TODD MISSION, Texas — The grounds of the Texas Renaissance Festival are full of sounds of preparation like trees being trimmed, grass being mowed, wood being cut ahead of its gates opening on Oct. 9 for its 47th year.
The festival encompasses 70 acres in Grimes County, plenty of space for you to track down staples including turkey legs, jousting and live music.
"My kids have been coming out here since they were three and four years old," says marketing director Cory Brock. "They love coming out here. It's fun for all ages."
There’s a lot to explore if you’re 21 or older too, such as the Wyrmwood Public House.
"This is a two-story, climate-controlled craft cocktail bar set in a Victorian steampunk setting," shares Louie Migliaccio. "The whole goal is to transform patrons from a 16th-century village into Victorian steampunk."
The handmade cocktails available at the Wyrmwood are all based on recipes from the late 1800s and early 1900s. You can also buy tickets to absinthe and tequila tastings or take in the Victorian variety show.
"We wanted to build a unique feature that people who are looking for the finer things in life, who wanted to experience those things, could come to," Migliaccio says.
New this year
It’s Wyrmwood’s second year at the festival, but there are several new features. At The King's Feast, patrons can indulge in cuisine from all over the world. Escape rooms with themes like Airy Botter & The Sorcery School or The Pirates' Dilemma are in a new air-conditioned location. Tea & Strumpets (High Tea) will now be offered once daily.
The kingdom also expanded this year, adding the Del Lago area. It's located near the Jousting Arena and features new shops and Odin's Table, a wine tent operated by Haak Vineyards and Winery.
"Great spot," says Haak's Kyle Johnston says of the tent's location near a lily pad-filled lake. "It’s peaceful."
You can take in the view when you visit Odin's Table to buy a glass or bottle of wine. The winery is also offering private tastings five times a day, but a ticket is required for those.
"We're trying to give people an educational experience, but also something fun," Johnston says.
Organizers encourage you to attend multiple weekends as each one throughout the season has a different theme.
Oct. 9 & 10 - Oktoberfest
Oct. 16 & 17 - 1001 Dreams
Oct. 23 & 24 - Pirate Adventure
Oct. 30 & 31 - All Hallows Eve
Nov. 6 & 7 - Heroes & Villains
Nov. 13 & 14 - Barbarian Invasion
Nov. 20 & 21 - Highland Fling
Nov. 26, 27 & 28 - Celtic Christmas
To make sure visitors feel safe, the festival introduced new safety measures, which include access to the Johnson & Johnson vaccine and testing. Both will be offered for free near the festival's main entrance.