Ohio Renaissance Festival: Old Fashion Family Fun

Posted on Sep 19 2013 - 10:30am by Susan Bewley

Ohio Renaissance Festival

Are there certain activities that you associate with fall? For me, autumn is usually the start of many fun fall festivals. While I love craft fairs and many smaller fall festivals, I have to say the biggest thing my family looks forward to doing is the local Renaissance festival. Really, this isn’t even a small event, but a rather large festival that comes to Harveysburg, Ohio every year. Ever since we moved to the greater Cincinnati area we have enjoyed going to this festival, and this year was no different! This was the first year, however, that were able to make it to the Ohio Renaissance Festival during opening weekend, making it a big deal for my family and their Swedish exchange student!

Ohio Renaissance Festival: What is It?

Never been to a Renaissance festival? If so, you are in for a treat! The Ohio Renaissance Festival is a fairly large festival that has professional shows, costumed actors, man powered rides, and unique shops where you find items you normally can’t find in stores. For me, these sort of the festivals are the type of experience that I think everyone should see at least once. Just don’t be surprised if you are feeling rushed trying to get everything done the first time, especially with all the shows and shopping that is available. I also love the random actors throughout the festival who have you laughing as they randomly play their parts throughout the day! I also love that this is a family friendly event that is safe for children of all ages – my youngest sister in law has been going since she was eight or nine.

Ohio Renfest

Ohio Renaissance Festival:  Shows

Your first time at the Ohio Renaissance Festival, I highly recommend checking out the various shows and other forms of entertainment throughout the festival. I have seen just about all the shows throughout the years, but this was the first time I actually got to watch the jousting tournament. Unlike other festivals that play around with jousting, the Ohio Renaissance Festival actually has professional jousters who compete throughout the world. This show goes on three times a day, so you have to plan ahead to catch it or be lucky. Scheduling has kept me from seeing it every other year. As you can see from my pictures and video, it is actually quite exciting and fun to watch! If you can catch only two shows at the festival, highly recommend the jousting match and the pirate comedy show.

Ohio Renaissance Festival Show

Ohio Renaissance Festival: Shopping

For me, this is the best part of any Renaissance festival – the shopping! Each shop at the Ohio Renaissance Festival is in its own covered building where you can get out of the sun and shop. What I loved so much about these shops is that they all had quality items. While there are obviously quite a few costume shops, there are also places that make handmade jewelry, soaps, and even pottery. This year, I filled up my Furoshiki Eco Knapsack with fun goodies, including homemade incense, jewelry, and even a large marble mortar and pestle for my soap making. My jewelry had to be the biggest treat since my husband actually picked out my necklace and earring set himself.

Ohio Renaissance Festival Shopping

Ohio Renaissance Festival: Food

While this may seem a bit odd, part of the fun of going to Renaissance festivals is the food. If you walk around the Ohio Renaissance Festival, you will notice that there are a variety of little built in restaurants and eating areas. What makes this festival unique, however, is that every food area is also a fundraiser. A charity group or church runs each of the food stations, allowing them to raise money for their cause in a fun, healthy environment. Most of the food at this festival has a Renaissance theme, ranging from large turkey legs to stews. While most of my family went with safe finger foods (such as chicken nuggets), Daniel and I had bread bowls.  I actually look forward to getting the beef stew every year. For relatively little money, you get a giant bowl of food. To this day, I have NEVER finished one of their bread bowls. As you can see from the picture, it is actually quite huge!

If you go to the main eating area in the front part of the village, you can also listen to live music. Daniel and I were enjoying listening to folk music as we ate. Really, the eating arrangements make it an even more fun experience. For me, it was cute watching all the little children also dance to the music. Really, could you have a more family friendly environment?

Ohio Renaissance Festival Food

Ohio Renaissance Festival: Overall

Even though I have been going to the Ohio Renaissance Festival for over five years, I have to say that the 2013 Ohio Renaissance Festival may be the best yet. Everyone left exhausted, happy, and with lots of fun goodies. It’s rare we get a party of twelve people together for the festival and I have to say it made things even more entertaining! With how much fun my husband and I had, we may very well be going back later in the season – hopefully in costume if it’s not too hot! If you are looking for a fun day trip and live in the Ohio, Kentucky, & Indiana area, I highly recommend checking out this festival. If you are a fantasy buff like us, I’m sure you will love it!

