Scarborough Renaissance Festival in Waxahachie

At this re-creation of a 16th-century English village on 35 acres about 40 minutes south of downtown Dallas, ticket holders step into an outdoor festival honoring a visit from King Henry VIII and Catherine of Aragon. They’re immediately surrounded by performers in Renaissance costumes, some hawking goods such as flower crowns and period weapons. Others try to entice visitors to attend their shows, which can include acrobatics, comedy, music and feats such as sword-swallowing and playing with fire whips.

The village is bustling with excitement, but families can explore the sights at their own pace. Rides, games and performance stages are scattered throughout the grounds. Head to the Pecan Grove to cheer on knights on horseback jousting daily at 11 a.m. and 2 and 5:30 p.m. Don’t miss the grand parade, which starts at 1 p.m. and features many of the village performers in a procession with live period music. There are two children’s knighting ceremonies each day. Kids can join King Henry VIII at 4 p.m. or Margaret Tudor of Scotland at 4:30 p.m. to receive their honorary titles. Other family-friendly highlights include Mermaid Lagoon, the Cirque du Sewer show with trained rats and cats, photo ops with a unicorn, and a walk-through aviary with parakeets and budgies. COVID-19 precautions include temperatures taken at the gate, masks required for ages 5 and older except when seated to eat and drink, social distancing markers, limited capacities for indoor spaces and more than 60 hand-sanitizing stations.

Through May 30, on Saturdays and Sundays, and May 31 (Memorial Day) from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. at 2511 FM66, Waxahachie. Regular admission is $30 in advance, $37 at the gate for one-day tickets for adults and teens 13 and up; $14 in advance, $17 at the gate for children 5-12; free for children 4 and under. Weekend passes available. Some activities require an extra fee (cash only).

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