Wearing costumes in public isn't usually advised, aside from Halloween or imitating a police officer to guiltlessly swim in the town fountain. Today's feature invites you to make believe with an $8 adult ticket to the Bay Area Renaissance Festival (a $15 advance value, or a $17.95 value at the gate). This year's festival is already underway, with merriment continuing each weekend, rain or shine, through April 17.
Located near I-75, the annual fair, now in its 33rd year, features 20 entertainment stages, plenty of food options, and a host of vendors in the merchant marketplace. Guests may 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. Place ye bets and raise your goblets in revelry as armored jousters bludgeon each other on horseback, or fawn over maiden pawns and legally debate kings as a game of chess comes alive with human contestants. Feel free to prolong merriment for an additional fee at the Pirates' Feast, which arms a three-course meal and live entertainment, or head to the Royal Smoker for early-evening, adults-only soirees with snacks, cigars, sips, belly-dancing, pin-the-tail-on-the-vassal, 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.
11315 N 46th St.
Tampa, Florida 33617Get Directions