Labor day Weekend – Vikings & Shieldmaidens

Labor day weekend is fast approaching and the village at Sleepy Hollow is a flurry of activity getting everything ready to go. Banners and garlands hang from freshly painted buildings. New signs and attractions getting their finishing touches. Even when you are just driving by on Dean Avenue and see the red and gold pennants flying you can tell great festivities are about to begin.

There are of course always stressful moments and set backs… like the website being down all weekend due to a server issue. But we are back and have lots to talk about! For example, all the exciting performers that you can only see this weekend like:

Skjaldborg – Viking Encampment and Combat group.

Bardmageddon – This bardic trio are a brand new act to Sleepy Hollow this year and appearing this weekend only. Be sure to check out their Youtube channel if you want an early taste.

Pirates Inc. – This weekends visiting pirate crew, there is a new one each week!

Check out our program for a list of everything this weekend has to offer for entertainment, activities, and shopping!

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We are so excited for this weekend and we can’t wait for you to see everything we’ve done. But before we got here are a couple more sneak peaks. See you at the Faire!

~The Sleepy Hollow Team


Benefit Days 2017

How Do Benefit Days Work?

This year the Renaissance Faire at Sleepy Hollow has reached out to partner with 3 incredible organizations in our community to host benefit days. To show your support be sure to like them on Social Media and Sign Up for their newsletters. Not only will this keep you in the loop on everything these community warriors are doing, but it is also how your Renfaire tickets can give them very real financial support.

Step 1 – Like their social media pages.

Step 2 – Sign up for their Newsletter.

Step 3 – Keep an eye out. Each of these organizations has a code they will be sharing.

Step 4 – Use that code to buy your tickets in advance for their benefit day and $5 per adult ticket will go straight to them to aid in their efforts supporting and improving our communities.

Youth Emergency Services & Shelter Benefit Days – September 2nd & 3rd

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Youth Emergency Services & Shelter (YESS) meets the critical needs of the community by providing a continuum of quality programs designed to keep children safe and families together. YESS provides a safety net of programs designed to help kids when they need it most, including emergency shelter, crisis nursery care, mental health counseling, and care coordination. As Iowa’s largest provider of emergency services for youth, the agency connects more than 2,200 children per year with healing and hope.

YESS is home to Iowa’s largest and most comprehensive emergency shelter for kids, which provides a safe haven and wraparound support to more than 800 children (newborn through age 17)  per year. In addition, the agency cares for hundreds of children in the community to keep them safe and healthy in their own homes. YESS is a nationally-accredited nonprofit organization that uniquely serves the community’s most vulnerable children and creates an environment where families can thrive.

Buy your tickets in advance using the code YESS provides and show your support for this amazing part of our community and bring a little magic into these kids lives with The Renaissance Faire at Sleepy Hollow

Youth Emergency Services & Shelter Benefit Day at the Renaissance Faire.

Metro Arts Alliance Benefit Day – September 10th

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As a home of the arts in Des Moines, the Renaissance Faire is happy to be partnering with The Metro Arts Alliance!  Metro Arts Alliance enriches the quality of life in Greater Des Moines by connecting people to the arts through programming, communication, and support of artists and arts organizations.

As a regional arts service organization, Metro Arts works with the public and our members to ensure that the arts survive and thrive in Greater Des Moines. It is a non-profit that advocates for the arts, cultivates public participation in the arts, and creates partnerships between the artistic, business, and cultural communities.

Metro Arts Alliance Benefit Day at the Renaissance Faire.

Animal Rescue League Benefit Day – September 17th

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The Animal Rescue League of Iowa (ARL) is Iowa’s largest nonprofit animal shelter, caring for many thousands of pets each year. The ARL serves people and pets from across the state of Iowa through its programs, which include pet adoption, humane education, pet behavior training, spay/neuter, animal cruelty intervention and much more.

If you have attended the Renaissance Faire at Sleepy Hollow before you know what a pet-friendly place it is. Queen Catherine loves to meet her canine subjects, shoulder reptiles and birds of prey abound, and there are a couple ferrets dressed as dragons that are known to make an appearance every year. So for our final weekend, we have chosen to partner up with the ARL not only to support this wonderful organization but also to bring some new events to the Faire! On Sunday, September 17 the ARL will have a booth where you can meet some adoptable furry friends (depending on availability and weather). Members of ARL will also be judging our first ever Pet Costume Contest with prizes! More information still to come on this so keep an eye out!

