While I didn't grow up in California I was still lucky enough to be taken to a local fairy tale park called FANTASY GLADES as a child and I remember the experience fondly still. In fact the souvenir tea towel my mother bought remains my favorite to this day though it was already threadbare before I left school and likely hasn't survived. Seeing life size cottages and models of fairy tale objects made the stories even clearer to me and somehow more personal. Sadly, this park closed in 2002, though there are rumors of plans to re-open it, with the bought attractions, in a different location. I hope they do.There are a few fairy tale themed parks left around the world (apart from Disneyland) and from what I've seen, most if not all have a very intimate sense of child and story about them. If you have or know a child you can take to such a place, do it. The benefits of the experience last a lifetime.If you're around Sacramento at the end of August this year, be sure to pop into Fairytale Town and join in the 50th Anniversary Celebrations.
This park was built to “...depict classics in children's literature and be among the child's first contacts with life and human relations.” (as was printed in the park's very first brochure in 1959). The 2.5 acre outdoor park consists of miniature scale models and play areas on the themes of classic fairy tales, classic (magical) stories and nursery rhymes.A description from their site:
Over 25 bright and colorful play sets give young children a backdrop to act out their favorite stories, to encourage creative discovery, and to exercise their minds and bodies on child-friendly slides throughout the lush grounds.
Home to a friendly menagerie of animals from the pages of favorite children's stories, children can meet Peter Rabbit at Mr. McGregor's Garden and see the sheep that Mary brought to school one day. Small gardeners can help water seasonal vegetable beds and seek out a sprouting alphabet of exotic plants.
Small adventurers can join Robin Hood's band of Merry Men in Sherwood Forest's extensive new play fort. Children can go down Jack's Beanstalk, ride in Cinderella's carriage, and burn off extra energy walking on The Crooked Mile, a favorite play structure for many of our guests young and old.You can find more information about the park HERE, and buy tickets for their special celebration. You can see some more photos of the park HERE, along with a quick description of some of the highlights of the park.
I think I'm going to suggest they sell tea towels. :)