Every year the Texas Renaissance Festival is held in Plantersville, Texas. The food, fun and faire depict 16th century onwards, plus a variety of themed weekends ranging from fairies to pirates, barbarians to everything-goes-Halloween. Music, shows, games, rides and plenty to eat and drink from a wide range of venues provide something for every taste. But how appropriate is this scene for tweens?
In general, the festival advertises itself as a family friendly activity. You will see patrons of all ages, restrooms have diaper changing stations, and in most conditions, the grounds are suitable for wheelchairs and strollers. Tweens may be adventurous enough to want to join in the fun and dress up for the theme of the weekend. Parents may want to set limits for age-appropriateness and for practical reasons - the grounds are mostly dirt and grass, seating is almost all "outdoors" on cement benches, and the day will involve a lot of walking. There is virtually no indoor seating.
This said, there is alcohol served and those who are of age may engage freely. You will encounter some folks who may use family inappropriate language, may be wearing costumes that you may or may not need to explain as inappropriate to your tweens, and you may be subject to observing "bad" behavior.
That said, in the many years that I have ventured to the festival, the observances of inappropriate behavior are limited, and most of what is seen and heard is acceptable. Tweens who dress up may enjoy some positive attention and feedback, and the content of the family-friendly shows and demonstrations can provide quality entertainment. Be aware that some shows are NOT family-friendly and should be avoided unless parents want their children to hear many inappropriate comments, innuendo, and jokes.
The cost is reasonable, but be prepared to spend cash on food, drinks, "tips" for the performers, and for games and rides. A visit can cost little more than the price of admission, or one can spend tons on the clothing, jewelry, food, etc.
All in all, for tweens who can understand appropriate and inappropriate, while enjoying a day of old world diversions, the Texas Renaissance Festival can be a good time for a whole family, including tweens!