Thursday, February 5
Take a Mini-Vacation to Medieval Times Dinner & Tournament
Over Christmas break our family took a trip up north and went to the Medieval Times Dinner & Tournament in Schaumburg, IL. We had never been there and I thought it would make a great little mini getaway for us. We could see the awesome castle as we exited the highway and the kids started getting very excited. Thankfully we were a little early so there wasn't a big line yet and we were able to wait inside in the heat for the doors to open.
After you enter the building you first check in with your reservation, then they assign you a team color that you will be cheering for during the show. You even get coordinating crowns to wear while you are there, and I of course made everyone put them on for my photos! After checking in they take a photo of your group that you'll have the option to purchase later during the show, and then again after the show just in case they missed you. After our photo we began to walk around and take in all of the awesome displays they had through out the castle. We were even able to see many of the horses that would be later seen during the show. I think this was my daughter's favorite part (well at least so far).
For a little extra while you are waiting for the doors to open to the show area you can also enter the "Dungeon" which houses several different torture and restraining devices from early history. My daughter didn't seem to keen on any of the ideas of ways they would restrain or control prisoners and wanted to walk through it pretty fast. I have to agree some of them were pretty disturbing to see and imagine them being used on actual people. My husband on they other hand is more of a history buff and wanted to slowly walk though and read EVERY sign he could find. So we just waited outside the doors and spent a little extra time looking at the horses.
After that we walked around the rest of the castle waiting area and checking out the gift shops. There were so many awesome things you could purchase from apparel to themed souvenirs to remember the show. We opted not to purchase anything before the show so we wouldn't have to worry about carrying it with us, and of course remembering it after the show was over. There was also a bar area where you could order drinks before entering the show in souvenir cups. And then the moment finally arrived, they began announcing about the show and how we would be let into the arena. Since our seats were down in the front row and the green section was up at the front area we were let in first!
We were greeted as we walked through the doors and shown the way to our section. Upon arrival to our table we found our team colored flags and the place-settings for our meal. You might also notice that there aren't any utensils sitting on the table around the plate. That's because the dinner is utensil-free. Yep you guessed it you have to eat with your hands! Honestly I think that added to the fun of the whole evening. By this point we were all getting pretty excited for dinner and the show to start, but we still had a little while before it would all begin. While we waited for all of the other colored sections to fill up we decided to have a little fun and take some pictures of each other to remember the evening. As I mentioned before we were were assigned the color green so that meant we were going to be rooting the green knight on during the tournament.
The Green Knight
This warrior of Asturius is an unquestioned master of weapons. Don Temple has never been unhorsed in the joust. No mantle of peace or of serenity will ever grace his shoulders, for his temper is the dragon's claw.
And now it's time for the show! We listened to the king and princess talk about their kingdom with the Master of Horse, see a Royal Falconer with his bird of prey, and others from the kings court. We also got to watch the horses perform, see a jousting tournament (and other competitions), and find out which color knight would end up winning overall and defeat Herald of the North. If you can't tell from the pictures the yellow and black knight ended up winning. Even tough our knight didn't win we were excited about being able to cheer him on, and my daughter even got a flower that he threw directly to her. That in itself made her night! I'm not sure which was my favorite part, from watching the horses to watching the knights it was all so exciting.
Since they dimmed the lights as soon as they started serving the food I wasn't able to get good photos to share with you so I'm sharing the above image from their website. It shows everything we got during our dinner. They started out with a really yummy tomato bisque soup (that even my daughter who claims she hates tomatoes loved) paired with toasted garlic bread. Then a bit after that the full meal came out featuring oven roasted chicken, a spare rib, and an herb-roasted potato. I have to say there was so much food on my plate I was in awe. It all looked and smelled so good I didn't know what to eat first. In no time at all my husband cleared his plate however and I then began sharing parts of mine and my daughters with him knowing we would never be able to finish it all. After the main course was over and they cleared the plates from it then they came back through with a light and fluffy pastry. And yes it too was quite yummy! I have to say if you leave hungry you must be crazy because they give you enough food to fill your belly and then some.
Have you ever been to Medieval Times Dinner & Tournament? If so what did you think? If not would you like to go?