For my husband’s birthday last year, I organized a trip to Medieval Times in Schaumburg, IL, a suburb just outside of Chicago. It was his choice, and I was a bit surprised, as we are as far from the “Renaissance Fair” type as you can get. In fact, we tried to go to the Fair a few years back and felt completely out of place.
I was prepared to cringe my way through the evening, but as soon as the castle came into view, I couldn’t help but smile. It’s quite the sight, sitting there next to the highway in all its concrete glory.
As we had arrive early, we filed into the entrance and stood in line until the doors were opened. We passed the ticket booth and were given our seat assignments and a colored paper crown, which corresponded with the colored section we would be seated in. Once we had checked in, we had to stop for a photo op with the king of the caste before we entered the lobby. Never did I think I’d be posing for a picture wearing a paper crown, but the mood was so jolly I didn’t protest.
Once inside the lobby, we had time to get a drink from the cash bar and wander around the medieval themed displays. The highlight of my visit happened in the lobby, when some man proposed to his girlfriend in front of everybody. It was really cute and added to the already celebratory atmosphere.
A horn sounded and we made our way to our seats, which are situated around the performance arena. We sat at banquet style tables, all facing the middle of the room. A waitress, or “wench” came around to give us the low down on dinner and drinks. I had heard there wouldn’t be any utensils, so I was prepared to get messy. We were served vegetable soup which was really good, but a little awkward to drink as it was very chunky. We were then given chicken on the bone, a rib, and a half baked potato. The chicken was good, but it felt very barbaric to eat a bone in chicken breast with your hands. For dessert, we had an apple pastry, which I liked. We were offered Pepsi or Diet Pepsi with dinner, and had to go to the cash bar if we wanted alcohol.
During dinner, we were entertained with an action packed show. I believe the premise of the story was the different colored knights were dueling to win the hand of the princess. While this type of story line would normally make me swoon, the majority of the knights had mullets and just didn’t do it for me. However, it was great to see them show off their skills in jousting and sword fighting. My favorite part of the show was the horses, though. They were beautiful, and there was even a point in the show where the horses danced!
All in all, it was a fun experience. The ticket price – $55.95 – makes this something I probably wouldn’t do again for a long time. I think all kids would love this, from the entertainment to the eating with their hands, and would consider going back with kids, but not just for me.
Located in Schaumburg, IL at the intersection of I-90 and Roselle Road.
Featured Image Credit: bogdanstepniak