Phoenix Renaissance Festival- Toddler Edition, Part II Last year we were fortunate enough to receive a paid trip to the Phoenix Renaissance Festival for our family. We were invited back for 2015 to talk about our trip with an older toddler in exchange for tickets again. HUZZAH!!
Cool wooden shrooms
First off, the Phoenix Renaissance Festival is free for kids under 5. So really, it is a great deal for families with young kids. Last year we had the toddler in a stroller and she really had a great time. We saw jousting, the shops, the people and we ate the infamous turkey leg. We put in a pretty full day, as she was very compliant. We were beat though! We learned some things and were better prepared for our day of fun. 1- Sunscreen. More. All of it. We wore hats and were more conscious of taking shade where we could get it. I still got a touch of red on the back of my neck.. I always miss a spot! 2- More breaks. We were dressed as pirates, and for some reason pirates are not really made for temperatures in the 80s. Lol. Dressing up is incredibly fun and we wouldn't think of going without our costumes.. we have been adding to the elaborate-ness each trip. So we wanted to show off! But pirates not on the high seas need shade.
3- We got a wagon this year. It is possible to rent a wagon at the Faire,which is really a great option for her age. If your car can't fit your own, rent it! Supplies are limited though. We really wanted a canopy wagon for the zoo and Faire and a fancy one at that so we bought ours. The toddler is old enough to walk some places, and is very aware that strollers are for babies now.. she will go in it, but not always willingly. We had to up our game. We got a stroller with a canopy and decorated it, princess style.
She was stopped many times for photos, and there were jealous ohhhs and ahhhs throughout the property. Our princess was truly royalty for the day. ( in fairness I am not a princess fan, but she demanded princess attire, so I complied.. I DID put her pirate shirt underneath so when she got tired of princess dresses we had a pirate under it all)
The wagon was a fantastic success for other reasons too. She could lay down flat if she wanted, or eat with the little table or just sit upright. We also were able to use the flat setting for a diaper change, in private. We covered the openings so no one could see her nakie. (She really is not a fan of the diaper changing tables on the wall, and she is so tall it is not convenient in any way for us.) Next year I anticipate full potty training, but if not, we are still set up. 4- We brought toddler drinks. It is stated that you can't bring outside beverages, but I am sure babies and toddlers are excluded in this. She is very particular about her milk and juice boxes, so we brought those with us. And while she did like the turkey leg, she only picked at mine. We brought her familiar fruit/cereal bars to munch. They are always a hit for her, even on her pickiest days. Daddah had pizza, and toddlers will never turn down pizza crust.
She DID love the pretzels. They have a man that carries a million soft pretzels on a stick. For $2 it was the deal of the day. She was not keen on the salt, so I did have to scrape it off, but once that was done she inhaled the whole thing.
I additionally ate a frozen banana dipped in chocolate and nuts and a fruit smoothie. She tested those but it was not something she went nuts over. Toddlers.. you never know what they will do next! I say- more for mamma. lol.
5- Drink water.. all the water. That is just a given outside in the sun. 6- Take pictures.. all day. I have about 200 photos. What a great way to capture what you did and didn't do, so you can plan for the next trip.
We decided to take the opposite path from last year. We missed some stuff at the end in 2014 because we were beat- so we started there. (after turkey was acquired of course.) There were some great new activities and displays, so that was a bonus as well. This year I am gainfully employed, so our trip was a little more festive. We definitely hit up the shops for costume add-ons. I got some skirt hikes, and Daddah added a pirate belt and pouch for his costume. There are many fine leather folks at the Faire and they have a good variety of sizes and prices.
Toddler always loves musical instruments, so we added a wooden whistle and a small drum to our collection for her to play.. she had a great time being pulled in that wagon, playing her finds.
We did end up missing the joust this visit.. but we saw some other great activities. We sat and watched a harp performer, a harpsichord player, a cellist and guitar duo, guitar player and some great kids fun in the grass. My daughter really loves music, so it is such a delight to just sit in the grass with her and watch live musicians. She is so content there.
There was a game of duck duck goose that my daughter got into for the first time. She was SQUEALING and running with a gang of Ren Faire kids. We saw them last year as well and it was a delight again. We felt she was still a little small to really ride the rides, but I think next year will be her time. We were never bored. She was content a lot of times to watch the people, comment on them and of course we saw the petting zoo, joust horses and the elephants. Overall, we were there from bout 10:30 to 3:30 and it was a day that went by too fast for us! There is so much left for us to see, we decided to go back again this year..
There was a mask festival this weekend.
If you haven't gotten your tickets- do so here. Be sure to check out the special events listing as well.. you don't want to miss Pirate Day or the other great themes. Thanks again to the folks at the Phoenix Renaissance Festival for another perfect family day out! We look forward to another visit this year, and of course in years to come!