For years, we’ve regularly gone to the Pennsylvania Renaissance Faire and it’s always quite huge and lovely. Some time back, we began checking out the New Jersey Renaissance Faire and were happy to find something fun close to home. Last weekend, we heard that Smithville had its own mini faire and we decided to head over. One of the husband’s best ideas yet!
The Smithville Renaissance Faire is a weekend-long event and it’s free. People dress in the typical Renaissance garb and speak in character, complete with accents. There’s a schedule of shows to catch, like a parade or gun powder demonstration. It’s a fabulous taste of what to expect at the big NJ Ren Faire.
We experienced some features at this event that were new to us and I was so thrilled about it that I wanted to share. My children and I were delighted for the hilarious improv by Shakespeare Approves. This man, “William Shakespeare”, performs Shakespearean plays with a twist. The audience is put to work interacting with the show, which is updated to modern-day situations and incites much laughter. My kids have never heard a Shakespearean play (Does that make me a bad mom or a good one?!) but they thought he was the funniest thing ever.
Another new one for us were the Armchair Wizards, who’ve done stage shows at the ren faires for a while. In the past, the kids have shyly worked with us to complete scavenger hunts given by Renaissance game masters. These games are still an option but my husband and I were intrigued by a new game that the Armchair Wizards shared with us, similar to Dungeons & Dragons I’m told. Despite a massive interest in playing D&D, we haven’t wrangled a group to play so I never actually have. This new game at the faire is giving me quite the thirst for all of this nerd-ness.
The ADVENTURES! Game allows you to name your character and their specialty, then you locate participating cast members throughout the faire and are given quests to complete. For instance, the bailiff gave me a riddle leading to a piece of paper that I needed to return to him in order to receive my gemerald. I was pretty excited to have solved it on my own as I’m usually not that great with riddles. A certain amount of gemeralds will level you up and your quests will often increase in difficulty.
(The kids helped me with this quest! It was about vegetables!)
You can choose to “duel” the person from whom you receive a quest. This means that you roll the die against theirs and the highest score wins. In the beginning, you have a mere six-sided die whereas more experienced players will have twenty-sided dice, etc. At one point, my husband was determined to beat a particular cast member and his scheming commenced! Sure enough, he came up with a way, and he beamed for the rest of the day!
There’s also a social aspect to the game. You can band together and do quests together, which can come quite handy for troublesome riddles, searches, and whatever else may perplex you.
The game was the most enticing thing for us to return to the New Jersey Renaissance Faire. Hubs and I decided that we’ll be getting a season pass this year, just because of how obsessed we were with this game. We actually had a party right after the Smithville event and we had the hardest time leaving, we both wanted to stay and play until closing time!
I’m sure I didn’t explain this new game well enough so you’re just going to have to go to NJ Ren Faire to figure it out for yourself! Look for us, maybe we can team up! I’m looking forward to catching the musical musings of Chaste Treasure again on opening weekend , nomming on a big turkey leg, and participating in some archery!
CONNECT with Armchair Wizards:
CONNECT with Shakespeare Approves:
*This post received no compensation whatsoever. All thoughts and opinions are those of our own.