Wearing costumes in public isn't usually advised, aside from Halloween and midnight pre-screenings of fantasy-novel film adaptations. Today's feature invites you to make believe with an $8 adult ticket to the Bay Area Renaissance Festival (a $15 advance value, or $18 at the gate). This year's festival takes place weekends between February 13 and March 28, as well as Friday, March 19, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.—the Renaissance Fest's area school day—rain or shine. For children's tickets, see today's side deal.
Located near I-75 at 11315 N. 46th St., the annual fair (now in its 32nd year) features 20 entertainment stages, plenty of food options, and a host of vendors in the merchant marketplace. Shop for old-fashioned wares including leather, metal, and musical instruments, or gorge on traditional turkey drumsticks, ye olde foot-long corn dogs, and roasted corn. This year's festival marks the introduction of the Medieval Monster Museum, where guests will come face to face with fairies, trolls, and vampires while marveling at archaic creature-fighting weaponry. Prolong merriment for an additional fee at the Pirates' Feast, offering a three-course meal and live entertainment, or head to the Royal Smoker for an early-evening, adults-only soirees with snacks, cigars, sips, belly dancing, limericks, comedy, and sounds.
Renaissance festivals are one of the few places on the planet where fantasy comes to life. Old souls trapped in the wrong era, aspiring young-adult fiction novelists, and masters of disguise will delight in the all-day opportunity to play pretend. The fair offers free parking.
Facebook fanatics rave about the Bay Area Renaissance Festival, saying:
- Wow! My husband and I had a great time. We went yesterday as well as today. – Judy Jenkins
- Go early, Go often...see something new everytime [sic] you come. Save a trip for shopping, use another for tasting all the food, and still one more to stop and meet all the amazing characters in the lanes! – Chris McGinnis
4801 East Fowler Ave.
Tampa, Florida 33617-2099Get Directions