Dog-Friendly Renaissance Festivals

Posted by Billy Francis

Renaissance Festivals celebrate the pomp, pageantry and customs of medieval times. It was the era of kings, courts, knights and bards. The world we live in today is thanks, in part, to inventions from this period of artistic, cultural and economic rebirth in the Western world. Who knows, there might never have been a BringFido blog without the creation of the printing press! Celebrate the traditions of yesteryear with your leashed pup at one of these pet-friendly Renaissance faires.

Minnesota Renaissance Festival

Shakopee, MN
“You know when I said I wanted to go home … I was only jesting!” Photo by @mnrenaissance

The Minnesota Renaissance Festival is the largest celebration of its type in the United States. Join more than 300,000 visitors for a fun-filled event that celebrates the jousting, sword fights and pageantry of the fondly remembered period. Bring Fido on a tour of the mock community full of knights and fair maidens reenacting scenes from the past. He can drool from the sidelines as you both watch the Scotch Egg Eating Competition.

Four-legged visitors get the royal treatment at Woofstock Weekend at the Minnesota Renaissance Festival. Athletic canines are invited to enter a Doggie Dash: Low Rider Race, and for those pups not built for the track, there’s the Peanut Butter Licking Playoffs. Or, Fido can don his favorite cloak and jerkin in preparation for the Doggy Dress Up Contest. Woofstock Weekend is a two-day event, so be sure to book a night at a nearby pet-friendly hotel. The AmericInn Shakopee is only 10 minutes away by car.

The Minnesota Renaissance Festival takes place on weekends from August 17 to September 29 and Woofstock Weekend is September 10 and 11. The canine single day pass is $10-$15 per dog, but dogs enter for half price during Woofstock Weekend. Pups are not permitted at the Feast of Fantasy. Read the rules and fill out the form before bringing Fido along.

Pennsylvania Renaissance Faire

Manheim, PA
I knight thee ... Sir Fido of BringFidington! Photo by

Noble dogs of the northeast, you are summoned by the royal palace of the Pennsylvania Renaissance Faire to enjoy costumed characters, live music, dancing and attractions at this year’s historic gathering. More than 90 stage shows provide entertainment including jousting, human chess and lively jesters. While you’re here, swing by the Legend of the Black Shuck Trunk Show. This pet-friendly show recounts the eerie tale of one of England’s most haunting creatures, a demon dog that prowls the countryside. And don’t miss the husband and wife duo, Circus Stella, who perform astounding tricks with their highly trained rescue pups throughout the faire. You might not fit all of that fun into one day, so book a room in nearby historic Lancaster at the Hampton Inn. You’ll be just a short jaunt away from Beau's Dream Dog Park at Buchanan Park, one of the most epic dog parks in the U.S.

The Pennsylvania Renaissance Faire will be held on weekends from August 20 through October 30. A Royal Hound Ticket is $5 for a single day entry and it must be purchased and required forms submitted 10 business days prior to your visit.

Kansas City Renaissance Festival

Bonner Springs, KS
“I didn’t know goggles were a Renaissance invention.” Photo by Kansas City Renaissance Festival

Hear ye, hear ye ... the Kansas City Renaissance Festival is pet friendly! Dress your pooch up in her best Renaissance attire and join in the fun at this colorful event located in Bonner Springs, KS. Dogs are welcome to get their paws dirty among the village peasants throughout the festival, but the royal red carpet is officially rolled out for canine guests during Barkbarian Brew Fest & Discovery Day. The pet celebration features a nail-biting sprint to the finish line in the Corgi race, a dog costume contest, and even a best trick competition to show off your pup's favorite moves in front of the crowds. Make the most of the event with a weekend stay at the nearby Hotel Indigo Kansas City Downtown, located in the heart of this exceptionally pet-friendly city.

The Kansas City Renaissance Festival will be held on weekends from September 3 through October 16. The canine entry fee is $10 per dog, but pups enter for half price during the Barkbarian Brew Fest & Discovery Day weekend. Read the rules and fill out the form before bringing Fido along.

Michigan Renaissance Festival

Holly, MI
“Tell me again, who did you borrow this outfit from?” Photo by @lavishlabradors

Each year, the Michigan Renaissance Festival transforms the fields around the sleepy town of Holly into a bustling 16th Century village, attracting approximately 250,000 excited revelers from the surrounding states and Canada. You can stride heroically through the faux European settlement with your trusty pooch and admire the rows of craftspeople at work.

Dogs are always welcome at the festival, but the best time to visit is during Pirates & Pups Weekend. This pet-centric event showcases rescue groups, offers pet training demonstrations and hosts wiener dog races. Fido is invited to enter the costume contest for dapper dogs and join the royal King Charles Spaniels in the dignified pet parade. Half of the canine admission fees collected during Pirates & Pets Weekend is donated to Detroit Dog Rescue. If your royal hound wants to stick around in medieval times, spend the weekend in Holly at the Flint/Holly KOA.

The Michigan Renaissance Festival is held on weekends from August 20 to October 2. The canine entry fee is $10-$15 per dog. Season passes are also available for $50. Read the rules and fill out the form before bringing Fido along.

St. Louis Renaissance Festival

St. Louis, MO
“To pee or not to pee.” Photo by @stlrenfest

Fido, Fido, wherefore art thou, Fido? He's at the St. Louis Renaissance Festival, a makeshift village near Wentzville, MO. The event is packed full of artisan market stalls, traditional and modern food, street performers juggling and Washing Well Wenches cracking jokes and spinning yarns of yesteryear. Bring your dog along to Pups, Pints & Pirates at the St. Louis Renaissance Festival. Competitive hounds of all breeds and fitness levels can enter Wiener Dog Races, Corgi Races, Peanut Butter Licking Contests and more. Sniff out an outfit for your pooch and let him strut his stuff with the other lords and ladies of the canine realm. Pups, Pints & Pirates takes place over a weekend, so make sure to book a night's stay at a nearby pet-friendly hotel, like the Holiday Inn Express and Suites Wentzville St Louis West.

The St. Louis Renaissance Festival will be held on weekends from September 17 through October 23. The canine entry fee is $10-$15 per dog. Read the rules and fill out the form before bringing Fido along.

Renaissance Faire at Sleepy Hollow

Des Moines, IA
“You can have your hat back when I get more peanut butter!” Photo by

Located on the outskirts of Des Moines, the Renaissance Faire at Sleepy Hollow is a vibrant blast from the past. Each year, the festival welcomes a wide variety of animal companions from bearded dragons and ferrets to dogs. The full street cast might even make your pet part of their story. Her Royal Majesty, Queen Catherine, is very fond of dogs and has been known to knight the ones she finds especially gallant. The fairies and gypsies invite two- and four-legged visitors into dancing circles, and vendors often leave bowls of water out to keep pets hydrated. After soaking up the atmosphere, join the other regal pups for the main event, the Puppies of Penzance–Pirate Puppy Show. This energetic dog show takes audiences on a jolly trip aboard a pirate ship manned by highly trained sea dogs. Plan for a weekend of fun and reserve a night in the Surety Hotel Des Moines, where treats, doggy beds, and feeding bowls are provided to four-legged guests.

The Renaissance Faire at Sleepy Hollow will be held on weekends from September 3 through September 18. Pups attend for free, but dog owners must sign a waiver. The Puppies of Penzance–Pirate Puppy Show takes place during the first weekend of the festival.

Have you attended a Renaissance Festival with your dog? Leave a comment or tweet us @BringFido!