Step Back in Time: The Top 6 Attractions at the Philadelphia Renaissance Faire

Scenes from a Renaissance Faire (Getty Images)

By Graham Harrington

May 25, 2023

Axes will be thrown and turkey legs will be devoured this weekend at Fort Mifflin as the Philadelphia Renaissance Faire returns after a pandemic-induced hiatus.

Looking for something to do this Memorial Day weekend? The Philadelphia Renaissance Faire returns Saturday through Monday for the first time since the pandemic at historic Fort Mifflin. 

Not to be confused with the Pennsylvania Renaissance Faire in Manheim, the Philly Ren Faire has come back retooled and reloaded on the banks of the Delaware River near Philadelphia International Airport. Because it’s been a while since the last one we thought we’d highlight six of the Faire’s best attractions. 

The Performers

Frankly, there are so many must-see acts that we could make an entire article about just the performers. From acclaimed storytellers to award-winning magicians, there’s something for everyone. Personal favorites include the strongwoman Krystal Younglove (aka the “Invincible Lady”) who performs feats of strength, and Phoenix Swords, a troupe of “slightly mad but well-educated swords-people,” who educate the audience about historical martial arts while practicing them live.

The Fort Mifflin Tour

Take a trip into history by touring the venerable Fort Mifflin. The fort has been standing since 1771, five years before the signing of the Declaration of Independence. It’s not exactly medieval, but who cares when you can walk the same halls members of the Continental Army once walked.

Archery and Axe Throwing Stations

Whether it’s Robin Hood, Legolas, Katniss, or Hawkeye, we know you’ve seen an archer in a movie and dreamed about landing a perfect bullseye. So why not try it out with expert instruction? If that’s a bit too technical, you can always do your best Gimli impression and lob an axe.

Tarot Reading

Now, we can’t in good journalistic conscience say that tarot cards are 100% capable of predicting the future, but for hundreds of years many have found tarot a useful tool for introspection. Besides, the decks are always pretty cool. If you skip out on this attraction, you’re most definitely “The Fool.”

The Vendors

No trip to a Renaissance Faire is complete without a goodie bag full of artisanal gifts, and the Philly Faire does not disappoint. Take dramatic photos with Medieval Memories, bring home a set of beautiful dice for your weekend DND game from Attic Arcana, and get your energies in order with the wonderfully named Chaotic Crystal Chick among many others. 

The Food (and Meade)

When it’s time to refuel after all this fantasy-themed fun, you can always stick with the classic Ye Olde Turkey Legge, but visitors are spoiled for choice. Vendors include Manilla Street Treats, Rolling Lemons, Mischievous Fish, and more. For an adult themed trip, don’t miss the Faire’s collection of artisanal Meade and hard cider.

Author

  • Graham Harrington

    Graham Harrington is The Keystone's social media manager. As a multimedia journalist, he has written for the Denisonian, PAC News, and Today’s Patient. Graham lives in Delaware County and is a graduate of Denison University in Granville, Ohio.

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