Ask anyone you know about their first visit to the Ohio Renaissance Festival and you can see their eyes light up as they launch into their memories of what a wonderful time they had. The faire has changed a lot over the years, but something we have never given up is our dedication to making the experience fun for the whole family. Many of our dedicated guests have been coming since ORF opened over thirty years ago and in all likelihood will continue to introduce others to our little village of Willy Nilly.
Being a part of someone’s first faire visit is a special occasion, and we were very privileged to host a wee lad’s big day as he explored the rolling hills and shady woods of the Ohio Renaissance Festival.
Meet the Adcocks
We are Blythe and Kyle Adcock. We’ve been attending ORF on several different weekends over the past four years. We were introduced to ORF through close friends who helped us navigate our way into the world of Renaissance magic. This year we were able to share the experience with our 7-month-old, Liam. Liam was born in early February of this year, 2023. While this wasn’t technically the first time Liam was at the ORF, it was his first being able to see and experience the magic firsthand. Blythe was pregnant with Liam when we visited during the 2022 season.
First Time Parents
Due to some serious health issues (preeclampsia and HELLP Syndrome) that affected Blythe, the decision was made to have an emergency c-section after she was rushed to Riley Children’s Hospital in Indianapolis. Liam made his early appearance into the world after only 31 short weeks of pregnancy, the day before his baby shower.
Liam would go on to spend eight weeks in the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU). While in the NICU you experience good days and not-so-good days. This was learned early on as Liam struggled with some respiratory issues due to being underdeveloped as well as various other issues which he has since grown out of!
While in the NICU Liam would only experience artificial lighting. This broke our hearts as the first time he left his room (going across the hospital for testing) he gawked at the different colors and natural lighting. After this experience, we knew we owed it to Liam to give him as many new experiences as possible because time is precious.
Our time in the NICU was also very educational as first-time parents. We learned so much about caring for Liam that we truly believed helped not only him but us. We truly believe this helped us make the trip to ORF possible.
Planning Our Visit
The biggest, most unpredictable piece of preparation for our weekend, had to be weather! As you can imagine over the past four years we’ve experienced the cold, the hot, the wet, and the dry. With a seven-month-old, you must take into consideration their ability to regulate their own temperature (especially when medically they’re only seen as a five-month-old).
Our Saturday started early, arriving in the parking lot at open to finish up some costume work and load the stroller for the day. Liam was especially ready for the first nap of the day. We enjoyed opening ceremonies and the firing of the cannon, which confirmed Liam’s startle reflex was still in good working order!
After the opening, we all enjoyed some shopping! We also took the opportunity this year to explore the new Whimsy Woods! Liam loved this new addition as did we! It was excellent to have such a nice shaded area to relax during our day! Well, Liam enjoyed it the most as he got an awesome plush sword, picking his own hilt color and all! This quickly became a favored toy of our Faire days. Liam had a delicious bottle in the Gryphon’s Nest shelter and enjoyed a much-needed nap under the trees while his parents also had room to stretch out and relax during our visit.
We visited Reveler’s Stage and enjoyed an awesome show by Circa Brava. Liam enjoyed the show’s music and acrobatic movements as we sat front and center! Shortly after the Circa Brava show we made our way to the Kamikaze Fireflies, where Liam decided another nap was on the menu for the day. Liam woke up from his nap in time to go visit one of our personal favorites, the Royal Feast. Made Up Mayhem, as always, put on a terrific show. The food served was delicious and truly fit for royalty! After the feast, some more shopping was done! It was excellent that every booth enjoyed seeing Liam experience ORF! Most of the areas were stroller accessible or became accessible with a little help.
Everyone loved Liam! The cast, performers, staff, other patrons, everyone couldn’t get enough of our giggly little boy. The interactions we got from everyone were so great! He loved them, we loved them – it was just so wonderful to see our baby so happy and refreshing to see him welcomed with open arms to everything we wanted to do!
Next season, when Liam is a bit older, we are excited to expand on the experiences of this year. We hope to take Liam to some more of the child-related events such as the Mermaid Story Time. ORF provides a well-needed/earned escape from reality. While we live a nice life and are grateful for everything we have, every adult understands the need to forget about work, house chores, etc., and just have fun! We hope to instill in Liam that it’s okay to be silly and have fun, no matter what age you are! Our goal is to provide Liam with every opportunity possible to just be a kid. We truly believe that if Liam could tell us, he’d want to return to the ORF every weekend!