So, this past weekend I got to live out one of my nerdiest dreams. As many of you know, I had a crazy busy weekend last weekend visiting my sister and her boyfriend who live near Washington, D.C. I love getting to see them and dragging them off to do nerdy things!
Luckily for me, I was able to convince them to spend some time exploring Revel Grove! Revel Grove is Maryland's largest Renaissance Faire, and a little over an hour outside of D.C. Revel Grove, set in the reign of Henry VIII, is filled with craftsmen, performers, and amazing food! Their season runs August- October.
So, I'm gonna tell you all about my day spent visiting Revel Grove, and give you some helpful tips in case you ever decide to visit (I think you should!)!
Revel Grove opens at 10am, and stays open until 7pm. We got there about 10:30, and still spent a long time waiting to park. If you plan on going, I recommend getting there way before 10, or way after, or risk waiting in a long line of cars. Tickets are a tad pricey ($27 for adults, $12 for kids) but totally worth it for all the goodies you get inside! Most of the food places, and most of the vendors, only take cash so come prepared with actual bills if you plan on shopping/eating!
Once we got through the gate (and I stopped squealing excitedly!), we went straight to the Customer Services kiosk. There you can grab a map of Revel Grove and a schedule of all the days events. There are so many wonderful performers that I highly suggest going to see as many of them as possible! But more on that later!
After we checked in, and hit Ye Olde Privies (FYI the privies are Port-a-Potties so take that into consideration!), we headed straight for the first of 3 food court areas! Each area had different specialties, but most had the usual Faire fodder (Hello, turkey legs!), and all of them had different areas to grab drinks, both alcoholic and non. There were also several cute "pubs" to stop and drink along the way!
After stopping for a quick snack, and a drink of course, we set off the the Jousting Grounds where we a weapons demonstration. One of the cool things about Revel Grove is that they try to make it very historically accurate. They have several "lectures," for lack of a better term, for people to learn about life in Tudor England.
After the demonstration, we caught the first of 3 jousts. And they were amazing! The horsemanship was incredible! Each section of the stands roots for a different knight, and ours was an Irishman which i really appreciated!
After the joust, which was presided over by Henry VIII himself, we headed towards one of the bigger food courts, and managed to thoroughly stuff our faces full of Faire goodies! There are so many different types of food everyone will find something, most likely more than one something, that they want to eat!
There are so many different craftsman and vendors that we spent a decent part of the day looking at all the different shops! There were live glass blowing, and pottery, demonstrations, which were very cool to watch, as well as tons of cool jewelry and costume shops! There was even a book shop that sold books dealing with Tudor England (both fictional and non-fiction!)! I found it a nice addition.
In between catching performances, and meeting King Henry VIII, we ate and shopped the day away! I recommend planning on staying the whole day! There is so much to see and do, and eat, that you'll want to spend the day in Revel Grove! I'd also recommend wearing comfy shoes since there is a lot of walking!
We ended up leaving around 6:30pm, and didn't hit too much traffic leaving which was nice after all the traffic on the way in! It was the perfect, nerdiest, day!
So, before I sign off, I'm gonna go over some "Can't Miss" events and snacks!
Can't Miss Events!
1. The Joust
The Joust has three shows each day, with all three shows being different. The real winner of the Joust is announced at the last show of the day, but that is also the busiest show of the day! The Joust is wildly entertaining, and gets a little rowdy with everyone cheering for their champion! It's fun for all ages!
2. The Renaissance Revelers
These guys are a singing group that sings Tudor-timey songs! They were wildly talented, and very fun to watch! The songs ranged from drinking songs to dancing songs, from Italian to English to French. If you're on the hunt for something relaxing, and historical, I highly recommend catching one of their shows!
3. Violins of Baltimore
This musical duo, hailing from Baltimore, play a wide variety of tunes on their violins. Ranging from Irish reels to Scandinavian Waltzes, their music will make you want to clap your hands and stomp your feet! Plus, their stage is right near the Globe Theatre where, if you were so inclined, you could catch one of many Shakespeare adaptations/ productions!
4. The Wheel of Death
The Wheel of Death is wildly entertaining! Filled with death-defying stunts performed high in the sky, The Wheel of Death is not for the faint-hearted. With some cheesy miming aside, watching a man skip rope on top of a spinning wheel is enough to get everyone's blood pumping!
5. An Audience with the King
While Henry and the other members of the Court wander the Faire throughout the day, the only time to get a posed photo is at this event. It starts with a Q and A session with Henry and his Court, then ends with a photo op! The cast is wildly knowledgeable about all things Tudor, and getting the pic was super fun! Anne Bolyne said she liked my cover-up! One of the coolest things about Revel Grove is that each season follows a different year in Henry VIII's reign. This year was Henry pushing aside his wife to be with Anne Bolyne! The history is awesome!
Can't Miss Snacks
1. Turkey Legs
This is a total Ren Faire staple! It was delicious! The line for the Turkey Legs were pretty long, but I really recommend eating one! It was totally worth it, even if I was picking turkey out of my teeth the rest of the day!
2. Scotch Eggs
I super recommend the Scotch Eggs. And so does the guy sitting behind us at the Joust! There is only one place to get these delicious meat-wrapped hard-boiled eggs! The lines are long, but the eggs are worth it!
3. Mac-n-Cheese on a Stick
I had no idea these were a thing, and I am so glad to know they exist! They were super tasty and delicious! Be careful, though, they are real hot on the inside!
4. Soup in a Bread Bowl
While it was a tad warm for soup, we knew it was one we were going to try! The soup was super tasty, and so was the bowl it came in! I recommend eating it quickly though since the soup does eventually start to leak thought the bowl!
5. Peanut Butter Pie on a Stick
This one is pretty self-explanatory, but that makes it no less yummy! The pie part was super creamy, and the crust was nicely chocolaty! It was a tasty little treat!
Can't Miss Drinks
1. Raspberry Wine
While they do have the usual beers at all the little pubs and drink stands, I do recommend getting a glass of the raspberry win! It was so tasty I drank most of it before remembering I needed to take a picture of it! It is $12 a glass, but worth it!
So, there you have it! I had a blast at Revel Grove! I learned quite a bit about Tudor England, ate and drank some tasty treats, and got to live out my nerdiest dream! I recommend taking a trip to Revel Grove next time your in Maryland!