Ohio Renaissance Festival: More Info

Want to check out the Ohio Renaissance Festival for yourself? You can learn more about the festival on the Ohio Renaissance Festival website. There, you can also be able to see the themes for the remaining weekends. If you can only make one weekend, however, i would highly recommend going during the Oktoberfest weekend! Either way, you can expect a weekend of family fun at this festival! Just don’t wait too long since the Ohio Renaissance Festival ends at 6 PM on October 20th, 2013.

Disclosure: Budget Earth did not receive compensation for this review and tickets were purchased with our own money. All opinions are my own and may differ from our readers’ opinions.

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Susan Bewley is a professional writer who has been writing content online & in print format for over 10 years. As well, she is an alumni of the University of Louisville with a Masters Degree in Special Education. When not working as an online business consultant or ghost writing, she can be found writing on Budget Earth, on her own novel, or working with various entities in the pet industry.

18 Comments so far. Feel free to join this conversation.

  1. Maria Iemma September 19, 2013 at 10:44 am - Reply

    I love Renaissance Festivals, we have one in our area every year and our family tries not to miss it.

  2. sherry butcher September 19, 2013 at 11:49 am - Reply

    Love Festivals, would go to a Renaissance festival if I found one near here.  There are a lot of good things in your review to look into.  Thanks for the information.

  3. tammy young September 20, 2013 at 4:45 pm - Reply

    i so loved this as a kid 

  4. lisa September 21, 2013 at 2:53 pm - Reply

    That sounds like gun. I've never been to anything like that, but hope to one day.

  5. Deborah D September 21, 2013 at 7:38 pm - Reply

    That really sounds like fun.  I can't wait to go.

  6. Tiffany Hathorn September 23, 2013 at 10:44 am - Reply

    I've always wanted to go to a renaissance fair but never had the opportunity to 

  7. Alicia September 25, 2013 at 3:36 pm - Reply

    I have been to this festival before.  I strongly suggest going if you get the chance.

  8. Sherry Compton September 26, 2013 at 8:33 am - Reply

    Sounds like a great family weekend and tradition.  Yes, there are many things I associate with fall.  Our family birthdays are in the fall.  When my kids were little, we would go pick apples at the apple orchard and sip apple cider while eating apple fritters.  Yum!  Love how the food at the Renaissance festival was a fundraiser.  Great promotion!

    • Susan Bewley September 26, 2013 at 1:17 pm - Reply

      It realy is a great festival and I love supporting all the small businesses too! I also think its great to get kids and teenagers away from electronics for a day.

  9. Michelle S September 28, 2013 at 10:34 pm - Reply

    We have gone to the one in Bristol, Wisconsin. Our family really enjoyed it! We really want to go back again.

  10. Tim October 2, 2013 at 9:14 pm - Reply

    I've read some good things about the Ohio Renaissance Festival, although I've never personally attended.

  11. Sue Hull November 2, 2013 at 9:12 pm - Reply

    I've never been to Ohio or a Renaissance Festival. By reading and watching your post it looks like so much fun. That bowl looks so yummy! I live in California and in Walnut Creek we have a Walnut Festival which has everything except the shows. We went every year when I was a kid and when my daughter was little we took her.Now she's grown and pregnant. I know her, and her fiance will take the baby once it's old enough. The food is the best. I bet your festival is way better. Thanks for sharing 🙂

  12. denise low March 1, 2014 at 5:17 pm - Reply


  13. Shannon May 25, 2014 at 12:09 am - Reply

    This looks like a great event! I would love to go.

  14. Rosie September 28, 2014 at 2:11 pm - Reply

    Oh wow! this is so cool! Worth taking a trip to spend a few days to enjoy the festival and the area!!! So much work goes into this, it is amazing!

  15. denise low February 6, 2015 at 12:05 pm - Reply

    Thanks for the information. I never knew that they had this festival. I am from ohio.I don’t live there anymore.

  16. lisa September 26, 2015 at 1:26 pm - Reply

    I have never been. My daughter and her husband have and she enjoyed it. I love the period clothing. It sounds like a good time.

  17. Rosie August 8, 2016 at 10:50 am - Reply

    I’ve never been to a Renaissance Festival, and this looks like a really good one. I’d love to take a trip and stay for a weekend of fun!

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