Why You Should Visit Medieval Times This Winter (Even If You’ve Been There Before)

Thanks to Medieval Times for hosting my family for an evening of fun.

Whether you’ve been to Medieval Times Dinner & Tournament before or not, you are definitely going to want to visit this winter. For the folks that have visited the castle previously, you’ll discover some fun new changes in regards to the storyline. And, for those that have never visited, it’s just as magical and exciting an experience for a newbie as it’s always been! I took my family to the Medieval dinner tournament and we all had a great time so I wanted to share some reasons why I think you should visit soon (other than to escape the cold, of course).

First, let’s start with the most exciting news…the Queen is now in charge and sole ruler of the land. Medieval Times made a major break from its 34-year tradition of casting a king in the show’s lead role when they put the Queen in charge. Girl power!

Since a Queen is now in charge it only makes sense that the storyline changed as well, making it the first time the storyline has changed since 2012. Guests of the castle will enjoy a 2 hour medieval jousting tournament where six knights compete using real weapons. This is the most exciting part of the show and it’s fun to cheer on the knight for the section you are sitting in.

While watching the show unfold in the arena before you, you get to enjoy a meal fit for a King (or Queen!). A 4 course meal is served consisting of soup, bread, chicken, potato, corn on the cob, and a pastry. The meal is served with a bevarage and enjoyed without utensils to keep with the authentic feel of life in medieval Spain. The food is amazing and we always end up bringing leftovers home.

Like I said, whether you’ve visited half a dozen times like I have or are going for the first time (like Sinisa was) it’s a great experience for everyone. So if you want to escape the cold, and enjoy an evening of fun, you can purchase tickets for Medieval Times Dinner & Tournament here.

Travel Back In Time At Medieval Times

Looking for something fun to do inside where it’s nice and cool? If you live near a Medieval Times this would be a great time to visit a castle! My family had the chance to go to a complimentary show a couple weeks ago as part of a blogger event and enjoyed our evening there.

As soon as you step into the castle you are transported back into time. From the knights on horses to the way employees are dressed to the dishes you eat upon- everything is similar to how it would have been back in the Medieval time period. It’s fun to getaway from life for a bit.

Before the show starts everyone is given a paper crown to represent the knight that they will be cheering for during the show. We cheered on the black & white knight, Don Iofre Santa Creu – defender of the ancient shrine at Santiago de Compostela. Our section of seats was pretty loud but then again it was full of bloggers and our kids– we can be a rowdy bunch ;)

During the show we enjoyed a large feast. Included in the meal is garlic bread, tomato bisque soup, oven roasted chicken, a spare rib, herb-roasted potato and an apple pastry. There is so much food that I always have leftovers to bring home! (Parent tip) Keeping with the themed time period there are no utensils so if you have kids make sure to put a couple spoons in your bag if they are too little to sip their soup from the bowl.

We enjoyed the show and the story of the Knights and the Princess. The sword fighting got the boys attention and I loved all of the beautiful horses that were part of the show. The castle is pretty amazing as well.

Want to learn more about Medieval Times? Visit their website. While you are there sign up for their birthday mailing list and get free admission on your special day!

Our Experience At Medieval Times {And A Giveaway!}

When I was younger I went to Medieval Times Dinner & Tournament with my mom and brother. It was an experience I wanted to give my children as well so I was really excited when my family was invited to visit the castle and attend the debut of their first new show in five years.

View of the castle from the highway

Since my youngest is only two years old I chose to invite my mom and four year old nephew to attend the show with Jacob and I. We spent the car ride playing a guessing game of what kinds of things we thought we’d see at the show. We also were on the lookout for the giant castle that the show is in. The castle in Illinois is near a major highway so as we were driving we could see it and the boys started to get even more excited.

Jacob, my mom, and Camden

Once inside the castle we received crowns to wear. Since it was VIP night there was a cocktail party beforehand with drinks and delicious appetizers. We chose to buy the boys light up swords as well and I was happy to find that they were reasonably priced.

The King is coming!

Before the tournament there is a little show in the lobby area. The King comes out and there is a knighting ceremony. People who attend the show can pay extra to participate in this experience. After the ceremony, everyone is let into the arena and seated according to what knight they will be cheering for in the tournament. {Ours was the black and white striped knight.}

Once seated inside we were given our dinner in courses. We were fed soup, bread, a huge piece of chicken, a spare rib, potato wedges, and an apple danish. The chicken and soup were my favorites. I ended up with leftovers to take home to Sinisa because there was so much food. Keeping in line with the “medieval” theme, the food was served with no utensils so you may want to keep that in mind if you bring little ones who might need a spoon for their soup or straw for their drinks.

While eating we watched the story unfold in front of us, watched the jousting tournament, and cheered for our knight. Here’s a little more about the new show at the Chicago castle:

While the new show has undergone a complete overhaul, some traditions remain. The live show still features two- and four- legged performers with a true medieval utensil-free meal, all in a recently updated, castle-inspired arena. However, the new live production presents even more of audience favorites such as live jousting, swordplay, horsemanship and falconry. Guests become part of the action, filling arena seats and cheering for one of six “Knights of the Realm,” named after historic regions of medieval Spain.

“The new show is designed to keep our guests on the edges of their seats from the opening moment,” says Saj Rizvi, vice president and general manager of the Chicago Castle. “New & returning guests will feel the electriticty in the air from the riveting new battle scenes and grand costumes, to the new lighting and on-going action set to a fresh musical score.”

After the opening, guests will witness intricate battles that are in reality precisely planned sequences with have been practiced daily. With authentic weaponry and enhanced armor, the new production presents non-stop action tied to the tempo of the music. And while there’s still a general theme of “good versus evil” throughout the show, guests will see much more of what they’ve requested – fight scenes that maintain the highest quality and safety standards.

Since Jacob is only three, I wasn’t sure how he’d sit during the show but he behaved very well. He was entranced with the show and, though he didn’t follow the story line, he enjoyed all of the action. My nephew liked the show too, however it ran a couple of hours past his bedtime so he started to get sleepy towards the end of it. Overall, we really enjoyed the dinner and tournament and I am happy that my son got to experience the show that I have great memories of watching as a child.

PURCHASE TICKETS:

Tickets can be purchased here.

Pricing for 2012: Children under 3 are free if they sit on a lap and eat of the adults plate, children under 12 are $39.95, and adults are $59.95.

GIVEAWAY:

One reader will win a complimentary admission ticket to Medieval Times {Chicago Castle only}

Ticket is valid through September 30, 2012.

HOW TO ENTER:

{Do any or all of the following, leave a separate comment for each you do}

1) Leave a comment telling me why you want to win.

2) Like Making Time For Mommy on Facebook

3) Like Medieval Times on Facebook

4) Share this giveaway on a social network

5) Enter another one of my giveaways {found here}

Giveaway ends June 1, 2012 at 11:59pm Central time. Giveaway does not include travel to Chicago or anything else other than one ticket.

(Disclosure: I received complimentary tickets for my family to attend the VIP night at Medieval Times. Italicized information in this post came from the press release but all other thoughts are my own. This giveaway is not associated with Facebook in any way.)