Original Renaissance Pleasure Faire
The Renaissance Pleasure Faire has returned once again to the Santa Fe Dam Recreational area to oooh and ahhh visitors. We were invited to attend opening weekend this year. Here's our experience from the day and a few tips to get you ready for your visit. In it's 54th year, the over 1500 costumed performers and artisans are waiting to take you back in time to 1574 when the world arrived to the English Seaport of Deptford to entertain Queen Elizabeth. Huzzah!
This is the 3rd year in a row we have visited and it's always a fun time (and a great reason to get dressed up). More family friendlier than ever, check out all there is to see and do and get a real insider description of what happens beyond the gates.
A few tips before you arrive and while at the Faire:
- If possible always purchase your tickets ahead of time to avoid the box office lines.
- If you can, get there prior to opening to watch or even be apart of the opening ceremonies.
- Go in costume! Way more fun and if you don't have one they have them available for rent or purchase.
- Take cash. There are ATM's but the lines can be long at times.
- Make sure to grab the weekends entertainment schedule at the entrance so not to miss out on the entertainment like jousting or the Washing Well Wenches.
- Participate in as many activities as you can, you won't regret it!
- New this Year: Zip Line! Make your way up the stairs of the 30' high tower and ride 200' across the meadow. My 8 year old had a blast on this!
Entertainment at the Faire
There are thirteen stages providing an array of entertainment from 10am until 7pm everyday including jousting to aerial silk dancers, jugglers to musicians as well as magicians. Catch a glimpse of the Birds of Prey as they fly just inches above you. Feel worthy enough? Be sure to bow in the presence of the beautiful and gracious Queen Elizabeth or even be as bold as to have tea with her majesty.
Food & Drynke
Local and internationally trained chefs are at the faire to serve up foods from fish and chips and sausages to salads and sorbets. Vegetarian and Vegan entrees and desserts are available. We tried the Fish and Chips, they were really good!
Looking for a more immersive experience? The Pub Crawl is offered twice a day. During this journey you visit five of the village pubs for jokes, toasts and games while enjoying the company of Deptford’s many characters. The Pub Crawl is always a sell out so be sure to sign up by the Guest Services Gazebo inside the front gates.
Looking for some serious role playing? Deptford’s live action fantasy-play returns with a brand new story line for 2016. RenQuest brings the worldwide popularity of massively multiplayer online role-playing games into the live action dimension of the Renaissance fair, and offers gamers the chance to test their role-playing prowess beyond the realm of their computer screens. Come join Grace O’Malley and her hearty gang as they quest to solve the puzzle allowing her to seek her treasure! Escape your world and tackle the adventures that are RENQUEST!
Stroll and shop 125 artisans within the village marketplace. Watch as artists demonstrate their skill at blowing glass or forging iron, create a perfectly authentic article of renaissance clothing, or fashion a one of a kind piece out of exotic leathers, there is a special something for everyone. Children can have their face painted, get their hair braided or find a new puppet friend. Arts and crafts workshops such as Celtic drawing, beadwork and basket weaving are offered for all ages at Queen’s College.
Some of the other kid friendly things to do:
- Ride on the Maypole Carousel
- Climb the Monolith-Rock Climbing Wall
- Archery Practice
- Pony Ride & Petting Zoo
- The Big Swing & The Dragon Swing
- Bubble Rollers
- Fools Maze
- Kids' Kingdom offering games, crafts, story-telling, song, shows and the Magical Kids’ Kingdom characters.
- Gnome Hunt
- Knighting Ceremony
- Witches versus Princesses and so much more!
Special Themed Weekend dates for this year:
- April 30 & May 1 Steampunk Weekend
- April 23 & 24 Swashbuckler Weekend
- May 7 & 8 Celtic Weekend
The Faire is open Saturdays & Sundays
April 9 thru May 22, 2016
Santa Fe Dam Recreation Area
15501 E. Arrow Highway • Irwindale, CA
10am - 7pm • Ph: 626.969.4750
Discount tickets at Walgreens or with AAA membership at the box office.