Guide to the Texas Renaissance Festival

Texas Renaissance Festival
••• Robyn Correll

The Texas Renaissance Festival is an eight-week long Renaissance theme park located just outside Houston in Plantersville, Texas. The largest and most highly acclaimed event of its kind nationwide, the Renaissance festival will emerge its visitors in the world that was 16th-century British village life.

When

  • Saturdays and Sundays from October through Thanksgiving Weekend, including the Friday after Thanksgving.
  • Gates open at 9 a.m. and close at 6 p.m., with the park itself closing at 8 p.m. following the evening fireworks.
  • Arrive early to avoid a long hike from your parking space. 

Where

The festival takes place takes place on a 55 acre site located at 21778 FM 1774 in Plantersville, Texas, approximately 56 miles from Houston.

Admission

Tickets purchased at the gate are $30 for adults and $15 for children aged 5 to 12. Children age 4 and under are free.

Discounts

There are a few ways to save on ticket costs:

  • Opening Weekend: Opening weekend tickets are offered at a discounted price but are only good for the first weekend and must be purchased online, from a ticket outlet, by phone or by mail. Opening weekend tickets purchased at the gate will remain full price.
  • Advance Tickets: Tickets purchased in advance online are a few dollars cheaper, and tickets can either be printed off at home or pulled up on your smart phone. 
  • Ticket Outlets: Discounted tickets may be purchased at designated ticket outlets, such as HEB, Market Basket or Woodforest National Bank.

What to Bring

  • Most vendors inside the park accept credit cards, and ATMs are available throughout the grounds, but it's a good idea to have cash to avoid large fees or hassles. Outside food and beverages are not allowed inside the park, with the exception of provisions from infants and toddlers, but there are plenty of food and beverage vendors, as well as free water fountains are available near the restrooms. 
  • Costumes are encouraged, but there's no need to buy one beforehand. A variety of costumes is available for rent just outside the park's gates. 
  • The park is massive, so if you're bringing small children either bring a stroller or wagon or rent one near the gate's entrance. 

Themes

  • Oktoberfest: This theme centers around German life and features live music from Wolgemut, swordfight demonstrations, Bratwurst and German beers.
  • All Hallows Eve: Visit the Renaissance Festival during Halloween weekend and participate in costume contest, trick-or-treating, candied apple-eating contest and more. Feast on Kiszka (Blood Sausage), corn on the cob and funnel cakes.
  • Barbarian Invasion: Prove just how barbaric you are by competing in contest like Worst Dressed Barbarian, Strongest Barbarian and Barbarian Obstacle Course. Also see live performances from Crannog and The Sturdy Beggars Mud Show.
  • Pirate Adventure: Set sail on a rousting voyage of the sea with the Pride of Bedlam crew. Participate in contests such as treasure hunts, best outfitted pirate, a fish and chips-eating contest and the Talk Like a Pirate competition which is sure to make even the meanest of pirates fold over in laughter.
  • Roman Bachanal: Try your hand at Bocce Ball, indulge in a pasta-eating contest, and enter the Best Toga competition along with the ladies and gentlemen of the Italian Court. Live music by Wine and Alchemy will be featured at various times throughout the day on the Dove Meadow Stage.
  • Celtic Christmas: Usher in the holidays with Christmas décor, music by Texas Brass, street characters dressed as elves and a Christmas scavenger hunt. This is the closing weekend theme of the event.