Children’s Fairyland is America’s first storybook theme park, located on the shores of Lake Merritt in the heart of Oakland, CA. Since 1950, Fairyland has been the low-tech, high-touch outdoor playground for young children to CREATE, IMAGINE, PLAY, AND LEARN.
A nonprofit community organization, Fairyland offers children and families a safe, stimulating environment for play and imagination with fairy tales, fantasy sets, performing arts, animals, and unique children's programming focused on early childhood education and literacy. As part of our mission to encourage young children to discover the joys of reading, we welcome school children on field trips from all over the Bay Area and offer subsidized visits to neighbors in need.
A little bit of history:
With the support of Oakland's parks superintendent William Penn Mott, Jr., the Lake Merritt Breakfast Club and the citizens of Oakland raised $50,000 to build Children's Fairyland on the shores of Lake Merritt in 1950.
*Admission cost between 9 and 14 cents
*The storybook sets were created by local architect William Russell Everitt
*Arthur Navlet, designed the gardens -- some original plantings still thrive today
*Walt Disney visited and incorporated ideas from Fairyland in his "magic kingdom," which opened in Anaheim in 1955
*Walt Disney also hired Fairyland's first executive director, Dorothy Manes, and one of our puppeteers, Bob Mills
*In 1956, Burton Weber created a program for young children called Fairyland Personalit
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