Posts Categorized: Around Town

We’re Creating a New Playset

Fairytale Town has selected artist Garr Ugalde to design, create and install a new interactive playset!

Named Anansi’s Web, the playset represents the West African folktales of Anansi the spider. Anansi is the keeper of all stories and wisdom. He’s also a trickster who obtains his goals through various ruses. The new set will feature three climbing webs and four animal sculptures, in addition to one of Anansi himself.

Fairytale Town has seen many new buildings and additions over the years—Mr. McGregor’s Garden opened in 1999, the Mother Goose Stage made its debut in 2005, the Yellow Brick Road was completed in 2012 and more—but, Anansi’s Web will be the first brand new play structure in 20 years. The most recent addition was Jack and the Beanstalk, which opened in 1997.

Garr Ugalde is an accomplished Sacramento sculptor who has exhibited widely in Sacramento and across the country. He also has completed several public commissions throughout the Sacramento region. His most recent public installation is a series of three sculptures called “Agora’s Light,” which was installed in December 2016 at American River College.

Work will begin in the artist’s studio this summer, preparation on-site at Fairytale Town begins this November, and the playset will be installed and ready for play by March 1, 2018.

Thanks to a generous grant from the Sacramento Metropolitan Arts Commission, we were able to request proposals from professional artists to create the playset. Six artists responded to a call for qualifications, three were selected to create scale models, and Ugalde’s proposal was selected by a panel of seven board and community members for its playability and artistry.

The new playset will be installed between the Tipi playset and the Mary’s Little Lamb exhibit, replacing a portion of the waterway that winds through the park. Repurposing a portion of the waterway creates additional space for a new play area and allows Fairytale Town to conserve water.

All of us here are committed to keeping the historical integrity of the park, but we also know we must be relevant to the present and sustainable in the future. While we have had ample rain this year, the years of drought reinforces how important it is to conserve water. We believe that repurposing this portion of the waterway for a new playset will beautify the facility, provide innovative and challenging activities for children in our community, and enhance the Fairytale Town experience for all our guests.

It is not too late to support this project!
Donations towards the new playset will be matched by the grant from the Sacramento Metropolitan Arts Commission.

Donate Today

 


Fund Our Friendly Fowl on the Big Day of Giving

Why did the chicken cross the road? To get to Fairytale Town, of course!

Fairytale Town is home to 28 rare or miniature breed animals—including the Little Red Hen and friends. Our chicken exhibit next to Farmer Brown’s Barn shelters our five feathered friends, where they roost and lay eggs. Weather and time have deteriorated the coop and it needs to be replaced.

Young children are fascinated by animals, so it is no surprise that our animal exhibits and activities are popular attractions. Our barnyard brood is often a child’s first introduction to the world of animals. The proposed new coop would offer better viewing of the habits and life cycle of chickens—and help children learn the importance of animals in our daily lives.

Fairytale Town is once again participating in the Big Day of Giving!

The Big Day of Giving is the the Sacramento Region’s 24-hour online giving challenge on Thursday, May 4. Donations we receive from the day will go to rebuild the chicken coop. We’ve received generous matching funds of $9,400! With your support, we can complete the project. If we exceed our goal, the additional money will go towards rebuilding the home of Peter Rabbit and his sisters. The combined goal for both projects is $24,000

It is easy to participate in the Big Day of Giving. On May 4, simply visit bigdayofgiving.org and select the nonprofit(s) you want to support.

I want to help!

As the story goes, the Little Red Hen asks for help from her barnyard friends. We hope you will help by donating to Fairytale Town and the nonprofit(s) you care about on May 4 and make a difference in our community. Thanks to support from our friends and donors, we can enhance our exhibits and education programs for children and families in our region.

Join us at the park on May 4!

We hope you are able to join us at the park on May 4! We’ve planned a fun day celebrating our chicken family and Star Wars Day with story time, visits from Star Wars characters, prizes, and more! And with an online donation of $25 or more, you will receive FREE admission for two guests on May 4, 2017. Just show your Big Day of Giving donation receipt to our Box Office staff for complimentary admission.