Animal Rescue League Benefit Day at the Renaissance Faire.



2017 Faire Announcement

Faire season is upon us and we are excited make the official 2017 faire announcement. A new stage is being added to the village bringing our total performance spaces to 13. Hear all the latest village gossip at the new Dirty Laundry Stage! We are also adding several new activities including: Battle Chess, Vegetable Justice, and Pirate Paintball.

Tickets will go on sale July 1st at and this year we will be removing the service fee the the price you pay in advance is the same as at the gate. Don’t forget to keep your eye on social media for discount codes that are usable for advance tickets only. Performers for 2017 and nearly finalized as well. Keep an eye on our website and facebook page for these updates as they happen. Merchant spots are still available and the application can be found here.

The official dates and themes for the 12th annual Renaissance Faire at Sleepy Hollow are:

Renaissance Faire at Sleepy Hollow Weekend 1 - Vikings & Shiledmaidens

Join us on Labor Day weekend, September 2nd, 3rd, & 4th, to witness an invasion of Norsemen ready to educate you on the culture and history of these explorers and warriors.

Renaissance Faire at Sleepy Hollow Weekend 2 - Kilts & Lucky Lasses

From the Highland Champions to the archers of Sherwood Forest. Be thee Scot, Welsh, Cornish, Irish, English, leprechaun, elfin, faery, The weekend of September 9th and 10th Is for you.

Renaissance Faire at Sleepy Hollow Weekend 3 - Pirates & Wenches

Docked at the Canterbury River you’ll find freebooters of all sorts, both historical and fantasy. The weekend of September 16th and 17th is a time for the legends of the sea. Land-lubbers beware!


Thank you for a rowdy good time

Renfaire After Dark Thank YouRenfaire After Dark weekend has come and gone and we admit… between 3 inches of rain leading up to it and the cold weather that night we weren’t really sure what to expect. Whatever we were expecting… the attendance, energy, and pure rambunctious fun blew us away! This rowdy good time will be happening again.

We would love to hear your feedback to help us with planning for the future. With this in mind we have created a new facebook page just for Renfaire After Dark. So please feel free to leave us a review on our page and tell us what you think we did well or what could use some improvement. For a first time event we know there are things that didn’t quite go how they should have or plans that didn’t work and your opinions are important to it being even better next time.

Thanks for coming out, staying safe, and having fun!


New Event – Renfaire After Dark

There is a new event at the Renaissance Faire at Sleepy Hollow. Something new, different, and highly unsuitable for the upper class. Come party with the pirates, gypsies, and fools at Renfaire After Dark. This 21+ only event is taking place from noon on May 20th to noon on May 21st. The entertainment list is some of the best, not to mention the rowdiest. The activities and contests are unseemly in the best way possible. Visit the Renfaire After Dark page for more details. Tickets go on sale February 1st.

Come experience the Renfaire After Dark

Getting Rowdy at Renfaire After DarkComing May 20-21, 2017 is Sleepy Hollow’s Renfaire After Dark or R.A.D

Ever wonder what happens at the renfaire after the sun goes down? Well we are here to answer that question with this  21 and older ONLY Event! Leave your Kids, Filters, and Inhibitions at home and party like it’s 1565! Tickets on sale now at! This is a limited ticket event, don’t miss out on the craziest, most fun, no holds barred, Renaissance Event ever!!

Campsite Opens – Saturday, May 20th at 9 am
Opening Gate – Saturday, May 20th at Noon
Closing Gate – Sunday, May 21st at Noon

Check out the schedule of events for more details.

This is a 21+ ONLY event.
Free Camping (Click here for more details)
Event will run very very late, too much fun to make someone be your D.D.

