Going Medieval ~ A Review of Medieval Times in New Jersey

Danielle Joy

Game of Thrones season five premiered last night, and if you are like me, this was a highly anticipated event. I spent weeks brushing up on my canon knowledge, and clearing my Sunday night schedule for the next ten weeks. 

But, once that long-awaited-for hour ended, I found myself thinking, "What am I to do while I wait for the next episode?!" 

In this day and age, we are spoiled by the ability to watch whole seasons of TV shows at once with the click of a button. It can be maddening when we must wait a week (or heaven forbid, two weeks!) for the next installation. 

Thankfully, there is a place, not far from New York City (a twenty minute bus ride, in fact) that can satisfy our thirst for more battles, competition, knights and of course – royalty.

When one usually thinks of Medieval Times at 149 Polito Ave, Lyndhurst, NJ, one usually associates it with a class trip for elementary school children. This was not the case of my most recent visit.

A friend of mine turned 31, and she sent us all a link to get half-priced tickets through Groupon.com. A click, and $40 later, I had my ticket. On the day, I traveled twenty minutes by car while some friends elected for the $5 shuttle bus, also journeying for about twenty minutes.

We entered the castle, and received our seating assignment. We were to sit in the Red and Yellow Knights’ cheering section. 

We walked past the entrance where the King and his daughter, the Princess, were greeting guests and taking photos (for a princely ransom!) and continued into a large and high ceilinged room. Trinkets were being sold – mostly children’s toys and costumes. There were plenty of bars lining the room for what looked like harassed parents of spoiled children, and of course, adult birthday parties. We walked around for a bit – skipping the $2 per entry “Torture Room” because – who carries cash?

Finally, we were called to our seats. Directly across from our Red & Yellow cheering section was the Black & White Knights’ cheering section. The four corners of the room housed the supporters of the Yellow, Blue, Green, and Red Knights.

We were served soup and bread as the horses put on a show for us. As our plates cleared (my stomach rumbling for more food) and the horses disappeared, a falconer came out to do some tricks.

Once the bird flew around the stadium one million times, it was time for the feast and jousting! 

The sound system in the stadium was not very clear, and I missed part of whatever story was supposed to be happening, but the competition works very well as a spectator sport. 

While you wait for your next hbo bloodbath, you can feel like royalty about to conquer the Iron Throne by visiting Medieval Times and seeing the battles in person!