Friday, September 17, 2010

Fall Fun at the Renaissance Festival

Fall brings about some fantastic activities for the family.  Many of those activities are a perfect compliment for babywearing.  One of our favorite family fall activities is attending the Maryland Renaissance Festival.  The Festival is located in Crownsville, MD and is a fun family day out.  There are plenty of activities for kids of all ages, from face painting and hair braiding, to henna tattoos, massage (including prenatal), throwing "pointy objects" as my husband says, and enjoying the work of a wide variety of artisans.

The ground at the festival is mulched, graveled, and dirt.  There are some VERY large hills, and very uneven ground.  It is definitely not terribly stroller friendly.  Baby carriers shine in this environment, and I was stopped a couple times and asked about my carrier.  My husband got to give an impromptu mei tai tutorial as well.  This is a place to bring your BWI/TBW cards if you have them because you very well may be asked about your carriers.

We recently went with another babywearing family and we all had a great time.  My husband and I both ended up wearing a child as our 2.5yr old was a little frightened of the stilt walkers.   The girls had a lot of fun.  They enjoyed seeing the horses in the joust (the state sport of Maryland), they had fun trying to shoot the cannon, and checking out the elephants (you can ride them too!).  They tasted local honey, saw wood being carved, and slid down a HUGE slide.

As we discovered with our middle daughter needing to be worn, situations that are frightening or unusual for children can be diffused by putting them in a place that they know to be safe.  Mom or dad's back is a safe place to observe a new place while growing comfortable with it.  It's also a great place to be able to ask questions about what you are seeing.  Mommy, why is that man wearing a skirt?  Daddy, what is a joust?  It's also fantastic as an adult to see the festival through the eyes of your child.  My husband and I have been going for years, and so there are some things that we have stopped noticing.  It is interesting to see those things again with the wide eyes of youth.

And when it all becomes too much, mom or dad can be a great place to take a nap.  I saw so many parents carrying exhausted children, even sleeping big kids in their arms.  All I could think was, "boy, they could really use a carrier."  Leaving a carrier around your waist or in your bag for emergency use with a big kid can be much easier than trying to push a stroller around all day "just in case" for overtired children. 

I highly recommend the festival as a fun outing for families.  It has something to interest every age, has boy and girl appeal, and is definitely an experience outside of the everyday.

Posted by Ann Marie

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