Sherwood Forest Faire, McDade
It’s Spring Break, and we’re heading to Houston, but before we go we had to stop and spend a fun-filled day back in 1196 A.D. in the middle of Nottingham Forest, a trip not as far as you might think from Austin! We’re visiting Sherwood Forest Faire, a unique Renaissance Festival celebrating their 9th year. For 8 weekends each Spring, the Lost Pines become the home of Robin Hood and his Merry Men, to celebrate the coming of Spring, and to escape the tyranny of Prince John! We had a blast, and loved this fun adaptation to the old legend!
Located East of Austin, near Bastrop, Sherwood Forest Faire is open weekends from March – late April. You can purchase tickets at the gate. Click HERE to check their website for BOGO ticket deals on select dates!
I absolutely LOVE the shows at Ren Fairs, and they always have a wide variety, from those suitable for the entire family to some that are not-so-much. My kids loved Paolo Garbanzo the Juggling Fool, and his 12th Century flaming chain saws! Sherwood Forest has over 40 shows each day, and it’s just impossible to see them all! They post a schedule online the week before, and it’s a good idea to mark the shows you REALLY must see, because it’s super easy to get distracted while you’re there! I loved the Robin Hood shows, and my kids enjoyed the puppet shows, and there is always great live music!
The Faire is incredibly interactive, and you just need to get out and have fun! My son competed in the limbo contest! He’s a natural since he’s so much shorter than any of the other competitors!
Over the years, my kids have all purchased something at a Ren Faire, and enjoy dressing up when we go. My youngest and I had spent the past 2 days at a Cub Scout Campout, and since we were traveling all week, we didn’t have the space for any unnecessary items. My kids always look forward to purchasing something fun at the Faire, or it’s easy to buy online, Amazon even has a good selection! There are several large online stores, and lots of stuff on Etsy, too!
On the schedule, they list any shows that have Adult Content, and there are even warning signs at the show to warn parents of Adult Content, but we waited for a lapse in the crowd, so that my kids could throw tomatoes at this guy!
Just as King Richard the Lion-hearted journeyed to Jerusalem in search of the Holy Grail, you can visit Jerusalem at the Faire! While in Jerusalem, you’ll find some amazing middle-eastern food, that you don’t normally see at most Ren Fairs!
Of course, there are plenty of archery events, from Robin Hood’s Archery Competition to Trick Shows and just letting the kids shoot!
Before you visit, take this opportunity to let the kids watch the Disney Robin Hood cartoon, or one of the many movies of Robin Hood, so that they can really appreciate the world of Nottingham into which they have entered!
My husband and oldest loved the ax throwing!
Which is one of the reasons I missed the Joust! The Joust is my very favorite event, and I always suggest getting there early for a good seat! We missed both shows because we were so busy doing something else! It’s another reason why I really stress that you should plan your schedule before you go!
Some of the horses from the Joust!
There are fun games and rides, it’s lots of fun for the entire family!
Richard the Lionheart and Maid Marion even made an appearance, searching for Robin, no doubt!
My absolute favorite thing about any Ren Festival is the Scotch Egg, and absolute must! A boiled egg surrounded by a breakfast-type sausage, and deep fried! I refuse to eat them anywhere but a festival!
There is lots of cute shopping!
Another fun show was the Washing Well Wenches! Again, it’s impossible to do all the shows in just one day! Sherwood Forest Faire offers a Friends of the Faire membership and a Season Pass, which lets you enjoy the Faire the entire season, along with discounts, and more! Click HERE to visit their Membership Page.
There are fun activities to do all over the park!
In addition to the admission at the gate, most of the rides and activities cost additional. Bring cash, unless you have some old gold coins lying around!
I’m pretty poor and no one gave me any money, but I wasn’t harassed by the King’s guards for taxes either.
All over the park we found little fairy gardens! Fairy Gardens are so much fun, and a great way to get kids interested in plants and nature! Click HERE to read about starting your own!
While on his quest, King Richard no doubt came across some camels!
The camels were really neat, although the ride was kinda short. I told my kids it was more for the photo op than the actual ride!
We’re planning a little longer camel trip this coming winter, a 3 day camel-trek through Big Bend with Texas Camel Corp! Click HERE to read more about it!
If you would prefer to keep your feet on the ground, the Scarlet Maze was a fun little maze for the kids to race through. I think they all cheat.
Although we missed the Joust, we did get to ride one of the horses! This was a much longer ride, and my son really enjoyed it!
Each summer, Sherwood Forest Faire offers a summer camp for kids to learn how to swordfight, Medieval Games, Falconry and even ride the Warhorses! Click HERE for more information.
One of the FREE activities was using a real shield and some fun swordplay with wooden swords!
When your hands and pockets are all full, that hood on your jacket can be useful!
I myself hate to carry stuff around, besides my camera! I always wait until just before closing to run and grab stuff, but many of the shops will let you purchase and pick up before you leave.
They offer camping at the park, too, however we didn’t do it!
Know Before You Go
Dogs are not allowed.
Things To Do in and around McDade/Bastrop Area
HERO Water Sports is a big inflatable water park on Lake Bastrop, click HERE to visit their website.
One of our favorite places to take out of town friends is the Gas Station from the original movie, Texas Chainsaw Massacre! Click HERE to read more!
Barton Hill Farms Fall Festival and Corn Maze is an annual event each October, not to be missed! Click HERE to read more.
Sherwood Forest Faire
1883 Old Hwy 20, McDade
Click HERE to visit their website.
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