The Bristol Renaissance Faire brings to life a magical world, one populated by a queen, brave knights, and brightly dressed court jesters. Unfolded over nine weekends in July, August, and September, the Kenosha Wisconsin Renaissance festival is easy to access from both Milwaukee and Chicago. Every summer, more than 200,000 people gather to enjoy this fantasy world and its games, rides, and music—along with its one-of-a-kind shopping opportunities.
Bristol Renaissance Faire History and Facts
All of the days of the Bristol Renaissance Faire are filled with magic and fun—all re-creating the world of Queen Elizabeth and the city of Bristol as it was in 1574. The entertainment schedule has a long list of things to enjoy, including armored jousts and the queen’s court. Fine food flows freely, as do the spirits. Street performers and artisans are easy to find, as are games and live music at the Briston Renaissance Faire 2016.
The first festival happened in 1972, originally called King Richard’s Faire. It was an immediate success, and as the years progressed, more and more fantasy elements joined the fair, bringing in trolls and hobbits and the like. In 1989, the festival gained new owners and was reborn with a new focus and a renewed commitment to historical accuracy. Over the years, the fair has been bigger and better, adding more and more elements while drawing bigger and bigger crowds.
Tickets to the Bristol Renaissance Faire
Children under the age of 5 can enjoy the Kenosha Wisconsin Renaissance festival for free, and discounts are available kids. Season passes are another option, perfect for those planning to visit the festival more than a few times. For one low price, you could visit every single day of the festival without buying tickets more than once. The same rate is charged for visitors age 5 and older, and it’s a great value for visitors of any age.
VIP packages also available. The first level includes a membership medallion, cold drinks, and discounts for tickets. Once you’ve arrived, you’ll have access to the Friends of the Faire Garden and cold drinks—as well as upgraded restroom access. The next level up builds on these benefits with two complimentary tickets and and discount shopping coupons. The top tier adds a premier parking pass.
Directions to the Kenosha Wisconsin Renaissance Festival
Located right along the Wisconsin/Illinois border, the Bristol Renaissance Faire 2016 is just five minutes from Interstate 94. Kenosha is about a 30-minute trip from Milwaukee. Take I-94 south to Exit 347, which is Lakeside Parkway/Highway 165. Take a quick left on the frontage road and drive south for two miles. You won’t miss the grain silo with the fair’s logo painted on the side. Take the second driveway just past the old barn. It takes about five minutes to get from the interstate to the parking lot. You’ll need to bring a few dollars for parking.
If you’re coming from Chicago, expect for the trip to take just under an hour, if the traffic is good. Take I-94 to the Russel Road exit—the last one in Illinois, Exit 1. You’ll cross over the interstate and head to the first stop sigh at the Frontage Road. Turn right and travel across 128th Street. You’ll quickly come across the fairgrounds.
From Madison and points west, you could take U.S. 45 towards Lake Michigan. About six miles from the fair, turn east onto State Line Road. Then take a left on the frontage road and turn left one more time, time time into the parking lot.
Lodging near the Bristol Renaissance Faire
Many of the Kenosha hotels are located close to the fairgrounds. The Comfort Suites Hotels at 7206 122nd Ave in Kenosha is just minutes away from Queen Elizabeth’s fairgrounds and some killer outlet shopping. Each suite features a kitchenette, and many of them have whirlpools and fireplaces. All guests have access to the indoor pool and hot tub, along with a complimentary morning newspaper and buffet breakfast.
In the charmingly named Kenosha neighbor of Pleasant Prairie, the Holiday Inn Express & Suites can be found at 7887 94th Avenue. The welcoming amenities include screaming fast high-speed Internet and a hot breakfast, as well as free parking and an indoor pool. All of the rooms and suites have large-screen HDTVs and a specially designed showerhead that ensures the perfect water temperature. The suites have plenty of extra space, along with a kitchen space, sofa bed, and a wet bar.
Image: Robert Brumm, Shoot to Thrill Photo Agency