Meet Laura Numeroff at the ScholarShare Children’s Book Festival

Laura NumeroffLaura Numeroff is the author of the bestselling, classic children’s book, If You Give a Mouse a Cookie, first published in 1985 and now in its 62nd printing. She’s authored five additional books in the If You Give… series, plus What Mommies Do Best/What Daddies Do Best. She was born in Brooklyn, New York, and grew up as the youngest of three girls, surrounded by art, music and books. Laura now lives in Los Angeles, California. Laura will headline this year’s ScholarShare Children’s Book Festival the weekend of September 26 and 27. She’ll read If You Give a Mouse a Cookie plus her new book, Raising a Hero, and sign copies of her books.

mouse-cookie_cover_150pxWhat was your inspiration for If You Give a Mouse a Cookie?
I was on a long boring car trip and started to visualize animals eating my favorite foods. I pictured a zebra eating Cheetos (the crunchy ones) and getting orange all over his beautiful black and white face. (If they can put a man on the moon, why can’t they figure out how to make Cheetos not leave orange around your mouth?) I pictured an orangutan eating pizza, getting his long, gangly arms tangled in the long cheese strings that you get when lifting a piece of hot pizza up from the plate. And, then I pictured a little mouse eating a big chocolate chip cookie. But, I didn’t stop there! I figured he’d want milk! I kept going with the napkin, straw, the whole magilla, and when I got home, I typed it on my fifty-dollar typewriter that I got at a flea market, with a wonky “W”. I first sent it to Harper & Row, because they had published one of my favorite books, Stuart Little, but they rejected it. I sent it to nine other publishers, one of them sending it back saying they only did series. After the ninth rejection, I heard that there was a new editor at Harper & Row, and her name was Laura. I sent it to her and got a phone call saying she wanted to publish it. The timing couldn’t have been better because I had just broken up with my boyfriend and was miserable! That’s why my motto is “Never give up!” And, that’s the story of my inspiration,which led me to talking about trying to sell it. (Yes! I am the mouse!)

Tell us about your latest book, Raising a Hero?
I’ve always wanted to write a book about service dogs! They are the most inspiring, amazing, smart and sweet dogs and know over fifty commands, including, taking off someone’s shoes, turning the lights on and off and helping with laundry. I met Sean Hanrahan when I was looking for help with my archaic web site. It turned out his brother, Devin, used a service dog because he has cerebral palsy. That was my first meeting with Miss Ellie, Devin’s service dog. It was love at first sight! I wrote the book, doing research at Canine Companions for Independence, located in San Diego, which is where Miss Ellie came from. Sean and I raised the money to publish it on Kickstarter. We were very lucky that Lynn Munsinger, who illustrated Ponyella, was on board. Her illustrations are so endearing! Raising a Hero, is my first independently published children’s book, and I’m truly excited about it!

Laura at age 5For many, If You Give a Mouse a Cookie is a beloved childhood book. What was your favorite book to read as a child?
I have two favorite books, both inspired me to be a writer! I absolutely loved Stuart Little, written by E.B. White, and published by Harper & Row (they’re now HarperCollins), is about a mouse in New York City, and yes, I’m from New York! Brooklyn to be exact. My other favorite book was Eloise, written by Kay Thompson and published by Simon and Schuster. It’s about a little girl who lives in a hotel in New York. The cool thing is, I’ve now been published by Harper AND Simon and Schuster! As for a fairytale character, it would have to be Cinderella! One of my books was inspired by the story. It’s called Ponyella! Cinderella as a pony!


Meet the Honorary King & Queen of a Midsummer Night’s Dream

Dan_and_MichelleThe most magical night of the year is coming soon! On June 27, fairies take over our storybook park for a Midsummer evening of magic, merriment, music… and ice cream! It’s our annual ice cream social inspired by Shakespeare’s famous fairy play.

