Tips for Attending The Ohio Renaissance Festival 2023

The Ohio Renaissance Festival is an annual event in the fall each year in southern Ohio, 45 minutes from Cincinnati. Guests step back in time as they explore the 30-acre recreated 16th Century English Village.

There are plenty of things to do while you’re there with 50 shows, 153 daily performances, 22 stages, 166 unique arts and artisan shops, and 9 themed weekends. The hardest part is narrowing down all of your options.

The Ohio Renaissance Festival is a fun adventure for Lords and Ladies of all ages.

I’m sharing more about what to expect at the Ohio Renaissance Fair and tips before you go.

Entrance for the Ohio Renaissance Festival

I was given tickets for review and giveaway purposes. All opinions are my own. This article contains affiliate links.

When is The Ohio Renaissance Festival 2023?

The Ohio Renaissance Festival is on weekends and Labor Day- September 2 – October 29, 2023

The Ohio Renaissance Festival

What are the Hours for The Ohio Renaissance Festival?

The hours for the Ohio Renaissance Festival are 10:30 AM — 7:00 PM.

The Ohio Renaissance Festival

How to Save Money on Tickets to The Ohio Renaisance Festival

The online rates for The Ohio Rennaisance can save you $2 off adult tickets and $2 off children’s tickets compared to ticket prices at the gate.

If you plan on visiting the festival muliple weekends you may want to consider purchasing a season pass.

Discounts are available for seniors 65+ and Military/Police/Fire/EMS at the ticket booth only.

If you pay at the ticket booth there is a 3.5% fee if you pay with a credit card.

people at the Ohio Renaissance Festival

What Time Should You Get to the Ohio Renaissance Festival?

To make the most out of your experience I would try to get there early. Sundays tend to have lighter crowds than Saturdays.

The parking lot opens at 9:30 and the gate opens at 10:30. You can purchase your tickets online or at a ticket booth near the entrance.

It’s recommended to print or screenshot your tickets because cell phone reception can be weak at the festival. Online tickets must be printed at home or be available for scanning on your mobile device as a screenshot.

Parking is free and there is a designated area for anyone with special needs.

Kamikaze Fireflies at the Ohio Renaissance Festival

Plan Your Day Around The Entertainment at The Ohio Rennaisance Festival

There are so many great shows at the Ohio Renaissance Festival with 49 shows daily on 17 stages. The biggest challenge is deciding which show to see next.

Many of the shows have multiple time slots throughout the day and some of the show times may overlap. 

You can check out the entertainment ahead of time on an interactive map online. There are also paper maps at the entrance when you arrive.

The stages are pretty spread out so you’ll want to allow for some travel time in the crowds between the shows.

fully armored joust at the Ohio Renaissance Festival

It’s hard to pick a favorite show but a few of the MUST SEE shows/ high-energy highlights in my opinion are:

  • The Fully Armored Joust – real knights doing 3 jousting tournaments a day (be on the lookout for Queen Elizabeth)
  • The Kamikaze Fireflies – one of our favorite shows with comedy skits and creative stunts
  • Cincinnati Barbarians – pictured MMA with real armor- it gets intense but it’s fun to watch
  • Wheel of Death – death-defying danger on the wheel
Pirate Ship Stunt Show at the Ohio Renaissance Festival

Younger kids will love cheering on their favorite knight during the joust and laughing at the Pirate Stunt show that takes place on a pirate ship stage.

performers dancing at the Ohio Renaissance Festival

The street magicians are also fun to see. The pickle vendor is hilarious if you happen to catch his one-liners to the customers.

pub at the Ohio Renaissance Festival

There are also several musical acts that perform throughout the day. The couple with a bagpipe and drums are definitely worth checking out near the pub.

performers at the Ohio Renaissance Festival

Arrive Early for a Good Seat for the Popular Shows

The fully armored joust is definitely worth arriving early for a good seat for a better view. We arrived 30 minutes early for front-row seats.

If you have smaller kids you may want to have one person hold seats while the other walks around before the joust starts.

The Mudde Show is also a show to arrive early for good seats. If you are too far back you will miss a lot of the context because your view is obstructed and it’s harder to hear.

Most of the performers work for tips so you might want to bring some extra cash to support some of your favorite performers throughout the day.

Turkey leg at the Ohio Renaissance Festival

Try the Ohio Renaissance Festival Food

One of the best parts of the Ohio Renaissance Festival is always trying all of the delicious foods.

A few of the popular festival foods are the giant turkey legs, bread bowls, and Dole whip. There are plenty of hearty food options to fill you up.

bread bowl at the Ohio Renaissance Festival

 The Turkey leg can feed 2-3 people and the bread bowls can also easily be shareable. 

pretzel at the Ohio Renaissance Festival

If you want a snack you can’t go wrong with a pretzel or a large pickle.

food line at the Ohio Renaissance Festival

If you want to avoid long food lines eat around noon before the first joust ends at 1pm.

You can see the full list of festival food and drink options here.

people walking at the Ohio Renaissance Festival

What Should You Wear to the Ohio Renaissance Festival?

