ENCINITAS — Magic was in the air at the annual Fairy Festival held at the San Diego Botanic Garden on June 23.
Girls dressed in tulle skirts and wings, and boys dressed in Peter Pan hats, took part in sing-alongs, crafts and exploring nature in the Hamilton Children’s Garden.
“It’s a chance for children to indulge their imagination,” Linda Davis, children’s garden program manager, said. “They can dress as fairies. Crafts are geared towards fairy themes.”
Dozens of craft stations were set up for activities that included constructing fairy houses out of bark, decorating treasure boxes with rhinestones, and writing a wish to hang on the wishing bush.
There was also all the regular garden fun of climbing a two-story tree house, wading through a flowing creek, and getting up close to exotic birds.
“It’s an area where there are a lot of interactive things,” Davis said. “There’s a lot for children to explore in the area.”
Four-year-old Skye Hassankhani of La Jolla took right to climbing the tree house.
“We’re members,” her father, Alborz Hassankhani, said. “We come here often.”
Three-year-old Isabel Stapko of San Marcos hung a wish card for an ice cream cone on the wishing bush.
Friends Calista Lowery of Encinitas and Kaelyn Nixon of Carlsbad, both 4, cooled off by wading through the flowing creek.
More than 100 volunteers helped in the Hamilton Children’s Garden to ensure the event was a success. There are close to 400 volunteers who help throughout the botanic garden.
“The idea is for children to let their imagination go,” Davis said. “To look at things and imagine and play outside.”
The Hamilton Children’s Garden has been open for three years. It is one of two children’s gardens in the 35-acre botanic garden. The Seeds of Wonder Garden is also located in San Diego Botanic Garden. It is a smaller interactive garden geared toward preschool age children.
San Diego Botanic Garden has 27 different garden areas and displays more than 3,300 species of plants. Gardens range from undersea succulents, to desert gardens and a tropical rain forest.
The botanic garden first opened to the public in 1971 as Quail Gardens. It became a nonprofit in 1993 and changed its name to San Diego Botanic Garden in 2009.