Before the fun, we wanted to introduce you to this year’s Honorary King and Queen of the Fairies, Dan and Michelle from Mix96!  Dan and Michelle are the husband-and-wife morning show team at Mix96. We’re thrilled that Dan and Michelle will be presiding over the festivities and emceeing the event. Read on to learn more about Dan, Michelle and a few of their favorite things!

Tell us about your history and experience with Fairytale Town.

(Michelle) When we first moved to Sacramento we took our family and our son lived what he’s only read in books.  AMAZING

What are you most looking forward to at A Midsummer Night’s Dream & Crystal Ice Cream Fantasy? 

(Dan) ICE CREAM!  Really can use some ice cream right now!

We have to ask: What is your favorite ice cream flavor?!

(Dan) Mint Chip (Michelle) Fudge Brownie – Please tell me you’ll have fudge brownie!

 And your favorite Shakespeare play?  Why?

(Dan and Michelle) Romeo and Juliet – I wish we could say it’s because our life is a modern day version of the classic tale, but it’s not!  We just love Leonardo DiCaprio…

If you could be any fairytale or storybook character, who would you be?  Why?

(Dan) Jack and the Bean stock – Because he reached for the stars.

Thanks Dan and Michelle!


Meet Walter & Marlene Goetzeler of Freeport Bakery

FreeportBakeryThose attending the Mad Hatter Meets the Great Gatsby party on April 23 are in for a sweet treat! Marlene and Walter Goetzeler, owners of Freeport Bakery for 28 years, will be serving as the evening’s Honorary Chairs and sampling some of the Bakery’s best-loved items. Plus, the Bakery’s head decorator will be giving a very special demonstration during the event.

Read on to learn more about the Goetzelers—Marlene was just named one of the region’s Women Who Mean Business by the Sacramento Business Journal—and Freeport Bakery.

Tell us about Freeport Bakery and some of the delicious items you make. 

We are a full-line bakery but we are known mostly for our cakes. Some of the favorites are the Fruit Basket and the Champagne cakes. People come from all over just for those cakes.

What items will you be showcasing for guests at the party on April 23?

Our buttermilk cake with raspberry buttercream and tart lemon, along with some other great cakes.

What can you tell us about the decorating demonstration Carol Clevenger, your head decorator, will be doing at the party?

Carol Clevenger is an amazing cake artist. She will be decorating what we call a topsy-turvy cake in honor of the Mad Hatter. She will show how when using fondant you can make some really fun designs.

And because it’s Mad Hatter Meets The Great Gatsby, we have to ask—what’s your favorite? Alice in Wonderland, The Great Gatsby, or both? Why?

Marlene: Probably The Great Gatsby. I read it again recently and realized what a great storyteller Fitzgerald was.

If you could be any character from Alice in Wonderland or The Great Gatsby, who would you be? Why?

Marlene: I wasn’t sure so I took an online test to see which character I would be. I was told Alice. I’ll have to think about that one.


We Need Your Help to Improve the Children’s Theater

The Children’s Theater is one of the original structures at Fairytale Town—dating back to 1959—and it holds fond memories for many guests who experienced their first puppet show, performed on the stage, or attended a FunCamp at Fairytale Town. We need your help to make improvements to the exterior of the building, as well as to stage itself. Dry rot has taken hold on the siding and needs to be replaced and repainted. The stage itself needs to be refinished as well, and if we are able to raise enough money, we may be able to install backs on the bench seating!PuppetShow

Legend has it that the Children’s Theater is the oldest puppet stage west of the Mississippi. Whether or not this is true, it makes for good storytelling – an activity that nearly 10,000 children are introduced to throughout the year. The storytelling presentations in the Children’s Theater include puppet shows, dance recitals, and theater performances.

When Fairytale Town opened in 1959, the Children’s Theater was an outdoor amphitheater. In the 1980s it was enclosed and became one of the few indoor spaces within the park. In 2002, the interior of the Children’s Theater was upgraded to include new lighting and sound systems, sound proofing, and additional seating. In 2012, a fresh coat of paint was added to the exterior, and a new audio-visual system was installed.

