Friday, August 9, 2013

The Royal Treatment in Orange County: Medieval Times Dinner & Tournament

As a mom of two boys, I'm constantly surrounded by cars, legos and sword fighting.  All I hear on a daily basis are sound effects in various tones, little feet scurrying past one another and the grunts of boys wrestling on the floor.  As a result, I wanted to take my boys, this summer, to a place that would capture their attention.

My oldest son just turned five and the baby is two and a half, so you can imagine that keeping their attention for longer than 30 minutes can be challenging.  Luckily, Medieval Times gave me the opportunity to take my family for an entertaining show and a fantastic dinner to boot!  The best part is that my two-year old never flinched.  He was in awe of the show, the entire time.

From the second we set foot into "the castle" we were treated like royalty.  We were handed our royal crowns, with our corresponding knight's colors (Go Red Knight!!!), as well as our red cheering section flags.  We were then shown to our seats where the best serf (that's what they call the waiters) tended to our every need.  The feast we were treated to, consisted of Tomato Bisque and warm Focaccia bread with olive oil and seasoning, a delicious Oven Roasted Chicken, a finger-licking-good BBQ spare rib, a savory Herb-Basted Potato and a sweet, flaky braided Apple Strudel.  Yes, friends, it was just as good as it sounds!  And the best part was not having to use utensils!  For the first time ever, I didn't fight with my kids about their inability to properly use a fork.  No utensils required for this meal, folks!

The show began with a gorgeous show highlighting the beauty of the horses and the relationship between them and the knights.  This is the part that caused my two-year old to watch with his mouth wide open.

Then, we were entertained by the falconry performance, which consisted of a trainer illustrating the beauty of the falcon as it flew directly above our heads and all around the interior of the arena, to the inspirational music by IMAX and feature-film composer, Daniel May.

Following both of these stunning performances, the royal games began!  The knights turned to jousting, sword fighting and horsemanship to display their genuine medieval abilities, which made those of us in the audience, scream, flinch and cheer for our knights (Go Red Knight!).

While in the spirit of competition, the knights would win flowers for each stage of the competition that they won and they'd give these flowers to some proud, cheering, "maidens" in their section of the audience.  Well, guess who received the first flower in the red section?!  This girl RIGHT HERE!!! I was pretty excited and my son thought I was awesome!  I think I got it because I was the maiden cheering the loudest.  During one of the competitions, after I'd received my flower from my brave Red Knight, I was cheering quite loudly.  My son turned to look at me and said, "MOM.  You can stop cheering now.  He already gave you a flower!  You should let someone else have a turn." I guess I was being so loud, I must've been embarrassing him. Go figure.

The entire show, from start to finish, was beyond entertaining.  My boys did not squirm, whine or complain for a full two and a half hours, because they were too busy cheering for the Red Knight, to realize that they hadn't fulfilled their hourly quota of squirmy-complainy-whininess.  And although, our beloved Red Knight failed to bring home the victory (please see my son's face of disappointment, the moment our knight lost to the ultimate victor, the Green Knight) it was a small victory for this mom, who succeeded in entertaining two sword-obsessed boys, by showing them that knights do exist, and by proving to myself that going to a place that requires a couple hours of complete sitting can, in fact, be fun for all four of us!

I genuinely recommend you make a trip to Medieval Times, especially if you have children.  They'll love you forever, I swear!

If you are coming to Southern California, or any of the nine places where Medieval Times is located, this is a must-see.  You'll experience a full show of medieval entertainment elements such as falconry, horsemanship, jousting and sword fighting.  I will admit that the cost can be steep, if you have a large family, however, you can scour the internet for a few of their coupon codes. You can also join their "King's Court" email list, where you can get a FREE admission on your birthday with the purchase of an adult admission or you can check out their special offers to save some money on admission.  Nevertheless, going to Medieval Times to celebrate summer, a birthday or just on your vacation in Southern California is a great idea.  Medieval Times is an Orange County entertainment staple and its a place that could surely place you at Mom of the Year status (even though wiping dirty butts, cleaning snotty noses and just putting food on the table actually already does!).

If you have a chance to check out Medieval Times any time soon, I hope you have as much fun as we did!

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