The dreams of elaborate dresses, enticing renaissance men, and faerie dust come true once you step through the gates of the Bristol Renaissance Faire. You might think it can't get any better, but as you travel through the faire, you will find fantasy transforms into reality with nail-biting jousting tournaments, shop vendors, and authentic food and drink, all set in sixteenth century style. 

Only fifty minutes outside of Chicago, the Bristol Renaissance Faire opens its gates in early July and closes for the season Labor Day weekend. Every Saturday and Sunday, for nine summer weekends, it celebrates the dreams of fantasy and imagination with charm and entertainment.          

It is not only a staple of my summer, but a necessity for my year, which is why I've written the top fifteen reasons the Bristol Renaissance Faire needs to be on your summer checklist. 

15. Opening Ceremony/Closing Ceremony

An introduction and finale at their finest. A warm welcome with the Bristol townspeople, and the Queen herself, the opening ceremony marks your day with excitement of what's in store. They sing, they dance, they humor the crowd, and all too soon  your signing off with the traditional and nostalgic farewell: merry meet, merry part, and merry meet again. 

14. Map of Bristol

To find out exactly how much excitement one can have, pick up a map of Bristol by the gates to find an authentic sketch of the faire and a schedule of events.

13. Mud Show

Comedy, men, and mud; what could be more fun? This show combines hilarious dialogue with audience interaction for messy and amusing moments. 

12. Henna Tattoos

Check out the henna area by the Lily Pond to find a variety of designs to symbolize your experience at the faire. There's no better way to jump start the fantasy fun than a fake tattoo on your body!

11. Maypole

Spark your inner child through the unraveling dance of ribbons around the maypole. Musicians play and actors help the guests as they unravel and tie up again in a colorful and inviting maypole dance. 

10. The Land

The faire is thirty acres with themed architecture buildings, and natural surroundings. Sit on the Lily Pond bridge to take in the sights and sounds.  Enjoy the turtles swimming in the waters of Bristol. 

9. The Price

You can buy tickets online, at the faire, at Walgreens, or even at Menards. Tickets sold at the faire are $25.95, however, at Walgreens or Menards you can get $4 off. The price you pay is worth the happiness you receive in return.

8. The Actors

Don't be afraid to play along with the characters who make Bristol come alive. Every actor you come across is friendly, funny, and engaging which creates a fantastical and entertaining experience.

7. Archery/Blade-Throwing

You will feel like a warrior in no time with these interactive booths that have you throwing blades or shooting arrows. The booths are spread throughout the park, so you can try out your dangerous side anytime at an incredibly cheap price.

6. Fire Whip Show

Watch as Adam Crack literally cracks a whip with fire and impressive arm skills as he takes on the beast of the air. A consistently exciting and thrilling show, Adam Crack never misses a whip.

5. The Throne Room

Step into the circle of magic and fun as you enter the throne room to snap some photos of you and your friends. From an enchanting unicorn themed throne to a bewitching cauldron, pose at each one like it's your own.

4. Faerie Glen

If you have ever heard whispers in your garden or found mushroom houses in the woods, this is your chance to walk among the faeries as they reveal themselves under the charm and comfort of the city of Bristol. Their beauty and mystery draw audiences to their wonder and delight.

3. Jousting

Watch as men fight to the death for their queen and glory in one of three tournaments throughout the day. Not only is the jousting fun to watch, but the fun actors provide entertaining dialogue.

2. Barely Balanced Show

They go by small, medium, and large and combine acrobatics, comedy, and entertainment. Their shows are always fun and suspenseful due to their daredevil stunts  They never fail to amaze!

1. Turkey Legs

These big, juicy turkey legs are mouthwatering and make you feel like you're really in the Renaissance times. To truly understand, you'll just have to try one for yourself. 

The Renaissance Faire holds magic, mayhem, comedy, and entertainment during the summer months in Bristol, Wisconsin. The Faire consistently spreads its magic through the smiling faces of guests as they stroll through its land. The Bristol Renaissance Faire never fails to deliver amusement and delight, and should be an essential on your summer bucket list.