A royal family in crisis, six brave knights competing in a jousting tournament, half a dozen of horses trotting about and one falcon soaring up in the ceiling of a castle…no, I am not hallucinating from the summer heat. This all happened in Lyndhurst, NJ at the Medieval Times Castle and occurs every day to the delight of over one thousand spectators. One of the most popular dinner and tournament shows in the U.S, Medieval Times is a top-notch experience that needs to be on your bucket list. I recently saw a performance with my family and loved the dramatic moments, the cool horse tricks, the lavish costumes, the knights who don’t miss a beat and the story to tie it all in together. Want to see it for yourself? We’re giving away 4 tickets to one lucky reader!
When you first walk in you enter the Hall of Arms, filed with Medieval decor. There are shops with merchandise all related to the Middle Ages and you can also get your picture taken to purchase later (some photos are included in the upgrade packages).
The shops sold everything related to the era:
When it’s time to enter the show, you enter an arena and get seated at your table. There are no bad seats – it’s stadium seating so even if there’s someone tall in front of you, you will still see well.
The show begins very dramatically, with smoke, light strobe effects and dramatic music. There are knights on horses, princesses, kings and even a falcon that flies around the audience.
When the show begins we meet all the knights and cheer for the knight that represents your section. Ours was the black and white knight.
Before the jousting tournament begins, the horses perform tricks and the knights perform some cool tricks on their own. In between, they head to the princess who throws flowers to them. They, in turn, throw the flowers out to the audience.
As part of the story, the master of ceremonies calls the king to round up the knights for the tournament.
King Carlos and the knights:
The highlight of the show is the jousting tournament and while I was at first worried that my kids (especially my four-year-old) will be seeing a violent tournament, I was pleasantly surprised. The “fighting” is more playful than real. When a knight “wounds” another knight, he simply places his sword on the knight’s body and the knight falls down. The “wounded” knight then gets up and walks slowly off stage, with the help of his attendant, pretending to be injured. There’s no fake blood or anything gory, it’s more of a sport than a fight. The actors train for months and you can tell – they were absolutely amazing and the chorography was top-notch!
The food was surprisingly good. I selected the vegetarian option and enjoyed pita bread, crudites and humus, as well as a delicious bean and rice soup and sides. There was also coffee and cake for dessert. For meat eaters there’s chicken, sides, garlic bread and coffee and dessert as well. Keep in mind that the utensils are minimal, similar to the way things were back in that era.
Visit Medieval Times to learn more and to purchase tickets.
I was not compensated for this post. I received complimentary tickets.
Senior Reviewer Maytal Wichman has also written for The Huffington Post. She has been living in New York City for fourteen years and holds a Bachelor’s Degree in English Literature as well as a Law Degree, but blogging is her true passion. Maytal is a stay-at-home mom to three kids (ages 10, 8 and 4) and loves finding great products that make her family’s life easier.