Children’s Fairyland with family, it’s a fanciful expedition for all. A sweet return to childhood for parents and a sweet trip to an imaginary world for toddlers. Alice in Wonderland, Peter Rabbit, Snow White, Pinocchio and other legendary characters draw our little ones into the meanders of their fabulous chimeras. It’s an immersion in a fun and surprising tangy universe. Pumpkins and giant mushrooms, pirate ships, labyrinths, deforming mirrors, slides, chapel and heroes in cardboard, a small train running in the heart of a reconstituted wild West mini-town, mini-farm, well-stocked library or old carousel, children can indulge in all their most staggering stories. It’s a paradise to explore, invent and play. And everything is at their size! “Magic keys” sold at the entrance also allow them to activate talking boxes: a key turn in machines and stories come to life. There is only to listen to them.
The park is also famous for its puppet show, one of the oldest in the USA. Some 150 stories have enlivened the thousands of theater puppets, from the Sleeping Beauty to the Wizard of Oz to the Magic Flute. In Fairyland, the stories are alive and the park has maintained this tradition for over 65 years. Located on the shores of Lake Merritt in nearby Oakland, Berkeley on the east side of San Francisco Bay, this theme park was the first of its kind in the United States.
Opened in 1950, it has inspired many cities and Mr Walt Disney himself would have inspired to open its first Disneyland. Five years after discovering it – during its theme park tour – Walt Disney will open its own enchanted kingdom on the former Anaheim Orangery in California. And he will even hire some members of the Fairyland team. Today, some facilities seem a little outdated, even kitsch and some would need a facelift but so far the magic is still operating! In a world where images impose their rhythm on the imagination of our children, this park is a precious enclave where to enjoy a moment suspended from time. No need for giant rides or furious screens screaming crazy notes to charm our little ones. It is touching to see the simplicity take them away and it amuses the parents as much!
- Info: open from Friday to Sunday (10-16h). $10 entrance, $3 the magic key to listen to the stories available in English and Spanish. Special events (birthdays, camping, puppet shows) and schedule on the official website of Fairyland.
- Negative: it is a park very well suited for under 7 years, beyond, they may quickly make the round because it is quite small. The opening depends on the weather so check before you go it is open to avoid disappointment!
- Pluses: a human-sized park with little wait for attractions. Everything is done up to children and games are sometimes as simple as pieces of cardboard to slide on a hill … You can picnic on site and two outlets can restore (hot or cold sandwiches, ice cream, drinks etc).
- Verdict: Surprised at first by the almost obsolete side of the park, I found seductive his side without fuss. I had the impression to go back in time with an eternal idea: the imagination is overpowering!
MERCI Charlotte from Beyond the Bridge. Link to her blog: http://beyondthebridge.fr/fairy-land-au-royaume-des-contes-de-fees/