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What People Did To Entertain Themselves In The Middle Ages

People in the middle ages had it rough, the early medieval period from 5th to 10th century was so messed up that people came up with the term “Dark Ages” but, that did not stop them from enjoying the fun part of life.

They had different varieties of entertainment,

Board games in the middle ages

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Board Games were very popular in this era, people played Chess, Backgammon, The Philosopher Game, Fox & Geese, Knucklebones, Hazard and many others.

Chess was the most played one after it got introduced to Europe from Persia in the 9th century. Chess was the forerunner to other board games such as checkers and Scrabble in our modern times, people back then loved mentally challenging games that could be played for hours.

There was also a lot of gambling.


Outdoor Entertainment

There were a lot of outdoor activities including archery, fencing, game ball, wrestling,  hammer-throwing, bowls, horseshoe-throwing (they were throwing horseshoes at a target), and many others.

Many of these early games were the forerunners of modern sports such as football and cricket.


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Hunting was a sport of nobility. Several nobles may gather together for a hunt on the local baron’s land.

They would ride horses while their trained dogs would hunt down the prey. Even noblewomen liked to hunt. They would use trained birds of prey, like hawks, when hunting.

Music in the middle ages

Much of medieval music was influenced by the Catholic Church and a good part of the music influence was pagan rituals. Aside from the instruments that were played in the church, courtly love was a major theme in medieval music celebrations.

Some of the main instruments of this era include cymbals, harps, flutes, horns and tubas, they even had an instrument that was called a hurdy-gurdy. Performers known as troubadours and minstrels were popular in this era.


How the wealthy entertained themselves in the middle ages

Entertainment for the rich people centered around the spectacles of jousting and feasts or banquets.

The Medieval Period of the Middle Ages was becoming more refined and elegant and the concept of courtly love was introduced and displayed at both tournaments and jousts. Banquets were well-known feasts among the rich and these feasts lasted for most of the night until the early morning hours.

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After feasting, entertainment might be provided by minstrels, troubadours, jesters, acrobats, fire-eaters and conjurers. The dance was also important as part of ‘courtly love’ entertainment. Knights were expected not only to fight but also to dance.

How did children have fun in the middle ages

A very common activity for children was spitting out pits whenever they ate cherries.

Children also played chess or backgammon that tested their mind and athletic games that tested their physical abilities, and they often competed together in these games.

Archery was another popular game in which children had fun but it also helped them to learn the critical skill of hunting for food. As for toys, the children played with dolls or more masculine objects if they were boys. Girls were also taught to sew and cook by their mothers.

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