Step wayyy back in time at The Carolina Renaissance Festival just north of Charlotte in Huntersville, North Carolina. The 16th-century festival combines outdoor theater, circus entertainment, an arts and crafts marketplace, a jousting tournament, petting zoo, plenty of food options and more. The 26th annual festival runs 10 am-5:30 pm Saturdays and Sundays through Nov. 24.
The 25-acre theme park contains colorful cottages and castles, kitchens and pubs, and an unusual assortment of people-powered rides and games of skill. The festival is one of the largest Renaissance fairs nationwide, with more than 500 costumed characters (including mermaids) playing their parts as they roam the village.
Browse 100 food and crafts vendors and enjoy music and comedy shows presented on 14 stages. Knights joust three times daily at the Queen’s Tournament Arena, and artisans provide demonstrations of skills such as glass-blowing and pottery-making.
Tickets start at $25/adults, $15/children 5-12. Parking is free. Leave pets at home.
On Oct. 26-27, children 12 and under get in free for Halloween Daze & Spooky Knights. Kids enjoy a treasure hunt and free treats throughout the Festival Village. Check the Festival website for discounts and additional special events throughout the season.