Pirate Invasion of the Belmont Pier
Hold on to your bootie! The Pirate Invasion is a mini renaissance faire that made for a wonderful day at the beach. Elaborate costumes, craft bazaar, educational reenactors, faire food, and games for the kids…all in a relaxed, easy come-and-go environment.
My only experience with a ren-faire is the Renaissance Pleasure Faire which is a HUGE extravaganza. It is amazing, but it is also an expensive, all-day affair. The Pirate Invasion on the other hand, has many of the things I enjoyed about the renaissance fair, but in a compact environment without the cover charge.
This really was very family friendly. My boys played giant jinga, took junior pirate lessons, learned to hula hoop, and played in the waves. They talked with various pirates to earn trinkets or to just enjoy being part of the event. In the end, they got an unlimited wristband for the bouncy castles and spent hours jumping while my husband and I tag-teamed to continue enjoying the festivities.
Personally, I enjoyed the mermaid lagoon. With the advent of silicone tails, mermaids are starting to pop up all over Los Angeles, but this was my first experience seeing them and I thought it was so exciting.
I’m not sure how many years this annual event has been running, but it was a little disorganized. We couldn’t quite figure out where and when shows were running, some things happened late, and some advertised events didn’t happen at all.
Because it was an open, ticket-free environment on the beach, you can come and enjoy and leave when you (or the kids) are done. We didn’t feel obligated to dedicate the whole day to the event. We went, ate, enjoyed, and then left when the kids got cranky. No fuss, lots of fun.
They advertise parking at the Belmont Pool, but just be aware that parking might be hard to get close by. We arrived before the event had even started to snag a parking space. But still had trouble. Rather than circle the lots with kids in tow, I had my husband drop us curb-side and meet up with us after he found a spot.