We would love to have your support for this project. We expect the renovations to cost $20,000; and more if we include the backing to the benches. Contributions of all sizes are needed to make the project go. Contributions of $2,500 and up will be acknowledged on a bronze plaque, and donors contributing $5,000 and more will receive their own individual plaque on the stage. We plan to begin the work on the project in February so all will be complete when our busy season begins on March 1.

To make a contribution to this beloved park of our storybook park, click here to make a donation online today or please contact Kathy Fleming at (916) 808-7060.


Meet Barney Saltzberg at the ScholarShare Children’s Book Festival

BarneyBarney Saltzberg is the author and illustrator of close to 50 books for children, including Beautiful Oops!, Arlo Needs Glasses, Andrew Drew and Drew, and the bestselling Touch and Feel Kisses series with over 800,000 copies in print. Additionally, he’s recorded four CDs of music for children. Barney has been working with the United States State Department as a part of the Cultural Exchange Program and has traveled to China and Russia to speak about the creative process. He lives in Los Angeles with his wife and three dogs.

Meet Barney at Fairytale Town the weekend of September 27 & 28 at the ScholarShare Children’s Book Festival! Barney will read Beautiful Oops! and his latest book, Chengdu Could Not, Would Not Fall Asleep, and sign copies of his books.

Beautiful Oops! is an inspiring read about creativity and how “oops” BeautifulOops_lowres2can transform into something wonderful. Where do you find inspiration for your books?
I travel around the world speaking about the creative process. In my PowerPoint, I show two images which were created from mistakes. Paw prints on a painting turned to clouds and a coffee stain turned into a monster. Educators kept asking if I could teach how I do that. I tore a piece of paper one day in my studio and it looked like the mouth of an alligator. I knew at that moment that a book was born!

Tell us about your latest book, Chengdu Could Not, Would Not Fall Asleep?Chengdu_Jacket_lowres
The US State department has sent me to Russia and China to speak about creativity. When we were in China, my wife took a 24-hour trip to the city of Chengdu, where the pandas are. She took photographs of a panda in a tree who was having trouble falling asleep. Based on her photos, I made a picture book.

Do you have any tips for parents wanting to encourage their children to unleash their imaginations?
Down time. Down time from any screen. Down time from soccer, ballet, etc. Buy a sketchbook and
have some art supplies. I would not critique your child’s work. Do not ‘show’ them how to draw
anything. Children need to play and use their imagination and often times, we, as parents get too
involved. That telegraphs to a child that they are either doing something incorrectly or that their work somehow doesn’t meet their parents approval. This is a definite imagination shutoff. Another way to jump-start creativity is to play with your children. Pretend play is a great way to activate that creative muscle. Another idea is to make a squiggle on a sheet of paper and let your child flip it around until they see something they want to draw, using the squiggle as a starting point. There are no ‘wrong’ answers here. Everything you draw is perfect. VERY liberating. Hopefully, that ability to improvise and use one’s imagination is a starting point for more to come.

If you could be any fairytale character, who would you be? Why?
I have never thought about this before. It’s not really a fairytale, but the classic story of The Little Engine That Could would be my inspiration, so I would have to say I’m the little engine. Two reasons. I’m not that big and I never give up. I think I can, I think I can, seems to be my motto!

Thanks Barney!


Meet the Queen of the Fairies

MellisaBefore the fairy fun at A Midsummer Night’s Dream & Crystal Ice Cream Fantasy on June 28, we wanted to introduce you to this year’s Honorary Queen of the Fairies, Mellisa Paul! Mellisa needs no introduction as the hostess of Sacramento & Company. She is also the Community Liaison Director for News10, coordinating all station events and many other community projects. We’re thrilled that Mellisa will be taking on the role of Titania, Shakespeare’s Queen of the Fairies, presiding over the festivities and greeting guests in her magical fairy bower. Read on to learn more about Mellisa’s history with Fairytale Town as well as a few of her favorite things!

Tell us about your history and experience with Fairytale Town.

I first started going to Fairytale Town as a parent of my eldest daughter Abbi. We went as a family a handful of times for play dates and then had her third birthday party in King Arthur’s Castle. She loved it! We have been avid fans since.

