Where was the first theme park in the US that catered to families and young children? If you said Disneyland you would be wrong. In fact before Walt Disney built Disneyland he visited this place often and got inspiration for Disneyland from his visit here. So while this park may not be world famous it was an important part in theme park history. The park is Children’s Fairyland located on the shore of Lake Merritt at 699 Bellevue, Oakland, California.
The park is a classic fairy book land style park. It does have a few actual small rides though. unfortunately you will have to be accompanied by a child to come to Children’s Fairyland. Admission is only $8 except for infants who are free and includes rides. You can also buy keys for the boxes that will tell you the story of a fairy take for $2 and they can be used over and over every time you come. If you live nearby year passes are also available for sale.
Besides having the typical walk through attractions, slides, and other attractions common to fairy tale lands this park has a few rides as well. The rides include the Jolly Trolley, Wonder Go Round, Ferris Wheel, and Carousel. Some rides like the Jolly Trolley allow adults but others do not.
The besides being the oldest park it also is home to the oldest continuous puppet theater in the country. The park inspired many of the other similar parks that would spring up in town across the country and sadly outlast most of them. Numerous artist have contributed to the park including Ruth Asawa, and Frank Oz of Yoda and Muppets fame.
The Fairy Music Farm Tunnel is a great area for kids to explore and learn. Kids love Peter Rabbits Garden with real rabbits. The Dragon Slide looks fun but is only for kids sorry mom and dad. Old West Junction is an old west town and one of the newest additions to the park. Kids will love pretending to be cowboys in the old west here. Kids will love the Jolly Roger Pirate Ship where they can climb aboard a pirate ship and literally climb around.
The Alice in Wonderland tunnel is one of the top atractions. If you keep an eye out you might see a famous mouse you know which rumor has it is original graffiti placed here by one of the parks more famous and regular guests. Guests go underground and end up in a maze. Kids keep going back again and again for the fun.
Overall Children’s Fairyland is a very nice park for kids. Kids will get to run and play and use there imaginations. They can enjoy the puppet show, rides, and the storybook sets.