~Thank you to Medieval Times Lyndhurst Castle for hosting the Making Time family. As always, opinions are still 100% my own.~
Last week I decided we’d do family time a little differently. How differently, you ask? Well, we took family time, back in time. All the way back to Medieval times. We spent an afternoon at Medieval Times Lyndhurst Castle, enjoying two hours of medieval entertainment, an era-fitting dinner, and of course each other’s company.
If you’ve never been to Medieval Times, I highly recommend it. First off, there are multiple castles you can visit throughout the US. The Lyndhurst Castle is in NJ, but there are also castles in FL, GA, CA, TX, SC, MD, IL and even Ontario.
So let me tell (and show) you why you should make time for a visit.
I am sharing my experience at the Lyndhurst Castle and do not know exactly what the other castles feature, but if not the same, I’m sure you’ll get the same Medieval era experience.
As soon as you walk into the castle you’re greeted just the way you would have been greeted in Medieval times. Everyone I came across greeted me and responded with “my lady.” I’ll admit it was a little weird, but from the get-go everything is time period appropriate, giving you the full experience.
And even before entering the dining and entertainment arena, the lobby is jam packed with amazing detail. It’s hard to choose where to start scanning the room and where to end. There’s a Royal Armory where you can view the different types and designs of shields, swords and everything else knights fought with.
Don’t forget to look up. It was hard to get into one picture (the head is missing), but there is a large feathered friend crest right in the center, surrounded by adorning kingdom flags. It was huge and so breathtaking. When this is what you get in the lobby, you know the kingdom arena is going to be epic.
Along with the beautiful Medieval decor, there are gift shop areas, a bar to grab an alcoholic beverage or slushie, and different photo opp setups too.
Rep Your City
There are six cities that make up the kingdom and when it’s time to enter the arena, you’re directed to your city’s seating area. Each city is lit with its home colors and since we were representing the Green Knight from the City of Leon (lee-own) we were seated in the green area. We knew which city and knight to represent because upon entering the castle we were each given a crown with the color of our knight. Go Green Knight!
The real fun starts with the entertainment. Right away it’s easy to notice the intricate detail, colors and material of the costumes. From the armor, to the cloaks, right down to the squires and horses, everything is spot on.
You get a glance into different knightly tournament games, the best of which is the jousting. It’s so fun to watch that you forget it’s not real and you’re on the edge of your seat, waiting to see what happens next. My son got so into it that he was standing out of his seat, swinging and thrusting his light up sword we bought him, trying to imitate the knights. I can’t tell you how many times I almost got hit with his sword.
One of the great features of Medieval Times is all of the audience engagement opportunities. Obviously, you cheer for your knight, but there are also times the knight turns to interact with the people of his city.
There were three or four times the knights would kiss and throw fresh carnations to a few ladies of their city and at one point each knight deems one special lady the Queen of the Tournament.
Can you guess who won that title for the City of Leon? She wouldn’t take a photo with her sash on.
And for the knight who wins the tournament, he gets the chance to crown someone from his city as Queen of something, known for her beauty. I can’t remember exactly what the title was, but our Green Knight won (Go Green Knight!) and crowned an unexpecting little girl in our area.
The food. Let me tell ya’ll about the food. It was so good and very nicely portioned. We started with tomato soup and garlic bread. Then moved on to the main course, which consisted of baked chicken (each person got a leg, wing and breast), corn on the cob, and half of a potato. Then for dessert we enjoyed a slice of lemon cake.
I have nothing but nice things to say about the meal. The taste of everything exceeded my expectations. I’m the kind of person who wants some kind of sauce with my chicken and my potato loaded down with the works, but it was all seasoned so well that it wasn’t needed. And the lemon cake was melt in your mouth moist.
But notice anything missing from these photos?
There’s no silverware! Why? Because in Medieval times there was no silverware. The only utensils you had at your disposal were the two attached to your arms – your hands. So we sipped our tomato soup, and ate our main course and dessert with our hands. It’s all part of the Medieval Times experience.
Which leads me to the overall experience. From the time you walk into the castle, to the time you walk out, it is truly a Medieval experience. The language, decor, costumes, entertainment, food, everything. It’s all so real and tons of fun.
My son gets very scared in large crowds and when things are different, so I wasn’t sure how he’d react to this. I mean, Medieval Times is like nothing he’s ever seen before. At first he was his usual unsure self, and started crying and tried burying his head into us. He didn’t want to talk to the actors for photo opps or anything.
So we bought him a light up sword and he calmed down a little bit, but as soon as the show started he was all about it. He has asked to go back to the castle literally every day since we went. I know this is one family night he’ll never forget.
And Medieval Times isn’t just great for family time, but you can go just to have a night away from home or to celebrate anything. There were people celebrating high school graduation, a couple celebrating their recent marriage, and many groups celebrating birthdays. Speaking of, you can celebrate your birthday for free by signing up here!