Attention all m’ladies and good sires, you’re not going to want to miss this charming Medieval-themed Faire based on the tales of Robin Hood and his Merry Men. Located in McDade, Texas, the Faire is set in a 23-acre wooded village that’s bustling with shoppes, pubs and entertainment.
Read on about one of our past visits to the Faire:
Last year was our first experience with any sort of Renaissance-style Faire, so now with one under our belt, we had a much better idea of what to expect — costumes, boisterous characters, dramatic scenes, jousting, games, swordplay, faeries, puppets, etc. We came prepared and ready to embrace the magical world that dwells within the Sherwood Forest.
Getting out to the Faire takes about 35 minutes or so from Austin. You’ll head out on Highway 290, and just when you think you must have gone too far, you’ll see a tiny sign for the Fair, and you’ll turn left onto Old Potato Rd. Travel down a bumpy dirt road until you reach the parking lot. (Parking is free.)
The moment we entered the parking lot, I was giddy with excitement upon seeing carloads of people step out of their vehicles in an array of costumes. Big dresses with corsets, tall men in robes with walking sticks, kids in feathered- caps, girls in glittery faerie wings! This is the kind of crowd that is here for a ton of fun.
When you walk into the Sherwood Forest Faire gates, you’ll really get the sense of being transported back in time. We spotted Robin Hood shooting arrows from the get go! We were approached by a friendly coupled who inquired how much silver we would accept in exchange for my husband, which the kids thought was hilarious. (The very thought of selling Daddy had them in stitches.) We threw pennies in the dragon wishing well, and took a few moments to study the complimentary map and schedule of the day’s events.
We had a few highlights from last year that we knew we wanted to check out again: the birds of prey show as well as a jousting competition. Otherwise, we were winging it this year, and decided to just try some new games and simply go without much of a plan.
As we walked down the path, we noticed a real wedding taking place in Maid Marion’s Chapel. Awwww, so sweet! We leisurely stopped by shops to see puppets, jewelry, and homemade goods for sale, bought some delicious popcorn, and just wandered around taking in all of the amazing sights and sounds.
The kids enjoyed a variety of rides and games. You can ride camels, go on a little jousting ride, navigate your way through a big maze, play giant chess, test your strength, try knife throwing, ride a carousel and much more. Note that there is a fee for each ride, ranging from about $2-$6 per person.
Like any mom, I made the family pose for a gazillion pictures at all of the cute photo ops.As you go through the Faire, you’ll stumble upon several free shows — even many geared towards the kids in the Children’s Forest. And you may even find a parade marching right by you.
There are plenty of food and drink options available, from pizza to crepes, and of course, turkey legs. For a full list of food and beverage options, click here.
- Keep in mind that the Faire is huge and there are tons of things to see. Give yourself plenty of time to explore and enjoy it.
- Be sure to wear comfortable walking shoes (that you don’t mind getting muddy).
- Like any fair, cost sure can add up when you factor in concessions, trinkets, game tickets, etc., so you may wish to think about your budget before you go and prioritize your spending. If you think your child will cry and beg to have a sword or faerie wings, you can totally bring your own to avoid the meltdowns about buying there. Take note that ATMs are available on-site.
- Wear a costume if you feel like really diving into the experience. But no worries if you opt to wear regular clothes. Anything goes!