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THINGS WE DID
Upon entering the fair, Mark found the face painting booth and brought Faith over to pick out a facial embellishment. She went right for the rainbow princess eyes and as you can see, she was one happy customer.
Once the championship tournament completed, we moved into the Kid's Cove area to check out the rides and other entertainment venues. While Dean wasn't tall enough for the rides, he ran around the glen area while Faith went on the Flying Carousel and Pirate Ships.
The cool canvas swing Faith is in on the left was sold at Sky Chairs and used on Flying Carousel ride. In the other picture, we're riding on the ship. As you can see from that very large, thick rope, Faith and I had to provide the man power for the ship after we got a nice push off. When we finished up on the rides and had some lunch, we headed back over to the gaming glen for the 2nd round of battles; the King's Tournament.
Quick selfie of me and Miss Faith - we'd lost some gems and acquired some dirt, but the face paint was still holding up pretty well.
As you can see, Faith was in the company of other princesses while watching the King's Tournament. Not only were there many medieval dressed artisans & entertainers, there were plenty of attendees (both children and adults) in dress up garb.
LESSONS LEARNED FOR OUR NEXT VISIT
We had a blast at the fair and think we might go back for another weekend. They are going to do a Game of Thrones themed weekend (Sept 25th) and Royalty Rocks the following weekend with a prince and princess promenade for all kids under 11 on Saturday, Oct 1st. After this first trip, we will definitely be better prepared for our next experience.
1. Bring your jogging stroller
If you don't have a jogging stroller, bring whichever stroller has the beefiest tires and handles rough terrain well. This area is out in the middle of a forest and there are rocks, wood chips, and tons of tree roots. We thought to travel light and used our UPPAbaby G-Lite and a small umbrella stroller we bought a few years ago for cheap at CVS. You know those strollers that look like a cabbage patch doll should be in it and not a human child - yeah, that's the one. So we had those 2 strollers with us since we could easily fold the umbrella stroller and strap to the back of the G-Lite. Next time we will definitely use the BOB double stroller.
2. Buy food & drink tickets right away
And don't forget to have some cash for tips as well as the kids' rides. Right when you walk in there is a booth that sells food and drink tickets. You need these tickets to buy anything at the various food and beverage stands. We went to buy Faith a water and enjoy an adult beverage for ourselves and quickly got nowhere. Not that there's a crazy line or anything to get the tickets, but its easiest to get it out of the way especially since the two stands are near the entrance and the gaming glen. You don't want to go all the way to Kid's Cove and head to a stand to get a drink for thirsty kiddo and have to head back. Also, you can't bring in ANY outside food & drink. We were fine bringing in Dean's bottle, but I had a water and they made me finish it before we could go into the fair. Last, you need cash for the kids' rides. The rides are fairly cheap at $3, $4 a ride. Children under 4 are free so paying for a few rides for them to enjoy isn't too bad of a tradeoff.
3. Don't wait to go to the bathroom
After we'd been at the fair for a few hours and I really need to use the restroom facilities, we found out that they were by the tournament field - so the opposite end of where we were. I tried racing across the fair to get to the bathroom, but since I was using a tiny umbrella stroller and traversing across huge tree roots and rocks, I didn't get anywhere quickly. This bathroom area is the ONLY bathroom area so do NOT hold it. The moment you or your kids need the bathroom head over there right away. They have plenty of bathrooms, but as usual with women's restrooms, a line can develop. They also have an outside changing table, which I can imagine could get harrowing in colder weather. I didn't explore if there was more than that changing table for your kiddos in diapers.
4. HAVE FUN
This goes without saying, but if you enjoy the Game of Thrones or The Tudors or the 16th century, I really think you and the family will have a blast. Especially if your kids enjoy dress up and pretend play, they will love this place. As Faith passed some of the people working there, they would bow to her and address her as "milady" and "princess". She loved it. They also had some really cute flower wreaths for the ladies, which I debated on buying, but held off. So even if you don't want to go full out and get dressed up, you can get into it a little bit and wear some really cute headgear. They had amazing wares there that I hope next time I can do a little browsing and shopping. There are artisans selling jewelry, bows & arrows, wooden staffs, leather chemises, clothing, pottery, and lots of other items. Below I've rounded up some really cute floral headbands for you ladies that want to get into the spirit and go into the fair already rocking some headware.
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