If you’re looking for a chance to travel back in time to the days when chivalry was definitely not dead, grab your merry maidens and brave little knights and make a beeline to the regal Medieval Times castle. Every evening, the king of this suburban castle hosts a royal banquet, complete with a hearty, fork-free meal and a dazzling jousting tournament, making for a dinner theater experience like no other. Read on for our top 5 reasons why this is a must-do for Chicago families.
1. Little royals are welcome to don crowns, gowns, swords and sabers.
If you’ve got a princess or prince in waiting on your hands, feel free to don your best regal apparel to this rollicking castle. Upon entry, everyone receives a cardboard crown – not just the king! – and you’ll see plenty of little ones dressed in their regal duds. If you don’t have any royal gear at home, arrive a tad early and head to the in-castle shop where you’ll find all the swag you need to make the move from peasant to royalty, including the ever-popular light-up plastic swords and frilly princess crowns.
2. The fork-free feast fit for kings and queens.
Though you’ll have to forgo forks and knives – eating utensils weren’t around in the 11th century! – the feast served at Medieval Times is fit for kings and queens. A fine tomato bisque served with garlic bread will whet your appetite for the roasted chicken, sweet buttered corn and roasted potatoes that follow. Drinks are served in fine plastic goblets and an apple turnover is the king’s pastry pick. A vegetarian option includes a hearty five-bean soup. You’ll be seated with your family in a long table a la King Arthur’s Court, so you’ll be facing all the evening’s action, making for a fab dinner theater experience.
3. The knights in shining armor and the fast and furious Medieval-style fun.
The action in the huge arena — it seats 1400+! — is fast and furious. Six knights battle it out in jousting matches, horsemanship and hand-to-hand combat in the two-hour show. Each section of the theatre is designated a knight to cheer on, adding to the competitive spirit of the evening. You’ll also receive a flag that matches your knight’s crest, so be prepared to wave it wildly in support. One of the best parts of the show is when the Royal Falconer steps into the arena with his friendly falcon: You’ll be amazed when the falcon swoops over your heads and swirls around the arena.
4. Lap-sitting children under three are free.
If you’re bringing along a baby bro or sis for the ride, children under the age of 3 are admitted free, as long as they sit on adults’ laps and eat from their plate.
5. Birthday boys and girls are free.
Join the Medieval Times Birthday Fellowship and birthday boys and girls will receive free admission with the purchase of one full-priced adult admission. Medieval Times is also a great venue for hosting a birthday bash, thanks to packages that include a special birthday announcement during the show, a group photo, birthday cake and frozen strawberry slushies in souvenir castle cups.
Reserve your spot at the round table today.
You’ll want to book your tickets for the experience online before you head off to the castle. The castle is open 75 minutes prior to show time and the shows run approximately two hours. Show times vary by season. Admission price includes the show, a four-course dinner and two rounds of select beverages.
2001 N. Roselle Rd.
Have you taken the kids to Medieval Times? We’d love to hear about it in the Comments below!
— Amy Bizzarri