Has it truly been a week already? Hard to fathom we are even in January isn't it? Time moves far too quickly. Winter days here have fluxuated between dreary and sunny with the cool air sometimes requiring a light sweater and other days a jacket. It seems we are on a bit of a weather rollercoaster and you can never tell from the morning what the rest of the day will be. I prefer a sunny cool day over a gray, dreary one for certain.
Such was last Friday......it was a beautiful blue sky day. I met one of my nieces and her daughter at Children's Fairyland for the day and it was lovely..........not to mention nostalgic. You see went there when I was wee and then when my niece was little BohoHandyman and I took her there for her first time. And now I was there when her daughter went for the first time. The place has not changed one iota since childhood. AND it still holds enchantment for me today as I am a child at heart. I bought all three of us keys....for my niece and I it was just a nostalgia thing but for her little girl it was new. She could put the key in a story box, turn it and hear the story. But because she's only 2 1/2 her attention was mainly focused on turning the key, even if it was the right side and the story came out in Spanish. Her favorite part was riding the little carousel....holding on herself as we watched her go round with a look of seriousness that belied the fact she loved it. She kept saying "Mary Poppins" (because of the carousel in the movie) which meant she wanted to go ride again......and she did, 3 more times. Her first time ever on one AND being that adults had to stand aside we were quite surprised she had no problem with that. (her face is covered in the photos to protect their privacy)
There are storybook sets all over the park from the Red Queens maze of cards to the crooked house to Mary, Mary Quite Contrary's Garden, the White Rabbit from Alice in Wonderland and so on. Small and ready for exploration. Some days there are puppet shows kids can watch. There are animals. A little train too. It's just so wonderful it has endured all these years and as witnessed by the full parking lot and the kids and parents within the park..........it is still a favorite place to go.
Fairyland opened in 1950. When it opened the admission was 9 and 14 cents. Today it is $8.
A little history:
Oakland businessman Arthur Navlet had an idea to change all of that. The well-respected nursery owner took his proposal for a storybook theme park, featuring fairy-tale sets, farm animals, and live entertainment, to the Lake Merritt Breakfast Club, a group dedicated to civic betterment (and still in operation today). They loved the idea.
With the support of Oakland’s parks superintendent William Penn Mott, Jr., the Breakfast Club and the citizens of Oakland raised $50,000 to build Children’s Fairyland on the shores of Lake Merritt.
Walt Disney visited and incorporated ideas from Fairyland in his “magic kingdom,” which opened in Anaheim in 1955.
All of the fanciful storybook sets were created by local architect William Russell Everitt.
Funny, some of those little storybook houses made me think "if only one of these were my size and made in to my art studio". Yes, my friends, I have certainly not lost my inner child.
Wishing you all a very enchanted week yourselves.......and don't forget how terribly important it is to not lose YOUR inner child. Don't lose sight of things that still tickle your fancy, take your imagination away and beyond. Allow things to delight you with the same glee you once felt as a child. Don't let anything stop you from feeling awe and wonder and whimsy. Or stop you from surrounding yourself with those things. Tap in to the fountain of your youth!
P.S. DON'T FORGET, OUR WORLD OUR ART is only 5 weeks away!!!! Click on the link to read all about it!!!!!!