by Donny Yankellow
This weekend was my third time attending the Maryland Renaissance Festivalin about thirty years. For me, it is not a yearly event (obviously). I thought it would be fun to go with my family, and it was a fun day. We looked at art, watched some shows and the glass blower, ate some food, and played some games.
Surprisingly, most of the food was reasonably priced. Our lunches were $6-8 each, and the portions were not skimpy.
The festival itself seemed to have tripled in size since I was last there. There are a lot more games and a lot more stages and food vendors. Obviously, this makes for more to do. Of course, there are the wooden sword/weapon vendors that every kid wants to buy. Yes, mine did too, but he did not walk out with one.
Here's my problem with the festival. For a family of three it was about $60 for us to attend. That is admission pricing (it varies throughout the season). We expected to pay for food and drinks that we bought. I even understand having to pay extra to play a game, if it has a chance for a prize. Even theme parks like Kings Dominion and Hersheypark do this. Several of the games had no prizes or gave a wooden nickel for a prize when the game was $1.
However, charging $1 to go down a wooden slide or charging $1 at a game vendor to try one of the games is ridiculous. The slide and non prized games should be free. After all, you are paying a hefty admissions fee. The game vendor was truly wrong. You are charging me $1 to try a game you are trying to sell me (you get the $1 back if you buy a game)? Many people heard that and left the area. My son got lucky and the person helping him didn't ask for the $1. That is just bad business, and those were the vendors we saw doing this.
Don't get me wrong. The Renaissance Festival can be a fun experience, But nickel and dining the customer as we experienced is wrong. Hopefully when, or if, we go again (won't be for a while) things are better. Then again, they might start charging for seats at the shows!
by Jeff Schreiber
With summer coming to an end in a few weeks here are 20 more things you can try doing with you family to get the most out of what summer we have left.
For more fun ideas to do with your kids this summer check out these other 2FunDads articles:
Indoor activities to do this summer with your children
Outdoor activities to do with your children this summer
Have any ideas? Post them below. The more the better because YOU CAN NEVER HAVE 2 MUCH FUN!
If you have a family that spends a lot of time at the beach or pool, or you have a trip to a waterpark planned this summer, do yourself a favor and buy a waterproof camera.
They range in quality and price, but my favorite is the Nikon Coolpix W100. If takes fantastic photos and does video as well. If you are looking at a camera without video features I suggest moving on. The W100 even has a flash. It is a weak flash, but better than nothing. Not only does this take fantastic pictures underwater, but it takes great dry land pics too and does a great job at capturing action. I have taken this camera on numerous trips and have never been disappointed. Even if you don't want underwater pictures, a waterproof camera gives you piece of min. You can take it in the pool or the ocean without the fear of ruining it and get closer shots than out of the water.
There are other waterproof cameras out there, but this price is right and is great quality, many of the sub $100 dollar cameras will not cut it. The W100 is about $150 at the time of this writing. Sure, many phones are waterproof these days but do you really want to take you phone into the ocean and have it washed away in a rough wave? Plus, you will drain your battery faster.
Whether you get the Nikon or another camera, you won’t regret buying a waterproof digital camera. It will give you shots you’ve never been able to get before and it will make your vacation more fun and You Can Never Have 2 Much Fun.
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