Children’s Fairyland, located at 699 Bellevue Ave, Oakland, CA 94610, is a beloved and classic amusement park for Oaklanders and many other Californians. With its many attractions, wholesome environment, and a fun theme, it can be a truly magical weekend for the kids in your family. Let’s take a look at the history of the park, and what you can do when you come here!
Children’s Fairyland was established in 1950 by the Oakland Lake Merritt Breakfast Club. After it’s construction it became famous on a national scale, even attracting Walt Disney, who modeled the Disneyland theme park in the same vein as Children’s Fairyland. William Russell Everritt, a prominent fantasy architect and artist was hired to help design the original set pieces of the park. The park’s theme was based on fairy tales and was designed specifically for children, with entrances and other fixtures that were scaled to a child’s size. The Fairyland park also invented the usage of “Magic Keys” and talking storybooks, involving the usage of plastic keys that could activate a prerecorded voice box that told a story about the attraction. This system was used at theme-parks nationwide for a time and is still used at Oakland’s Children’s Fairyland to this day.
Another major feature of Children’s Fairyland is the puppet theater that they operate. Started in 1956, the puppet theater is the oldest puppet theater in the nation that has run continuously since it’s founding. The theater constructs each and every puppet it uses in its plays and plays 3 puppet shows per day. They boast a portfolio of over 150 different plays that they perform on a yearly basis, including bunraku, shadow puppets, marionettes, and hand puppets among many others. Their cast of puppeteers has included many who would later become famous for their work with the Muppet’s.
The park offers many different exhibits and rides for kids to have fun with. One of their oldest and most well-beloved is the Jolly Trolley, a kids-only train ride that has been operating since 1956. The Wonder-Go-Round, another attraction that dates back to 1956, is an Alice In Wonderland themed carousel. The carousel when operational is only for children under 90 lbs. At the moment, it is temporarily closed for renovation. Another one of their prime rides is Anansi’s Magic Web, a miniature Ferris wheel that was built in 1975. They also have a second carousel named the Flecto Carousel, donated by the Flecto Paint Company in 1997.
In addition to the fairy tale exhibits and rides, there is also a cafe and gift shop on park grounds. The cafe serves fun family food like peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, hamburgers, hot dogs, and other carnival-type food. The prices are budget-friendly, and the cafe is open 10 AM to 3:30 PM on any day that the park is open. The gift shop is full of cheaply priced educational toys and games for children. The parks hours are Monday through Friday from 10 AM to 4 PM, and Saturday through Sunday 10 AM to 5 PM. They are also open on July 4, 10 AM to 4 PM. Admission prices are $12 per person, and children under 1-year-old get free admission.
Getting to Silva & Associates from Children’s Fairyland, Oakland
via Webster Street Tube
- Drive from Harrison St, Webster St, Webster Street Tube and Marina Village Pkwy to Alameda
- Head east on Grand Ave toward Bay Pl
- Make a U-turn at Park View Terrace
- Use the left 2 lanes to turn left onto Harrison St
- Turn left to stay on Harrison St
- Turn right onto 12th St
- Turn left at the 1st cross street onto Webster St
- Slight right to stay on Webster St
- Continue onto Webster Street Tube
- Use the left lane to turn slightly left onto Constitution Way (signs for Marina Village Pkwy)
- Use the left 2 lanes to turn left onto Marina Village Pkwy
- Turn left
- Turn right
- Sharp left