The Texas Renaissance Festival begins this weekend. Here’s what to know before you go.

Hear ye! Hear ye! Calling all nobles, knights, lords, and ladies.

The Texas Renaissance Festival (Steven David, The Texas Renaissance Festival)

The Texas Renaissance Festival is preparing for its 49th season. Every Saturday and Sunday, October 7 through November 26, visitors can delve into a magical realm of song, dance, celebration, and merriment.

Begun in 1974, the Texas Renaissance Festival has grown into the nation’s largest renaissance faire. Each year, over 450,000 visitors flock to Todd Mission, Texas to enter a 16th century European Village boasting more than 500 shops, 20 stages of music and stage acts, hundreds of performers in period costume, and more.

Whether you’re a Ren Fest regular or a faire first-timer, take a moment to review what you need to know before you go.

Texas Renaissance Festival by the numbers

The Texas Renaissance Festival (The Texas Renaissance Festival)
  • 450,000+ guest annually
  • 80,000 turkey legs cooked
  • 50,000 campers annually
  • 1,000+ performers
  • 500 shops
  • 231 acres of camping facilities
  • 50+ acres of festival grounds
  • 20+ stages
  • 17 days of the festival

How to get to the kingdom

The Texas Renaissance Festival (The Texas Renaissance Festival)

Only one road will take you to the gates of the festival – FM 1774. Event organizers strongly recommend approaching the festival from the north and suggested these routes:

  • Route 1: From I-45 North, exit at 105/Conroe and travel West until you get to FM 1774 in Plantersville and head South.
  • Route 2: Take Hwy 290 to Hwy 6 Navasota. From Navasota take Hwy 105 to FM 1774 in Plantersville and head south.
  • If you are traveling north on the Tomball Parkway from 249, take the Woodtrace Blvd. exit and proceed on through Magnolia, taking the FM 1774 flyover to the festival gates.

Parking at the festival is free.

When to make your royal entrance

The Texas Renaissance Festival (The Texas Renaissance Festival)

Event organizers said the majority of visitors arrive between 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. and suggest that those who want to avoid lines should arrive early so they can be at the gate when the king and queen declare the festival open with the cannon at 9 a.m. or, alternately, arrive after 2 p.m. and stay for our Royal Fireworks Show.

Themed weekends and ticket information

The Texas Renaissance Festival (The Texas Renaissance Festival)

Texas Renaissance Festival will offer eight themed weekends of merriment:

The Queen’s Birthday: “All Hail Her Majesty, The Queen! Opening Weekend, come celebrate the Queen’s birthday with special pricing throughout the village, plus unique Queen’s birthday foods, beverages, and entertainment.”

  • Oct. 7 ($17)
  • Oct. 8 ($12)

1001 Dreams: “Faeries, elves, and other fanciful creatures bring enchantment to the lanes of New Market Village. Show off your magical finery in the fantasy costume contest or test your endurance in the fiery dragon-wing eating contest.”

  • Oct. 14 ($10-27)
  • Oct. 15 ($20-22)

Pirate Adventure: “Avast, Ye Hearties! Heave to and come ashore for the most piratical party on the seven seas. Show off your best buccaneer frock in the Best Dressed Pirate contest and try your luck at the Fish-N-Chips eating contest.”

  • Oct. 21 ($10-29)
  • Oct. 22 ($20-24)

All Hallows Eve: “Ghoulies and ghosties arrive for some scary good when the Kingdom welcomes the Transylvanian court. Enter our Halloween costume contest or the Kettle Korn eating contest for a chance to win some ‘spook-tacular’ prizes.”

  • Oct. 28 ($10-29)
  • Oct. 29 ($20-24)

Heroes and Villains: “The mightiest heroes and heroines clash with the darkest of villains and vixens from history and legend. Show off your alter ego in the Heroes and Villains costume contest. If your superpower is eating, accept the challenge of winning the gyro eating contest.”

  • Nov. 4 ($10-27)
  • Nov. 5 ($20-22)

Barbarian Invasion: “Join the Great Horde and feast, drink, and plunder your way through the village during this barbaric rumpus. Are you the worst dressed barbarian around? Prove it on our costume contest or show off your worst table manners in the turkey leg eating contest.”

  • Nov. 11 ($10-34)
  • Nov. 12 ($20-22)

Highland Fling: “Lads and lassies—the pipes are calling you to a celebration of the joys of Scotland. Witness the thrill of the Highland games, show of your Scottish finery in the Bonnie Knees contest, and see if you have the misneach (courage) to participate in the haggis eating contest.”

