With all of the things my family has ever done in the Chicago area, believe it or not we’ve never been to Medieval Times.
Correction: We HAD never been to Medieval Times until just weeks ago.
The Medieval Times Dinner and Tournament has always been on our to-do list, and why not?
Eating food without utensils!
My family was invited to check out the show as well as the Princess Training (we just watched, of course, having not brought a young girl with us, though I tweeted at the time that I probably could have taught the course…) and so we headed to the castle. The “Chicago” castle, by the way, is actually in the suburb of Schaumburg, right off I-90 at Roselle Road. Oh, and it is literally a castle, by the way.
Upon walking in we were directed to the middle of the castle (lobby), which is where we found, among other things, the photography studio, a bar, restrooms, a spacious waiting area, and enough merchandise for sale to put any amusement park to shame. Truly, there were some fantastic things one could bring home as a souvenir, from figurines to hats to flags to swords to…well, you get the idea.
An hour before the first show on each weekend day, Medieval Times conducts training for young Princesses (Saturdays) and Knights (Sundays). The “class” is free and is available to all kids aged 5-12.
Watching the young girls get taken through a craft (decorating their hats) and a quiz about Princess-ly behavior, I thought it was really an adorable add-on to the experience (definitely geared more towards the younger ages in that range though, in my opinion). Princess Catalina and the Lord Chancellor, who were conducting the training, were very complimentary towards the little girls and it seemed like the “trainees”, who were very focused on their crafting by the way, had a great time. The Princess and Knight Training will be offered through the end of September (and possibly extended beyond that but I don’t have firm info on that yet).
After the Princess training we had about thirty minutes to wait (and walk around in the lobby again) before we could go back in to get seated for the dinner and tournament, but time went by quickly and before we knew it we were front row, center.
The horses were amazing, fast, and beautiful. (and blurry, apparently.)
As the Lord Chancellor conducted the games for our entertainment (and that of Princess Catalina and the King, Don Carlos, too), we dined–without utensils–on Tomato Bisque, Focaccia Bread with Olive Oil and Seasoning, Oven-Roasted Chicken, Herb-Basted Potato Split into Two Quarters, and Braided Apple Strudel. Barbecued spare ribs were also a part of the menu but since we don’t eat pork, they gave us extra potatoes. A vegetarian meal is also available with advanced notice.
Each section of the stadium had a different knight for whom to cheer. Ours was the red and yellow knight and although he didn’t win, it wasn’t for lack of trying or cheers from our section. We had a great time!
I am giving away a four-pack of tickets to the Chicago/Schaumburg Castle (a $240 value!) so you and your little Princesses and Knights can enjoy a family evening back-in-the-day. Wanna go? I’ll be doing a random drawing on Saturday, September 1: you’ve got until noon Central time on that day to enter. It’s really easy to enter, too. Here’s how:
1. Mandatory for first entry– Leave a comment here, saying you want to win and whether you’ve been to Medieval Times before. (Whether you have or not has no bearing on whether your name will be drawn!)
2. Bonus entry– Tweet this:
“Hey #chicago! @melisalw is giving away 4 tickets to @MedievalTimes Chicago Castle! Enter here: http://bit.ly/MUM7yB” and then come back and leave a comment telling me you did that. (Even though I’ll get the “@”, it’ll be easier for me to track if it’s all here.)
That’s it! I told you it’d be easy.
The fine print: Winner must live in or have the ability to visit the Chicago area. Tickets must be used within 60 days of winning and reservations must be made in advance (with my Medieval Times contact). I will be using random.org to determine the winner. Comments posted after noon on Saturday, September 1 will not be eligible to win. Please visit the Medieval Times Chicago Facebook page and “like” it to stay informed about what’s going on in the Chicago/Schaumburg Castle.
More fine print: My family was provided with four VIP tickets to Medieval Times Chicago so we could check it out. Thanks to Princess Catalina and the rest of the gang for showing us a good time!