Medieval arenaI always knew my focus on medieval literature in college would not be time wasted. The knowledge I gleaned from semesters spent engrossed in the study of King Arthur, The Canterbury Tales, and Sir Gawain and The Green Knight were neatly rolled up into one evening of family-friendly fun at the Medieval Times Dinner and Tournament in Dallas, Texas.
Front-row seats in the arena brought us close enough to be completely taken in by the impressive performances by both the actors and their horses. We were indeed catapulted back in time to 11th Century Spain where live jousting, swordplay, horsemanship and falconry were a way of life and death at the castle.

We drank. We cheered. We ate with our hands.

As if the story and action unfolding before us was not enough entertainment, our utensil-free meal proved to be equally delightful. Kids of all ages could enjoy dining where eating with your hands was not only okay, it was a necessity.

falconerThe serving wench kept our plates and goblets filled with a four-course meal that included:

  • Tomato Bisque
  • Focaccia Bread with Olive Oil and Seasoning
  • Oven Roasted Chicken
  • Larger BBQ Spare Rib
  • Herb-Basted Potato Split into Two Quarters
  • Spiced Carrot
  • An Apple Pastry
  • Beverage

(Note: a vegetarian meal is also available.)

Something old is new.

The entire cast (both two-legged and four-legged) and crew of the “Knights of the Realm” were spot-on with regards to delivering a top-notch performance. Would I return for another evening of feasting and jousting? You bet. Medieval Times Dinner & Tournament is North America’s longest running dinner attraction and on November 18, 2012, they rolled out an entirely new show. According to a press release, everything is new: new story line, lighting, choreography and battle scenes, as well as new costumes, horse dressage, and a custom soundtrack. The new show promises to deliver even more action and drama. So, yes, I’ll make sure to return to the Dallas Castle for another round of medieval feudal fun.

Disclaimer: My evening at the Medieval Times Dinner & Tournament was hosted by Visit Dallas. Opinions expressed are my own.

Z. Kelly Queijo is founder of, a college-visit traveling planning and college search portal for college-bound teens and their families. She is also a freelance journalist focusing on higher education, technology, travel and college visits. Follow her on Twitter @zkellyq and @collegevisit.