My kids are big, big readers. It’s obviously something that was important to me, given my own love of reading, but it’s not always guaranteed, you know? My son has been a big fan of Riordan, Rowling, and C.S. Lewis, but has pretty much burned through their entire catalog.
Then, in March, Medieval Times in New Jersey invited my family out for an evening of jousting and tourney-ing — and wine. Let’s not forget the wine. ALE!
After that, my son was kind of obsessed with knights. And my daughter? She’s reasonably sure she’s the mother of dragons, and she’s never even seen Game of Thrones. She only knows the coloring book, and that I maybe had her dress as Arya Stark of Winterfell for Halloween. (Once she knew she was getting a sword and dirt, she was on that like a mom on Target.)
Did I mention my son went as The Hound? Oh yeah. He got into character really easy. “Act like a grumpy jerk and protect your sister.” DONE.
In order to continue the fountain of imaginative play inspired by our trip back in time, I bought my kids a book series on Audible–and let me tell you, it did NOT disappoint.
Orphan Jack Templar has no memory of his parents and only the smallest details from his Aunt Sophie about how they died. The day before Jack’s fourteenth birthday, things start to change for him. At first it’s great: A sudden new strength helps him defend his nose-picking friend “T-Rex” from the school bully, and even his crush, Cindy Adams, takes notice. But then a mysterious girl named Eva arrives and tells him two facts that will change his life forever. First, that he’s the descendent of a long line of monster hunters and he’s destined to be in the family business. Second, that there’s a truce between man and monster that children are off-limits…until their fourteenth birthday! Jack has only one day before hundreds of monsters will descend on his little town of Sunnyvale and try to kill him.
As if that weren’t enough, things get even more complicated when Jack discovers that the Lord of the Creach (as the monsters are collectively known) holds a personal grudge against him and will do anything to see that Jack has a slow and painful death. To stay alive and save his friends, Jack will have to battle werewolves, vampires, harpies, trolls, zombies and more. But perhaps the most dangerous thing he must face is the truth about his past. Why do the other hunters call him the last Templar? Why do they whisper that he may be the “One?” Why do the monsters want him dead so badly? Even as these questions plague him, he quickly discovers survival is his new full-time job and that in the world of monster hunters, nothing is really what it seems.
What my kids thought:
*unedited, prepare thyself.
The Captain: “OMGOOOOSH, MAMA. There’s like this kid, and he’s like a monster hunter, but not like Percy because this was like a really long time ago, like as old as Hogwarts, but they apparently don’t know about Hogwarts because no one even talks about THOSE houses, but there are vampires, but not like on Monster High, because these vamps are bad news, Momma. I swear. They want him to die more than Trump wants his wall, I swear. And the zombies are kinda like the ones in that one graphic novel I read, but again, like, really old because it was a really long time ago, but I could be a knight, Momma, I could. Were there knights in China? Ok, I’m whatever a knight in China was, because I’m sure there are monsters there, too. Baba says there are. Not just dragons, he’s sure. But you HAVE to find me like a cool Chinese knight costume to go to Medieval Times with, because the Green knight won’t know what’s up. Okay, is that all? I’m going to go fight mui-mui (little sister in Cantonese) with my new tricks I’ve been working on.”
“I liked it, but there should be a few more girls with arrows and swords. Also, not enough nice beasts. I bet we could tame some without killing them, Momma. Like a sabertooth tiger. Were they alive then? They probably were, and I would name mine ‘Kisses’ and he would lay at the bottom of my bed and purr until an enemy came and then he would bite off their hands.”
Graphic. Animal loving. Violent. She really is Khaleesi.
Now, they’re just waiting to go back to Medieval Times. Because there is going to be cosplay. The Peanut has decided to Joan of Arc it and dress like a boy until WELL HELLO THERE A GIRL JUST STABBED YOU TO DEATH. (her words, she’s been watching LOTR with her bro)
Fortunately, there’s a deal going on right now making it an affordable evening in a room with a hella functioning air conditioner.
Kids Free* All Summer + Jr. Knight Training at Medieval Times – Lyndhurst, NJ
*One free child admission with each full priced adult admission. Must mention or enter code KFB17 at time of purchase. Not valid with other discounts, offers or group rates. Restrictions may apply. Valid thru 8/31/17.
Make your reservations by call 1-888-935-6878 or visit medievaltimes.com
Purchase tickets here!
Yes, this is a sponsored post, but I’ve shelled out all of the dollars many times at Medieval Times over the years because I value my fun.