go with the whole Renaissance theme, but it is the place to go when it’s time to lounge around after all the walking.
3. Non-stop entertainment and activities
We spent most of the day there today, but could easily go back for a second visit and not repeat a single activity. If you’re going with the kids, there are quite a few great family attractions. Several fun “medieval” rides (non mechanical), games, playground area, and even a petting zoo! My personal favorites are the garden maze an the parrot cove. There are also a ton of shows going on throughout the entire day, for both kids and adults. The Birds of Prey show is a family favorite, but there are lots of other great shows including a hypnotist show, several comedy acts, Wheel of Death, and a “Tortuga Twins” show that I always hear about, but haven’t had a chance to see because it’s not very kid friendly (can’t wait to check it out someday!).
2 words – Turkey Legs! They make me a happy person and I live for these! Also, just about anything “on a stick” is a winner for me! There are a lot of food options besides the typical chicken fingers/hot dog kind of festival food. You can buy wine and beer in a mug throughout the park and…did I mention the turkey legs?
5. It’s an excursion away from the city
As much as I love city life, there’s nothing worse than dealing with the inevitable traffic that comes along with any Atlanta festival. The Georgia Renaissance Festival takes place in Fairburn, GA, off I-85, a few miles south of the city. It’s an easy drive in and parking is plentiful and FREE. Can’t beat that!
Again, there are lots of great things the Georgia Renaissance Festival has to offer. With that said, I have to warn you about the single ordeal you need to be aware of. Just like actual medieval times, there are places that don’t take credit cards. I was not very well prepared today and neglected to get cash beforehand. While the park had 3 ATM machines, 2 of them actually ran out of money by about 2:30. Total bummer because you do need some extra cash for many of the rides, games, food and beverages. So, my one piece of advice -BRING CASH! Be sure to check it out the 30th Anniversary of the Georgia Renaissance Festival this summer! It’s open every weekend through June 7th and you can pre-purchase your tickets at GaRenFest.com.
Have you been to the Georgia Renaissance Festival before? What are some of your favorite things about it?
Disclaimer: USFamilyGuide provided my family with tickets to attend the festival in exchange for a review. As always, however, all thoughts and opinions are mine.