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5 Things To Do at the Michigan Renaissance Festival


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If you're hunting for something fun to do on the weekends in Michigan, consider heading down to the annual Michigan Renaissance Festival. It is a fun-filled outdoor event perfect for the family to bond and learn a little. Or, if you want to impress that certain someone with a unique date idea, the Michigan Renaissance Festival is the perfect way to have fun and get to know someone. Here's our list of the top things to do at the Michigan Renaissance Festival.

About the Michigan Renaissance Festival

This annual event is an interactive outdoor spectacle that focuses on recreating the appearance and atmosphere of a fictional English village called Hollygrove during the reign of Queen Elizabeth I. The Festival began in 1979 and has since gained so much popularity that it has expanded to welcome more than 250,000 guests annually. Now located on 100 acres of land between I-75 and Dixie Highway, the property includes two lakes and two large parking areas. Permanent structures have been built throughout the years as the festival has expanded and become a consistent part of Michigan culture and entertainment.

The post-summer event is held on the weekends from about August 21 to October 3 and includes Labor Day and Festival Friday, observed on October 1 this year. Ticket prices vary considerably because they are based on entry duration and participant's age. For children, passes vary in price between $10 and $90, while an adult's entry fee can range from $24 to $100. Leashed, vaccinated, and friendly pets are welcome to enter and take part in the event. You'll need to also purchase a dog ticket and keep their vaccination card handy while on the grounds.


Michigan Renaissance Festival
Image via Flickr by battlecreekcvb | Licensed by CC BY 2.0

Does a good duel get your blood pumping? Do you enjoy riding horses? Are you skilled at holding a lance? The Renaissance Fair features a full-contact armored jousting competition, complete with knights and emblems. So take a step back in time and fight for your maiden the old-fashioned way, join the jousting tournament. Impress the maiden, defeat your opponents, and get a great workout! You're well protected under armor and padding. No matter the outcome, you will have a great time.

Live Shows

Sit back, relax, and drink a pint of ale while you listen to some live music or take in a show under a tent. Several genres of music are featured throughout the event, and there are also comedy acts, acrobatics, fire breathing performances, and belly dancers. Check their website for specific groups or performers to know what to expect before you go. You might treat your ears to some lovely ballads or rock 'n' roll or see some outstanding feats of skill and bravery. The festival celebrates medieval times like no other and is a beloved event of Michiganders.

Music, Games, and Rides

You'll find a handful of rides for some adrenaline-seeking folks. Whether you want to challenge your skills at archery, take part in a barbecue competition, or try your hand at fencing, you'll find plenty to keep you occupied at the festival. The venue schedules a wide selection of different musicians to entertain guests so there's not a dull moment to be had. Check online for featured musicians so you can lace up your best dancing shoes and load up the car... errr... wagon.


Nothing says celebration and fun like some great fair food. Make sure you take an appetite with you to enjoy some great grub. Any good Renaissance reenactment actor knows that having a turkey leg in hand is the best way to freshen up on ye Olde English. But also make sure you get the traditional funnel cakes to cure that sweet tooth and treat yourself to the best time possible. If the kids get hungry, a warm, grilled, and buttered corn on the cob is the perfect way to satisfy those little tummies. Add some parmesan cheese to it for a little bit of extra flavor. They'll be excited to be chowing down without forks!

Handmade Art

Before you leave, take time to meander through the different tents and shops to admire the skill and craft that goes into making some of the handmade arts and crafts you'll find displayed. The festival is full of shops that sell costumes, trinkets, collectibles, souvenirs, toys, and more. You'll find local artisans who are ready to make you a one-of-a-kind art piece to display on your wall at home. Local jewelry makers will sit with you to plan your next gift for your best friend. Grab some handmade soap and a unique scrunchie to commemorate the day and support local businesses.

Whether you are visiting Michigan for the weekend or are a born and bred Michigander, you'll want to experience the fun, excitement, and charm that this event offers attendants. Don your brightest medieval garb, bring a few shillings with you, and get ready to be taken back to a time where cell phones and Wi-Fi didn't exist. It's a great way to disconnect from the business of work and enjoy some sunlight and fresh air with friends or family.

Did you find something that interests you on our list? Did we leave off your favorite? Let us know what you think about our top things to do at the Michigan Renaissance Festival. We'll be happy to add your recommendations to our list. Stop by one of the offices of Goodman Acker P.C. in either Detroit or Grand Rapids.