Want to experience some good times with the family? Have you visited Medieval Times in Toronto yet? Recently I had the opportunity to take my family back to a time where Knights ruled the land and you only ate food with your hands.
My first memory of Medieval Times (like many of you), came from the movie, The Cable Guy. You go and enjoy a dinner theatre of live performances like it would have been back in Medieval Times (go figure right).
While enjoying a 4-course meal, you get to watch various battles between knights using swords and other weapons you are likely to see on any Episode of Game of Thrones.
For a few hours, you are taken back to a time when Kings called the shots and glory was earned on the battle field.
For us the experience was like nothing we had seen before. Well, sorry, my wife went many years ago, but for myself and the kids it was all brand new.
From flying falcons, to beautiful stallions, the evening had something for everyone.
The arena of battle as I am going to call it, was a large space where there was plenty of space for fighting. Surrounded by patrons, the floor was on full display for everyone to see. The lights were down just like a gladiator coliseum. Everyone who needed to be heard were wearing microphones which made it easy to play along. The king and princess sat atop the floor and played host for the evening. It was like a hockey arena long before the world knew what a puck was.
Before heading into the stadium of battle, there is a large area to mingle, have a drink and browse souvenirs. Some of the key players are visiting with the crowd and there was plenty of cool looking medieval stuff on display. The entire venue was decked out for a night of fun.
Parent tip: It’s loud, mostly dark and the seats are pretty close. Just be prepared for spills and your kids not being able to hear you very well.
Going into this, I was intrigued how the whole eating with your hands business would play out. I knew the kids would love it. No utensils is preferred for them.
In the lobby, we picked up some drinks and the boys got theirs in these cool light up cups. They would come in handy during showtime as the lights are low. Once inside, the show began and the servers started coming around. Just like in a restaurant, there were drinks and apps. The meal began with garlic bread and thick tomato soup you drank out of this silver bowl. For many, the soup part of the meal would be where they would be reaching for a spoon. Nope. You drank it out of the bowl like they would have done.
As the show went on, the main course came out. A giant leg of chicken, corn on the cob and roasted potatoes. It was very much like what I pictured Vikings eating before raiding a village. The chicken was well seasoned, juicy, and again, easy to eat with your hands. I did notice there were veggie options, but I can’t remember what they were.
The boys packed away a lot of the corn and chicken. Our two guys really get into eating when there is a show in front of them. Katie and I actually mentioned that we may have to put on a show in our kitchen to keep their eating levels so high.
I found the tight quarters and low lighting a little hard to eat in, but you are there to see a show right. I got used to it.
Dessert was a piece of cake and a butter tart. Tea and coffee were served and it was interesting that once dessert came, they went back to allowing forks. The cake was a huge hit for the boys and combining it with the late hour, they were fully amped up for a big final duel.
Parent tip: There is no actual food until just after 7:30pm if you are taking in a dinner show. So have a snack before you go or have some Goldfish on your person. Also, the soup is hot, so test it before the kids start pouring it all over their face. If your kids are like ours, you can substitute a potato for more corn.
Yes, the fighting. Easily the favourite part when you ask our boys. The clashing of swords, sparks flying and the chance to cheer on your knight. Each section is colour coded. We were in the red knight’s section so that is who we cheered for. There are several different games they play to move up the ranks. The main event of course is the jousting and sword fight to determine the big winner. On this night, the red knight was the grand champion. Harry in particular loved that. He was going a little primal in his yelling and wishing pain on the other knights. Even on the car ride home and the morning after, all the boys could talk about was the fighting.
All of the knights were great. The fight scenes were realistic and you could tell they put a lot of work into each one. I could not help wondering how often someone gets hurt by accident. I mean those are real swords being swung around.
Parent tip: Just enjoy the pure joy your kids will experience watching this theatre.
Midway into the evening, there is a live falcon that is set free to fly around the venue. It went from side to side and all around the space so everyone could see. Then it did a cool trick where it grabbed an item out of the air and flew to the ground. Our boys are big fans of birds and Harry has been talking about falcons for some time, so this was a big hit.
If you get there early enough the falcon and handler are out in the lobby showing off the majestic bird of prey.
Parent tip: Keep an eye on your dinner. Just kidding. The bird never really came that close to us.
The atmosphere was loud, fun and full of people going back to times of yore. There were a few who really got into it and were a bit loud for my taste, but it was all in good fun. They really do go out of their way to take you back to what it was like in Medieval Times. The show moves at a good pace, the story is easy to follow as everyone has a microphone and there was never a time I was bored. The only down times were when they served the food, so you always had something to do or watch.
Our boys loved it. The noise, the excitement in the air, the ever-changing lights.
Parent tip: If your little ones get startled from loud noise maybe consider some ear plugs.
Part of the package we had, included a few extras that we will keep forever so we can remember the night. When you walk in you get the chance to have photos taken with the characters of the show. They are professional ones that are developed on site. Because ours were included, they even brought them to us during the show.
We also had the option to get photos done from our seats but we passed on those. There is an extensive gift shop in the lobby and a full bar that covers everything you or your kids would need. Like I said before, go for the light up cups for the kids, you even get to bring them home.
Parent tip: Pop is included with the meal so if your kids can wait, don’t bother ordering from the bar (unless you really want those cups).
The Overall Experience
I had my doubts as Medieval Times can get a jokey reputation. It’s like, do people really do that? Well the crowd on our night was packed with people having a great time. It’s clearly popular for group events. The food was better than I expected and the actual theatre was enjoyable.
It was a great chance to be out with the family and turn off real life for a few hours. I was a little bothered by those around us, but that’s becoming a normal part of life. The constant checking of phones and every other little thing people do to distract others from enjoying the show. But, whatever, the bottom line was our boys had a memorable night on the town and got to do something they had never done. Harry was telling everyone and anyone where he went on Friday night, so clearly it made an impression on him. Days after, Charlie kept asking us if we remembered the fighting. Of course, it was the best part of the entire night.
Thanks Medieval Times for your hospitality and performances. I would recommend it to those looking for something very different and those who have kids ready to yell, scream and cheer on their favourite knight. For those in Toronto, I highly suggest public transit as there is little or no parking down there. The Dufferin Bus will drop you right there. It’s basically the same as going to the CNE.
Win 4 tickets to Medieval Times. I am lucky enough to have the chance to give away a fun night out to Medieval Times. The package is the same as what we got. King’s Royalty Package
- preferred seating in the front row or second row
- commemorative programs
- knight’s cheering banners
- group photo for each member of your party
- behind the scenes DVD for your group
**The tickets must be used before March 31st, 2016.**
Take part below and when a winner is chosen, I will connect you with Medieval Times to book your night out.
All entries must be submitted by March 4th, 2016.
To enter, all you have to do is follow instructions below and comment why you want to go to Medieval Times in Toronto.
There are other options to earn more entries, but that’s up to you. Good luck. Pretty simple right? Let’s get to entering.
Disclaimer: Even though I was provided complementary tickets to Medieval Times, that did not influence my opinions.