Tuesday, June 9, 2015

An Epic Family Medieval Summer {sponsored}

*the opinions are mine alone.  I attended a show at Medieval Times as part of a blogging opportunity to help promote their #MedievalSummer campaign.  My family and I were given the "Celebration Package", which included VIP seating, group photo for each member of my party, commemorative program, Knight's cheering banner, slice of birthday cake for each member of my party, personalized announcement during the show and a behind the scenes DVD. *

I remember the very first time that I went to Medieval Times.  I was in high school and went with my family in October.  We cheered on the Black and White Knight.  

It was absolutely amazing!

I also remember the very first time that I was able to take my family to Medieval Times.  To see the amazement in their eyes as we watched the tournament and cheered on our Yellow Knight was awesome.

When I was given the opportunity to go again, take my family and celebrate my 39th birthday there, that was kind of a no-brainer.  

Of course! YES

As we turned onto I-90 off of I-294 my older two boys started to strain their necks from the back row of the mini van to see if they could see the castle.  
"It'll be coming up on the right!"  

The excitement was building for them and it was exciting to see that happening.  At 15 and 10 years old they were as equally excited as going as I was.  The last time we had taken them to Medieval Times was over five years earlier.  

We arrived at the castle about an hour early (I was expecting more traffic with the construction in the area).  The previous show's traffic was slowly making it's way out of the parking lot.  We were able to grab a nice parking spot close to the castle doors and were warmly greeted by the hosts at the reservation desk.  

We were checked in and given our tickets, and package vouchers, and escorted to get our photo taken.

Though it was my birthday, I allowed the oldest two boys to pick the background of the "family photo".  

This is what I got and I think it's pretty awesome  

They offer the opportunity to dress up for the photo and use props for $3 per person in addition to a whole host of different backgrounds for your photo. There is definitely one to match whatever special occasion you are celebrating or one that highlights your family's sense of humor, nicely.

From the photo we were "crowned" with our Knight's colors.  We were in the red section to cheer on the Red Knight

"Truest son of mighty Castilla, Baron Ruiz de Roig has been called the "lion's heart" in many a battle. Set him at liberty, and paralyze the enemy! With little pleasure will the ambitious look upon the banner of Castilla hanging in the list."

We then made our way around the main floor of the castle towards and handed in my voucher for a personalized announcement.  "Lady Stephanie Kush was celebrating her 39th Birthday!" and got stickers to wear to show that we were there celebrating an occasion. 

Flower given to my by the Red Knight
 We then took a few moments to look at the swords and other fighting gear on display in the Hall of Arms.  Dave and I found our wedding reception glasses in the display case as well.  Yep, my wedding reception glasses were from Medieval Times!

As we made our way to look at the horses we found the Royal Falconer in the hall.  It was interesting to find out a little bit about the training that goes into handling a falcon.  

Even with arriving one hour before the start of the show, there is enough to do and see prior to being seated to take up that time.  Between getting your photo taken, checking out the gift shop, the art of the walls or even walking through the Dungeon and heading to the restrooms, I think that it was just enough time to get in and get situated.

Okay, I just want to take a moment to mention how our family prepared for this evening, should anyone else be thinking about going with small children.  Our small child is 2 years old.  We got him his own seat, you can opt to have your child at that age sit on your lap.  This did not sound like fun AT ALL for either myself or my husband.  Here is the specific information from the Medieval Times website regarding lap children (under their FAQ section) -

      What is the policy for lap children under 3 years old?
Children under the age of 3 are admitted free as long as they sit on adults' laps and eat from their plate. If you prefer the child to have his or her own seat and meal then the child rate would apply.
We brought along our portable booster seat because we were not sure if they offered them.  They do! So, if you do plan on going with a small child in need of a booster you can request one.  We also packed small snacks for him and a water cup.  We did this to tie him over until dinner was served as we normally eat around 6pm and our show was at 7:30pm.  We weren't sure if he would sit for the show - he did for the most part and would cheer as we cheered and responded well to the show and enjoyed it.

Obviously, every child is different.  I would suggest going with your gut on whether or not you feel your young child would do well or not. 

So, Medieval Times REALLY is a family-fun dinner show.  We all cheered on our Red Knight as he jousted. engaged in hand to hand combat and swordsmanship, and ultimately took on the Herald of the North (booooo!!!!). 

And - There,Was.Never.A.Dull.Moment!

From when the Lord Chancellor first welcomes everyone to the castle and begins seating to the very end of the show, it is an action packed two hours that flies by.  Because the Hawks were playing, we were greeted with this 

And, the food.  Oh My!  It's really delicious, and fit for royalty .  They do offer a vegetarian option that looks really good, and which I might try the next time we go.  

With all of the special offers that Medieval Times is running over the summer, it is an affordable option for the entire family to enjoy. Consider upgrading your experience to suit a special occasion that you may be going there to celebrate with one of these packages

We came to celebrate my 39th birthday as a family.  My 10 year old enjoyed eating while watching the show.  My 15 year old enjoyed when our Red Knight took on the Herald of the North in an epic sword fight.

My 2 year old was memorized by the knights on horses.

My husband and I made many Game of Throne references and enjoyed the entire experience.  We all cheered on our Red Knight as he was victorious over the Herald of the North.

This will definitely not be our last time this year enjoying the "epic battles of steel and steed".      
If you are interested in having a #MedievalSummer with your family, you can get more information about Medieval Times Chicago by checking out there 

Be sure to sign up for the Birthday Fellowship and become a member of the King's Court to receive occasional e-mails regarding discounts and special events.   

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