Kick Trick or Treating to the Curb – How to Have a Better Kind of Halloween

Tired of the same old Halloween routine?

The dreaded costume dilemma…

The indecisiveness… Kids, make a choice already!

The feelings of inadequacy as you realize you can neither afford or create your child’s dream costume…

Ready for something new? A little friendlier? With a dash of history thrown in but with all the same fun? (More, I would argue. :))

Look no further than your local Renaissance Festival!!!

Located about an hour south of Central Columbus, in rural Harveysburg, the Ohio Renaissance Festival has been held every fall for close to 3 decades! Over the years, it has grown to an impressive 9-weekend event, welcoming over 170,000 visitors each season, and encompassing 35 acres of land!

From the traditional giant turkey leg to a hearty bread bowl or burger, the festival was a potpourri of deliciousness…yum!

And the shopping! Oh, my goodness – I’ve never seen so many high quality, handcrafted pieces in one place! Among the 173 shops, you’ll find beautiful leather work, hand-blown glass, timeless medieval clothing, fine jewelry…the list goes on and on.

But it’s not just the food and shopping that draws thousands of visitors to the festival each season.

It’s the entertainment!

Dozens of entertainers show off their talent over the course of the 9 weekends. Most come from the States and Canada, but on select weekends you can catch a Highlander troupe straight from Scotland! No joke!

This isn’t one of them, but I bet they’re just as cool.

What’s This Have To Do With Halloween?

To be honest, this was my first visit to the festival – and I’ve lived in Central Ohio for all my nearly 40 years on this earth.

Shameful isn’t it?!

To be so close to an amazing event like this and not have made it a priority to partake! Well, I’ve learned my lesson and I won’t be making the same mistake twice.

So let me tell you WHY we finally decided to make the trip.

We Don’t “Do” Halloween At Our House…

…at least not in the traditional sense, meaning we don’t trick-or-treat.

Why? Well, there are a few reasons but primarily, when you have a kid with a tendency to suddenly bolt, being out late at night, in the dark, is just too risky. We need a controlled environment in order to be safe AND have fun. When you have a child with a disability, your Halloween celebration needs to be fun AND safe! Click To Tweet

Enter the Renaissance Festival! It’s the perfect solution to our dilemma!

It allows us to take Kendall somewhere festive, where she can dress up if she wants, where there are tons of other people dressed up (all appropriately I might add, which confirmed that the festival is a family-friendly event), and where we could spend the whole day immersed in a little bit of history and a lot of medieval revelry!

If you’re in a similar situation and looking for an alternative way to celebrate Halloween, you absolutely MUST check out your local renaissance festival!

To help you prepare…

Here’s a Rundown of Our Visit

The fam and I jumped in the car early Sunday morning and took off down the interstate.

Destination – Ohio Renaissance FestivalFantasy Weekend – New for 2017 – Think Lord of Rings, Gandolph, fairies, queens, knights, etc.

what we took with us…

  • Adaptive stroller
  • Umbrella
  • Good walking shoes
  • Plenty of cash – you’ll need it for food and shopping (although several vendors did take credit cards and there was an ATM on site)
  • NOT our dog (no pets allowed)
  • Jackets (October in Ohio…you never know what kind of weather you’re going to get)

upon arrival…

It was clear before we even got through the castle gates, that the “costume” aspect of this festival is taken quite seriously!

what to see first…

It was a tough decision – there were so many options. 

We just happened to run into this fine lady! She was peddling her show “Cirque de Sewer”. (Yes, those are trained rats she has with her, and I can confirm that there was an additional rat in her bag – the Three Ratateers! LOL! I just made that up!)

Right when we entered the castle grounds, we heard rumblings that the queen and her ladies were out for a stroll. Never being one to shy away from royalty, we made a bee-line up the path to try to catch her.

My little princess wasn’t all that impressed but I gushed over the blue and gold ensemble…perfection!

Now that our visit with the queen was over, it was time to take care of some personal business. Why do I mention this? Because I was expecting the dreaded porta-potty. ( I sooo poo poo the porta-potty.)

But! The queen took favor on me and instead, bestowed upon us – auto-flushing toilets! Bestill my heart – all the fair maids and maidens were most thankful!

what next…

Being our first visit, we took our time. We continued our stroll and along the way, spotted…

*A most amazing fairy!

*The king’s nuts. (I hope he didn’t lose them.)

*The rat lady doing her show. (Apparently, there’s a cat involved too – I wonder how that works when they all have to be on stage together – hmmm?)

*And the Tower of Terror…I mean, London. We did not partake in this attraction but I’m sure it is both educational and horrifying all at the same time.

As we hustled past the Tower of London, I spied an artist’s tent! I was so excited, my money literally jumped out of my purse and into her hand! I’ve always wanted to get a henna tattoo. Little did I know my dream would become a reality – I guess it really was Fantasy weekend!


…and after!

Glowing with happiness and flaunting my new henna tat, we intended to make it in time for the main event – the Royal Joust! Unfortunately, a certain kiddo had to eat and we missed it. 🙁 But, that’s just one more reason to come back next year!

All that we saw of the jousting arena…boo.

We spent the rest of our time continuing to look around, peruse shops, etc. I was so impressed with the whole festival, I cannot say enough good things about it! It was well organized. Parking was easy. The attractions were plentiful yet spread out enough that we never felt crowded. There is actually so much more I could showcase, but this post would never stop! 🙂

For anyone looking for an alternative way to celebrate Halloween, I highly encourage you to consider heading to your local Renaissance Festival! You will have a great time no matter which weekend you end up going, but if you want a little something extra, head there on the weekend right before Halloween!

New for this year at the Ohio Ren Festival are the haunted hay wagon ride & haunted corn maize! They will also have your traditional trick-or-treating throughout the grounds. Kids are encouraged to come dressed up! Beware though – who knows what kind of spooktacular fun will be hiding in the village! Order your tickets online today!


  1. Jacqueline Marie | 20th Oct 17

    This looks like an awesome event! Ours closest to us is over 3 hours away… but you make me want to plan it and take the drive!!! Very cool, and perfect for Halloween!

    • Tiffany | 20th Oct 17

      Hi Jacqueline! Enjoy it if you go! And dress up…I was disappointed we didn’t plan for that…would have increased the fun factor! 🙂

Leave A Comment