2016 Update: The event runs Tuesdays – Sunday (and Columbus Day) from October 1 – 30. This year’s theme will be a “Flutter in Time: faerie houses across the world and ages”
96 Lyme Street, Old Lyme, CT 860-434-5542
Disclosure: I was given complimentary admission the Florence Griswold Museum. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
My girls are obsessed with superheros. Our whole family is even dressing up as the Avengers (and friends) for Halloween. Yes, even me. I’m going to be Iron Man, big red mask and all. While I love that my girls have a strong interest in what their daddy loves, I secretly long for them to dress up in tutus and fairy wings. So when I heard about the Wee Faerie Village at the Florence Griswold Museum in Old Lyme, CT I thought it would be the perfect introduction to fairy tales.
The Wee Faerie Village presents Whimsical Kingdoms is a magical adventure through 32 handcrafted castles, towers, and palaces of fiction’s greatest princes and princesses. It’s open from October 1 – November 1. They showcase Rapunzel, Cinderella, Queen Elsa, Ariel and even Harry Potter (just to name a few). It has been included in my list of 50 family-friendly fall activities in CT and I completely recommend it as a must-do activity this fall. My kids loved it and so did I.
The Faerie Village is located on the beautiful grounds of the Florence Griswold Museum. The fall foliage and Lieutenant River act as the perfect backdrop for the whimsical adventure.
Tickets for the village can be purchased inside the museum. Admission for adults is $15. Children 12 and under are free. They also accept museum passes from your local library with an additional charge of $5 for adults.
Once you purchase your ticket, you are given a treasured map of the grounds and a sticker to wear. The map gives you the layout of the exhibit as well as facts about each piece. It lists the names of the creators of each castle (some of them being classes of students) and gives you something to look for at each stop. Having something to find forced us to stop and look at the intricate details of each castle.
The museum features Cafe Flo, the perfect spot for lunch. The restaurant is on the located on the veranda overlooking the grounds and river. They had special meals and drink with fairy theme names. They are open Tuesday – Saturday from 11:30 am – 3:00 pm; Sundays 1 – 4 pm (last seating half hour before close).
There are also benches and picnic tables scattered around the property for a quick snack.
Each tower, castle and palace is handmade and perfectly positioned on the property. For the full experience you have to look all around you. We looked high in the trees, at our feet and on all sides. Having something to look for really forced us to get up close and personal with the details.
The creators of each stop carefully used everyday items to transform ordinary things into a magical home for the character. I love how many used outdoor elements such as tree bark, twigs, and acorns to create a home that felt perfectly placed among the trees and river. The tiny details powered our imaginations as we envisioned the princes and princesses living all around the village.
The stops were all labeled with a numbered sign. Fairy wings are optional but they make the experience that much cuter. I bought mine from the dollar store and brought them along but they also have them for purchase in the gift shop. My girls were excited to flutter to each new stop.
There are a few benches along the way to sit and enjoy the scenery. There is even a spot to relax while the kids play in tower sand tables.
The museum hosts special fairy themed events throughout October. Some of them are at an additional cost.
The grounds are stroller-friendly as long as you don’t mind pushing through grass.
TIP: Stop #24 is down a few steps so I would avoid it with a stroller.
I love that the faerie village was for people of all ages. There were all types of people enjoying the village. I’m excited by the thought of creating a yearly tradition where I bring my kids for years to come. I think they will only continue to be fascinated by the exhibit as they get older. It’s a great way to have a “faerie” nice day!