You should wear whatever you are comfortable with. A lot of the festival attendees do dress up.

people walking around the Ohio Renaissance Festival

In fact, the people-watching is spectacular. There are some really creative costumes and countless characters to observe during your day of medieval fun.

If you don’t want to dress up that is totally fine too. There are also plenty of vendors if you want to purchase a few pieces while you are there. The elf ears are a very popular accessory.

There are lots of Renaissance themed costumes available online including elf ears.

If you arrive at the beginning of the Ohio Renaissance Festival you may want to dress in layers because it can get warm on a beautiful fall day. It can also get dusty so plan your footwear accordingly.

There are both permanent and portable bathrooms located throughout the festival. I would highly suggest a permanent one if you have a more elaborate costume.

tomatoe throwing game at the Ohio Renaissance Festival

Are There Things For Kids to Do at the Ohio Renaissance Festival?

You’ll find many children-centric vendors along Urchin Alley between the Revelers Stage and the Mudde Show.

swing for kids at the Ohio Renaissance Festival

There are also some really creative human-powered rides and that little lords and ladies will enjoy and games of skill that appeal to all ages.

viking ship swing at the Ohio Renaissance Festival

Mini Adventures at The Ohio Renaissance Festival

There are additional free games, quests, and games for all ages during the Ohio Renaissance Festival that are some of the hidden gems of the festival.

  • Viking Trade Game – every festival day (kid-friendly)
  • Order of the Skull & Rose – every festival day (kid-friendly)
  • Siren Games – 1:45 pm every festival day (kid-friendly)
  • ORF Finders Keepers –  every festival day (kid-friendly)
  • IWG Local 73 Wench Collecting – every festival day
  • Fairy Playtime – Every festival day, 1 PM (kid-friendly)
  • Pirate Playtime – Every festival day, 2:30 PM (kid-friendly)
  • Costume Content – September 30 & October 1, 3:00 PM
  • Mass Vow Renewal – October 14 & 15, 12:30 pm
  • Pumpkin Vs. Watermelon War – October 21 & 22, 5 PM
  • Village Trick or Treating – October 28 & 29 (kid-friendly)

I would recommend learning more about these mini adventures ahead of time to make the most of your visit.

blacksmith at the Ohio Renaissance Festival

Take Home a Unique Souvenir

You can find one-of-a-kind souvenirs from unique shops with world-class artisans located throughout the festival.

Create a one-of-kind piece of art with one of the world-class glassblowers, select a gift created by leather tooling, unique swords, and more!

The Ohio Renaissance Festival

Special Themed Weekends at The Ohio Renaissance Festival

There are special-themed weekends from 10:30 AM to 7 PM.

  • Fantasy Weekend – September 9 — 10, 2023 “All things fantastical come to life this weekend! Join the Witches of Willy Nilly and the fairies as they enchant the village. “
  • Pirates Weekend – September 16 — 17, 2023 “Celebrate International Talk like a Pirate Day all weekend long! Rollicking sea shanties, a giant Pirate ship, and Pirate Play Time await ye landlubbers!”
  • Highland Weekend – September 23 — 24, 2023 “Lads and lassies, the pipes are calling for you to join in the celebration of Highland heritage. It’ll be a real fling with themed competitions, bagpipes, haggis, and more!” 
  • Time Travelers Weekend – September 30 — October 1 “Dress as your favorite character inspired by a movie, TV series, comic book, sci-fi, or fantasy work. Everyone is welcome!” There is a costume contest too!
  • Viking Weekend – October 7 — 8, 2023 “Gather your horde and raid the village!”
  • Romance Weekend – October 14 — 15, 2023 “Celebrate Sweetest Day with us!  Hearts a-fire as couples renew their vows in a free Mass Renewal of Vows Ceremony held at St. Peter’s Chapel.”
  • Feast of Fools – October 21 — 22, 2023 “It’s okay to be foolish this weekend! The village is filled with fools of all sizes and their foolish antics. PLUS it’s Pumpkin Vs. Watermelon Wars!”
  • Tricks or Treats – October 28 — 29, 2023 “Enjoy your favorite show, a mug of ale, and delicious foods one last time because, after the 30th, we’re history ‘til next year! Wee ones 12 and under are also FREE this weekend.”
Whimsy Woods at The Ohio Renaissance Festival

What’s New at The Ohio Renaissance Festival in 2023?

Introducing Whimsy Woods!

  • 5-acre expansion of the festival grounds
  • The largest expansion in 20+ years of the event
  • Shady spaces for respite
  • Pepsi ZeroZone natural playground for the wee ones
  • Fantastical and mythical creatures throughout the area

Four New Stages

  • Cincinnati Barbarians will move to a brand new arena. More space to see the carnage first-hand!
  • Green Man Stage will feature the music of Bettina Solas and Muse’s Melodies.
  • Rabbit’s Hole Stage will feature a little more adult humor with Filthy Irish Stories and Bettina Bawdeville.
  • High Flying Fools move over for more comedic acrobatics.

