The Louisiana Renaissance Festival is an all day enjoyable, unique event. The easily accessible location is off River Road in Hammond. The 2016 Fest runs rain or shine from 9:45 am – dusk on weekends November 5 to December 11, plus Friday. Nov. 25, which is Family Day (child admissions are half price). My family attended this event the last three years after missing it for a few years, and it has grown so much! There are so many things to do.
There is actually so much to do, you may need a few trips to enjoy it all. There is fun for all ages. For the adventurous in your group, there are ways for adults and children to practice their skills from shooting bows and arrows to throwing axes or knives. The younger kids can launch catapults, or take a ride on a wooden horse zip line while lancing a ring.
My older daughter was so excited to “mine” for rocks – she got a bucket for $5 and it provided her with a half hour of entertainment! She can’t wait to do this again.
There are many wonderful handmade crafts and treasures, with the occasional commercial fantasy items are sold as well. Make sure you check the schedule before you attend or pick up a schedule right when you enter. The demonstrations are entertaining, whether it is watching a craftsman hammer metal or work glass. There is always delight in the spectators while watching two knights sword fight or smash lances in the joust. The birding show is also fantastic and educational. If you need a laugh, you can find a comedy show with its own medieval twist. The food may be made the old fashioned way, but it is still tasty, and worth a try. Have your soup in a bread bowl or a large hunk of meat with a turkey leg.
What really sets the LA Ren Festival apart though is the people. They are open and welcoming to new comers, even those wary of participating. They sing songs with you and talk to you in ye olde language. They truly set the atmosphere for returning to the time of knights and royalty. Make sure you take your children to check out this great experience! Check out the themes and see if you want to dress up in costume!
A note on cost: Be sure you bring extra cash beyond the cost of admission – there are food and drinks for purchase, and some activities require an extra fee. Adult admission is $20 each. Kids 7-12 are $11. Children under 6 are free. While entertainment/shows/demonstrations are included in admission, there are extra costs associated with the other activity booths, such as kids’ games or rides – like a fair. For example, last year the maze was $2/child and the mini-joust was $4. There are also arts, crafts, books, clothing and other fun items for purchase, such as a handmade marshmallow catapult ($10). Make a plan to decide how many activities your children can participate in ahead of time, and then make sure to take advantage of the numerous activities included with admission price. Pick up a schedule when you enter and plan your day. This would be an excellent place to have your children bring their allowance money to spend. There is also food for sale at reasonable prices (similar to a festival). However, it seems to be fine to bring your own snacks in as well, so pack a bag of snacks, especially for the little ones.
Each weekend of the LARF has a different theme – which one does your family want to attend? Festival open 9:45 am to dusk, rain or shine. Don’t miss the daily costume contest at 3 pm, as a competitor or observer!
Nov. 5-6, 2016: MASK WEEKEND - Keep your Halloween mask one more day! If you wore a mask for Halloween you can wear it to La Ren Fest. You are even welcome to wear your entire costume, regardless of age.
Nov. 12-13, 2016: HEROES & PIRATES WEEKEND - celebrating military, first responders, and scouts! Those with current and valid military, VA or first responders ID get 50% off admission. ID must be presented when purchasing tickets. The 1st 200 Veterans through the gate can get a free flag pin. Also, boy or girl scouts in uniform also receive 50% off admission.
Nov 19-20, 2016: CELTIC WEEKEND - Be Celtic for the whole weekend, featuring a bagpipe and drum competition.
Nov 25, 2016: FAMILY FRIDAY - Kids twelve years old and younger get in half price. Kids under 6 are always free.
Nov 26-27, 2016: TIME TRAVELERS WEEKEND - Travel through time and space to visit the LA Ren Fest on this 3-day holiday weekend.
Dec 3-4, 2016: WEEKEND of ROMANCE - Bring the one you love! The first 200 couples dressed to match receive a rose.
Dec. 10-11, 2016: FIREWORKS FINALE - Stay late for the FIREWORKS show about an hour after closing on each night.
There are also many special events each weekend, such as beer tastings, teas with the Queen, overnight camping, etc. Learn more about all the special events and get ticket information here. Special events sell out quickly so buy your tickets online early!
Tickets for admission to the festival can be purchased at the gate or at an on-site kiosk that accepts debit and credit cards, or online and printed at home.
TEACHERS – Ren Fest also holds student days on three weekdays in mid-November, exclusively for students, their teachers, and chaperones!