If you are looking for a day full of sights, sounds, smells, and tastes, The Carolina Renaissance Festival is where you need to head! Fairhaven, which is located between Huntersville and Concord, is one of the largest festivals in the country.
There are over 100 talented vendors selling their wares. Don’t be fooled into thinking you will find your typical chintzy “carnival fare” – no airbrushed t-shirts or balloon animals in sight. The vendors in Fairhaven are artists. They come from all over to share their handcrafted pieces of jewelry, leather goods, hand-blown glass, and candles. The best thing about this is you don’t feel bad about getting your little Smarties a prize. The swords and shields or crowns and pixie dust purchases will make their dreams come true AND support an artist.
We all know that a Renaissance Festival isn’t complete without a turkey leg. However, if meat on the bone isn’t your family’s jam, there are plenty of other options to make everyone’s tummies happy. My team thoroughly enjoyed meat on a stick, meatballs served in a bread bowl, wood-fired pizza, and homemade ice cream sandwiches. If the weather would have been about 10 degrees colder, the soups in a bread bowl would have been my choice. There are also plenty of beverage choices for all little and BIG smarties. My Smarty husband chose a horn to drink his out of.
There are plenty of games and activities to keep your knights and fairies entertained. My girls loved the Mermaids! (*Smarty tip: it looks like a long line, but it moves fast*) Once you enter the tent, a maiden tells you tales of different mermaids while you watch them swim in the tank. There is a photo opp with one of the mermaids at the end of the line. Our Smarty (boy) cousins loved the archery target shooting and ax throwing. All five Smarties danced with pirates, gypsies, and the royals.
Our initial plan was only to stay a few hours – just enough time to wear everyone out before nap time. Needless to say with all the fun we were having we skipped nap time and closed the place down. It was such a fun experience that we decided to make it a yearly tradition! Next year we will be going in costume, what theme should we be??
A couple of smarty tips before your trip:
– BRING CASH! Almost all vendors take cash only. There are ATM’s on site, however they
come with a fee.
– BRING A WAGON! If you have little Smarties whose legs get tired, bring your own wagon.
They do have them to rent if needed.
– BACKPACKS AND EMPTY WATER BOTTLES ARE ALLOWED! There are places to refill
your bottle once you get in, and a backpack is great for holding all of your wares.
The Carolina Renaissance Festival
16445 Poplar Tent Rd.
Huntersville, NC 28078