This event will attempt to answer:

  • Renfaire After Dark sinner in the stocksWhat mischief is the Pirate Queen up to and does the King know about it?
  • Who’s the sexiest wench in the village? The wet chemise contest will reveal. ($500/1st Prize)
  • Hey commando what’s under that kilt? Legs and buns contest. ($500/1st Prize)
  • Who Makes the best mead, local wine, craft beer and spirits in the village? Over 20 to choose from.
  • What’s hidden in that haunted house anyway. Hosted by the Marques Des Moines.
  • What kind of leather goods, toys and attire will the merchants sell when the sun goes down?
  • Why won’t someone hit that jerk with a tomato?
  • What could go wrong with a knife and axe throw contest after the largest pub crawl in Renfaire history?

Thank You 2016

Thanks you to everyone who attended our 2016 season! What an incredible faire it was with new acts, new stage spaces, and expansions. We hope you all enjoyed the adventure and frivolity we had to offer and that we will see you again in 2017. Keep an eye on our website and facebook page for announcements you won’t want to miss!

Thank you to our Faire Family for an incredible first season as The Renaissance Faire at Sleepy Hollow!

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2016: New Name, Same Faire

2016 is a year of change for the Renaissance Faire at Sleepy Hollow, formerly the Des Moines Renaissance Faire. With this new name our faire site and performers are going through a lot of changes as well, all for the better!

COME . . .

A new name for the Des Moines Renaissance Faire in 2016

Explore the secrets of Sleepy Hollow’s enchanting realm—some 18 acres of an English village lost in time.

Savor the tastes of traditional Renaissance fare—turkey legs, ale, and much more.

Hunt for one-of-a-kind treasures in more than 40 shops.

Behold the wonders of jousting knights and enjoy a variety of acts on the 12 stages (5 new performance areas added this year!).

NEW  NAME . . .

The winds of change have swept the faire grounds! No longer is the English Castle alone in its singular power: Though it still anchors the north, it has new rivals vying for the favors of faire-goers!

  • The Scots have invaded the south—and they’ve built a castle! Constructed for the
    2016 season, this exciting feature adds new drama to the Renaissance Faire at
    Sleepy Hollow. Featuring a large stage and flushable privies, the Scottish Castle
    offers Highland games, bagpipers, sheep—and plenty of intrigue!
  • A Gypsy caravan troupe has infiltrated the southeast. Beware the seductions of the
    nubile dancers on their stage!
  • La! A small contingency of the French are staking claim to one corner in the
    south, not far from the Scots. Turmoil ensues! Ooh la la!
  • And lastly, cries of “Valhalla!” echo down by the river! It seems a Viking horde
    has landed on the shores as well. . . .

Performers never before seen at Sleepy Hollow!

  • Bell, Book & Canto – musicians
  • Musical Blades
  • Better than Nun
  • Ron Berry – Master Hypnotist
  • Matt Hoover – Falconer
  • Rachel the Harpist
  • Frosty locks & Splinter – lane characters
  • Lone Tree Stockdogs Sheepherding Demo
  • Highland Games Demo & Contest
  • Pass Four Productions – teaching Celtic dances
  • Vikings Living History
  • Ophelia Archer Peddler – lane character

Whether you are new to the Renaissance “scene” or have been a long-time attendee of the former Des Moines Renaissance Festival, you are sure to have your passions rekindled at the Renaissance Faire at Sleepy Hollow!

There’s a certain magic in Renaissance festivals. Our faire is no exception. We have brought the old world to life again with a bewitching mix of fantasy and history: Welcome to a world where adults and children alike can become a knight or lady-in-waiting, a pirate or fairy, or simply remain an entertained observer. Step through the gates of our 18-acre park and be transported to an era when royalty rule, knights joust, and the arts come alive!

The adventure begins Labor Day weekend and continues through the following two weekends, with a different theme each weekend:

  • September 3–5, 2016—Knights & Royals Weekend
  • September 10–11, 2016—Highlanders & Lucky Lasses Weekend
  • September 17–18, 2016—Pirates & Wenches Weekend

TO DO . . .

Come hungry!
Come thirsty!
Come ready to have FUN!

But beware the Pirates!

Browse through more than 40 specialty shops.
Attend the spectacle of the coronation at the Royal Court.
Shout the battle cry of your favorite knight at the jousting arena.
Partake in demonstrations by glass blowers, blacksmiths, potters, wood carvers, painters,
and much more!