ENCINITAS — A magic spell fell over San Diego Botanic Garden Hamilton Children’s Garden, as kids gather in wings and tutus for the annual Fairy Festival on Saturday.
The event has been held since the children’s garden opened in 2009. Each year every inch of the secluded garden becomes immersed in fairy crafts, folklore and play.
Susanne Brueckner, San Diego Botanic Garden senior youth education manager, said the festival is one of the most popular events the garden holds. Last year over 2,000 parents and kids attended.
Dozens of fairy craft stations are an integral part of the event.
Popular crafts include decorating a treasure chest and creating a magic wand, with paint, plastic jewels and plenty of glitter.
There are also stations to build a fairy house, fairy cradle and fairy baby doll. Station materials include dried leaves, coconut shells and decorative craft flowers. The fairy houses kids build are said to capture fairies that fly near.
Chloe Adams, 3, of Encinitas, made a magic wand with extra glitter. She is already a festival regular.
Her mom Tara Adams said Chloe attended last year too.
“She loves it, all the fairytale dresses, she’s excited to get dressed up,” Tara Adams said.
Aaliyah Arellano, 3 of Chula Vista, crafted a wand next to Chloe. She also looks forward to the dress up event.
Aaliyah was dressed as Tinker Bell right down to the bun and braid hairstyle of her favorite fairy.
“She has been asking if it’s “fairy day” for a month,” her mom Brenda Roman said.
The enchantment with fairies captured the imaginations of all ages.
Macy Riles, 8, and Maddy Riles, 9, of Camp Pendleton, both built elaborate fairy houses.
Their mom Karen Riles, said the girls have been talking about fairies, so they decided to attend.
Along the garden paths were fairy princesses to take photos with, a wishing bush to hang special wishes on, and signs of fairy homes and tea parities.
This year’s center stage featured interactive music.
Marin Espino performed traditional music of North America, Central America and South America in the morning.
Kids sat on stage and drummed along with the songs.
Steve Denyes’ Hullabaloo performance took to the stage in the afternoon. Kids joined in with singalongs, dance, and at one point became a spontaneous percussion band.
Madison Mikus, 4 of San Marcos, joined the circle on stage to play drums.
Her dad Lance Mikus said the day provides high quality family time, and allows kids to be creative.
The annual Fairy Festival is free with garden admission. Craft tickets are sold at a small fee to cover the cost of materials.
San Diego Botanic Garden’s mission is to inspire people of all ages to connect with plants and nature.
The garden is also part of the Encinitas Environmental Education Cluster, along with neighboring Encinitas Union School District, Magdalena Ecke Family YMCA, San Dieguito Heritage Museum, Seacrest Village Retirement Communities and The Leichtag Foundation.
Together the cluster group strives to develop educational programs around agriculture, horticulture, nutrition, science, sustainability, community building and local history and agricultural.