More Food & Libations

  • Gryphon’s Row will feature loaded spuds, German fare, gourmet hot dogs, and Gypsy Rice.
  • Throughout Whimsy Woods find Dole Whip, Kettle Korn, fruit cups, and French fare.
  • The Gryphon’s Nest is at the end of the row featuring a variety of libations, turkey legs, and giant cookies.
  • Crooked Handle, Heart State Brewery, and Woodstone Meadery offer a selection of beverages from gazebos nestled in the hills and valleys.

Looking for non-alcoholic options?

  • Visit the ZeroZone Gazebo featuring Pepsi, Warped Wing Sodas, Twister Fruit Juice, Pure Leaf Tea, Gatorade, and Water.

More Shopping

  • Grab honey-sweet treats or candles from Clove & Hive.
  • Discover Amish furniture, 3D dragons, and other artistic creations at Idle Hands 3D Treasures.

Need supplies for crafting and decoration?

  • Stop by Sage & Salt Apothecary. And, more!

Mirth & Whimsy

  • Adorable festival friends for the children.
  • Discovered during the recent expansion of Whimsy Woods
  • They take joy in watching over the visiting children who love to play in the shady glens and hills of Whimsy Woods.
  • They are mythical but you can find them in the fantasy and whimsy surrounding Whimsy Woods (i.e., look for them near trees, bridges, in the playground)
The Ohio Renaissance Festival

Where is the Ohio Renaissance Festival Located?

The Ohio Renaissance Festival is located at 10542 East State Route 73, Waynesville, OH 45068.

Discounts on Hotels and Vacation Rentals Near The Ohio Rennaisance Festival

Save and compare prices on nearby hotels and vacation rentals.

The Ohio Renaissance Festival

I’ve been given a Family Four Pack of Tickets to Giveaway!

Enter below for a chance to win 4 tickets to the Ohio Renaissance Festival (2 Winners ) to be used in 2023

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Looking for Another Warren County Adventure?

Caesar Creek State Park is only 3.1 miles away.

Holiday Scenes from Shaker Village of Pleasant Hill

Need an Excuse to Come Back to The Ohio Rennaisance Festival?

You’ll definitely want to check out Yuletide Village at Rennaisance Park, on Fridays and Saturdays from late November to mid-December.

Tips for Attending the  Ohio RENAISSANCE Festival

52 thoughts on “Tips for Attending The Ohio Renaissance Festival 2023”

  1. We haven’t been to the festival in a few years…I’d love to check it out with my girls now that they are a little bit older and can particpate in more of the games and activities!

  2. I haven’t been to this festival since high school and I’m 45! It was something I did with my mom and aunts that I looked forward to every year. I don’t know why we stopped!?! Would love to take my own kids now that they’re about the age I was when I started going!

  3. I would love to win these tickets because my boyfriend’s daughters absolutely love to go but it’s so expensive for tickets. I’d be so happy to take them.

  4. My almost 15 year old LOVES the Renaissance Festival and begs to go every year!
    Thanks for all the tips for getting the most out of the day.

  5. We haven’t been in years! What a fun giveaway. I have a little guy who’d LOVE to win! He’s never been

  6. My hubby is actually in the middle of making an outfit for Ren Faire for our 4 year old currently! With how finances are right now, winning would be such a blessing! Thank you for this opportunity! ?

  7. I took my preteen last year and we had a fabulous time! Hoping to make it back at some point with the rest of the family.

  8. We used to take our daughter to Ren Fest every year. Then, Covid hit. Since then, I have had two littles and that made it nearly impossible to go. Now that my youngest is 1-years-old, we would love to take the family for a fun adventure and restart traditions!

  9. We’re planning on taking our kids this fall. It will be the first time my son will be there. I know he’ll love the knights, jousting, food, all of it. It’d be great to get these for my family. I know we’d all love it.

  10. I’d love to win tickets. My kiddos are now grown and we haven’t been since they were little. I’d love to visit again with them. We love watching the shows and giant turkey legs 😉

  11. My husband and I have gone every year since college. We love the Mudd show, Robin Hood, and all the strolling musicians. We are still going strong after 16 years.

  12. We love the Ohio Renaissance Festival! I think my family has been, most of us anyway, for the last…10 years or more? Usually in costume, and now some of us are taking our kids.

    Our favorites are The Swordsmen! We love Dirk & Guido, they are always our first stop and sometimes our last too.

    Thanks for the chance!

  13. Cool! I love the Ren Fair here in Tampa! Of course you love it too! That’s why we’re blogger BFFs. Love the adventures and the site. You’ve already inspired me to try new things…and I thought I was already good at that!!! Keep up the good work.

  14. We haven’t been able to make it in a few years. Our youngest has never been and I would love to take her.

  15. My daughter has been begging to go to the Renaissance Festival. She’s a big fan of the show Merlin and wants to be a renaissance maiden for Halloween. Hoping we can get some good accessories there!

  16. A little birdie told me it’s great people watching. Plus jousting, and Kevin wants to eat a big turkey leg or whatever those are! Lol

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