  • Nov. 18 ($10-27)
  • Nov. 19 ($20-22)

Celtic Christmas: “Father Christmas, Mother Christmas, and all the Christmas elves welcome children of all ages to our final three-day celebration of the coming Yuletide season. The Kingdom is transformed into a Christmas wonderland and holiday music fills the lanes. Find the perfect gifts for everyone on your list in our more than 400 shoppes. There’s also a holiday costume contest and the pumpkin pie eating contest to add to your Christmas cheer.”

  • Nov. 24 ($10-25)
  • Nov. 25 ($10-27)
  • Nov. 26 ($20-22)

Unique experiences

The Texas Renaissance Festival (The Texas Renaissance Festival)

Several of the unique experiences require advance registration.

  • Tea and Strumpets: “Hosted once daily, high above the bustle of New Market Village, this full meal experience provides an interlude of respite in your whirlwind of a day. Bottomless pots of tea with a hearty array of sweets and savories are served at tables you fill with friends. Luscious treats hand-baked by our sister shop, Queen’s Pantry, paired with Tea and Strumpets’ Signature Savories are presented to you in a relaxed, indulgent atmosphere with enough personal space to enjoy it all.”
  • Wine Tasting at Odin’s Table: “ODIN’S TABLE is back with a completely new and unique Texas Wine Tasting experience, and one fit for the Gods. Brought to you by Haak Wines, the Official Wine Sponsor of the 2023 Texas Renaissance Festival, and curated by their knowledgeable staff, and possibly even Odin himself, you will taste through 5 very distinct Haak wines! You can expect this tasting to be visually stunning, interactive, educational, entertaining, and includes a commemorative, ergonomic wine glass with TRF and Haak logos, yours to keep. Chocolate will be served with the final Madeira wine, but no other food is provided in the tasting. You are welcome to bring in your own food. Come Join Odin’s Table for a one-of-kind experience, fit for the gods!”
  • The King’s Feast: “The King’s Feast! A two hour dinner theatre event where you can feast like royalty! Come join us in the King’s Arms Feast Hall where we will delight you with a two hour variety show filled with music, comedy, delicious food and hearty laughter! Special guests from New Market Village will entertain as you feast your way through a six course meal and all the libations, iced tea and water your mug can (legally) handle! Don’t forget to sample our famous and refreshing in house Sangria! Adorn yourself in your finest festival wear (or whatever you’re comfortable in, we don’t judge!) and join His and Her Majesty as we raise a toast to good health, fortune, and merriment at The King’s Feast!”
  • Pub Crawl: “In this two-hour tour through the seedy underbelly of what passes of wit in the alehouses of the Renaissance, the Holy Heralds of Hops will ply you with dirty jokes, lewd songs, drinking games, general debauchery, and of course beer - all the better to lubricate your tongues. Your commemorative tasting glass is yours to keep, and at the end of the crusade, the participant who provides the most inappropriate source of laughter for the rest of us will receive a special prize of (dis)honor to mark their contribution to the Holy Heralds of Hops’ epic Quest of the Holy Fail.”
  • Spirit tastings: “Royal Scoth or Royal Bourbon and Tastings, for guests 21 and older, is an experience fit for a king. Tastings on the hour begin at 10 a.m. each day.”
  • Escape rooms: “These escape rooms are strictly for ages 15+. Though the content is not “PG-13,” per se, the difficulty level and nature/theme of the puzzle design is constructed for the non-child crowd. Also, at least one adult parent or guardian must be in the room with those under 18. Also, be as sober as possible—inebriated guests will be asked to leave, with no refunds.”

Fun for kids

The Texas Renaissance Festival (The Texas Renaissance Festival)

Not all the stage shows at TRF are appropriate for children. Parents are encouraged to review this page for family-friendly fun.

Children 4 and under are admitted free to the festival every day. Kids ages 5 to 12 are FREE on Sundays.

  • Entertainment: “Thrill to the charge of knights jousting on their mighty steeds. Fall under the spell of the faery court. Laugh and be amazed at the clowns, jugglers, acrobats, and magicians performing on stages throughout the village or watch with excitement as birds of prey soar through the air.”
  • Demonstrations: “Education can be fun, too. Our interactive demonstrating artists will show children the arts of paper and broom making, weaving, painting, and pottery. Glass blowers, blacksmiths, and coin makers demonstrate their craft and a true replica of the Guttenberg Press will allow children to see how bookmaking changed the course of history.”
  • Rides, Games, and Activities: “There are hand powered rides, fun games of skill, exciting attractions, and fun children’s activities located throughout New Market Village. Most rides and activities cost between $3 to $5 per person, though prices vary, so ask your attendant.”

Visit for more information.

About the Author:

Briana Zamora-Nipper joined the KPRC 2 digital team in 2019. When she’s not hard at work in the KPRC 2 newsroom, you can find Bri drinking away her hard earned wages at JuiceLand, running around Hermann Park, listening to crime podcasts or ransacking the magazine stand at Barnes & Noble.