What are you most looking forward to at A Midsummer Night’s Dream & Crystal Ice Cream Fantasy?

I am a big fan of Shakespeare. I actually have a certification in Shakespearean performance from the Oxford School of Drama in England. My favorite dessert is ice cream. So A Midsummer Night’s Dream & Crystal Ice Cream Fantasy is a marriage of two things that I love! So…what am I looking forward to the most??? ALL of it!

We have to ask: What is your favorite ice cream flavor?!

Tough question…hmmmmm…. I like berries a lot…and chocolate. So anything with berries and chocolate is a win for me.

And your favorite Shakespeare play?  Why?

Oddly enough… A Midsummer’s Night’s Dream. I’ve played numerous characters in the play over a series of years. One great experience was when we used the stylings of the ‘commedia dell’arte’ in one interpretation of the play…but my favorite was when I played Hermia in college. I was opposite my husband who played Demetrius. We weren’t dating at the time…but the whole experience led to us falling in love!

If you could be any fairytale character, who would you be?  Why?

Rapunzel…because I’d LOVE to have super long, gorgeous thick hair!!!


Meet Brad Peters, Honorary Chair of Mad Hatter Meets Sherlock Holmes

Brad Peters of Hock Farm Craft & ProvisionsWe are fortunate to have Brad Peters of Hock Farm Craft & Provisions serve as the Honorary Chair of Mad Hatter Meets Sherlock Holmes on May 8!

With over 13 years of experience in the hospitality industry, seven of those behind the bar, it’s Brad’s enthusiastic and genuine approach to mixing drinks and guest service that have earned him recognition as one of Sacramento’s most respected bartenders. Brad emphasizes ingredient-driven classic cocktails, often re-imagined with local produce and locally produced goods. Brad has received recognition for his recipes and perspectives in local, regional, and national media outlets.

We wanted to introduce Brad and ask him about a few of his favorite things and what he’ll be making for the party.

What’s your favorite: Alice in Wonderland, Sherlock Holmes, or both? Why?

I am a Sherlock Holmes guy. I love crime dramas, mystery and suspense. However, I guess when you look at it that way Alice in Wonderland is a lot of the same and I love the undertones of Alice. I’ll still stand by Sherlock.

If you could be any character from Alice in Wonderland or Sherlock Holmes, who would you be? Why?

Watson. He’s the trustworthy sidekick to the eccentric Holmes. All the excitement but none of the hassles of fame.

Have you been to Fairytale Town? If so, what is your favorite feature?

I have, multiple times. I love the venue for adult fundraising fun. I’ve been for concerts. I have a 7 month old boy now, and I’m sure I will be hanging around Fairytale Town a bunch soon.

What will you be showcasing at the Mad Hatter Meets Sherlock Holmes event on May 8?

We will be sampling Hock Farm’s sangria and demonstrating how to make a traditional punch. We will also be showcasing some fun methods to improve your at-home punch making experience!!!


We need your help to renovate Farmer Brown’s Barn!

Farmer Brown’s Barn. Photo by Karen Iddings.

Fairytale Town’s family of animals has grown since we opened in 1959. Plans have been made to renovate Farmer Brown’s Barn so that the animals will have more space to eat, stretch their legs, play, sleep and dream. The plan includes a new wall for a honey bee display complete with remote entry/exit for safe and easy access, adding new stall gates, expanding and redesigning of the storage area to maximize space, reinforcing and adding polymax to the siding to minimize dry rot, and – most importantly – increasing the size of Eeyore’s stall.

The family of animals that live here play important roles at Fairytale Town – as well as in the stories they represent. Animals help children to understand the books they read and help educate children through summer FunCamps and workshops throughout the year.

Donations of all levels are needed now to make this project a reality. The cost of the project is approximately $35,000. The work will begin during the winter months and will be completed by the beginning of summer – our peak season. We hope you will join us in making these improvements a reality.

To make a contribution to the barn renovation project, click here to make a donation online today or please contact Kathy Fleming at (916) 808-7060.