The Faire

The streets of a Ren Faire looking towards the front gate.

Since 2006 The Renaissance Faire at Sleepy Hollow has been entertaining people of all ages! From the English castle in the north to the Scottish castle in the south and all the taverns, shops, and shows between the Ren Faire has been a permanent fixture for 17 years. With Polk County purchasing the land in 2022 the amenities will continue to improve for years to come.

Featuring

  • 9+ Stages across 15 acres

  • Multiple living history encampments

  • More than 50 vendors and activities

  • 11 different places to acquire food and drink

  • Shady places to rest while adventuring

A crowd on bleachers watches two knights in shiny armor fight each other.

What To Expect

The Renaissance Faire at Sleepy Hollow  in Des Moines, IA is a magical experience for both young and old. When you enter our gates for the first time you will go back in time to an era when kings and queens ruled, knights jousted, and the arts came alive! With so much to see and do we wanted to give any newcomers to Renaissance Faires or Sleepy Hollow’s Castle Park a guide on what they can expect at Iowa’s only permanent Faire site.

Hours

  • 10 am - 6 pm (Rain or Shine)

  • Some additional ticket events begin at 6

Taking Part

There are many ways to enjoy the Renaissance Faire and many things to do. From the moment you approach the bridge and cross over into our little village the street characters, stage performers, and even our vendors are excited to interact with you! Feel free to play along and be part of the world. You can meet the Royal Court, play with fairies, observe artisans at work, participate in games of skill and chance, and enjoy performances at any of our 9 stages on the grounds.

Themed Weekends:

Every weekend of the faire has a theme that is reflected in the costuming of some of our performers and vendors, and the content of some of our shows. We encourage anyone who is dressing up to join in these themed weekends when possible. Even if you are unable to participate in the themes our vendors would be happy to outfit you for the future!

Dressing Up:

Coming in costume is always welcome but not required. Please feel free to come as you are, a modern time traveler to the middle ages. Or join us in costume if you prefer. Our performers welcome all comers from any time period to be an integral part of the excitement our village has to offer. We welcome costumes of all kinds, we all know this is fantasy don’t we, so Cosplayers come on in. If you do choose to dress up please be sure to read our Policies regarding weaponry!

Shopping:

Browse through more than 50 specialty shops. Bring a purse full of coin (all accept paper, some may accept plastic), for our merchants offer the finest in jewelry, weaponry, leather goods, candles, clothing, children’s items, chocolates, pottery and more. If you are a newcomer to Renaissance Faires and would like to be able to come in costume the next day our vendor and crafts people have many options to offer and many take custom orders as well.

Food & Drink:

Come hungry! Our selections from around the world to turkey legs will delight even the pickiest eater. Our royal food court features many types of food & drink. Two taverns will serve beers, wines, meads and other drinks. Plus the International offers Octoberfest and Exile Hannah, and the Scurvy Dog has Rum! Some merchants offer gluten-free items, and vegetarian options. We are working on a menu of these items for future events. Until then, it never hurts to ask. Some food vendors are able to create special items by request.

Helpful Hints

  • Every day the gates open at 10am rain or shine. Performances begin at 11:00am so wander the grounds and check out the many vendors as you plan your day. This year we are adding concerts beginning at 5:00pm by national touring groups. The park is open until 6:00pm so plan to make the most of it.  September can be a tricky month for weather so be prepared with sunscreen and maybe an umbrella. Shows will go on despite the weather and there are many covered stages were you can continue to enjoy the Faire in case of rain.

  • An ATM is located at the front gate for your convenience.

  • While this is a family event, there are many styles of shows ranging from children oriented to ones with adult themes. If you are unsure if a show would be appropriate, please ask a performer about it. After hours “Smokers” are for 21 and older only. (this is strictly enforced. IDs will be checked)

  • Be sure to read our policies so you know what is and is not allowed in Castle Park.

Policies

Hours

10:00 am - 6:00 pm Rain or Shine
11:00 am - Performances Start

Address

4051 Dean Avenue
Des Moines, IA 50317

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