Millions of children have grown up at Fairytale Town during our nearly 60-year history. Now, Fairytale Town is getting ready to grow!
A Master Plan for Generations of Play
Fairytale Town has served four generations of children within its current three-and-a-half-acre footprint, but needs enhancements to meet the needs of our community. The front gate entry was designed decades ago to serve a fraction of the audience now served. The same can be said for restroom facilities, food and beverage stations, and retail operations. The population Fairytale Town serves has also changed over the decades. Population growth and changing demographics in the region have created demand for programs and activities for older children and play structures representing multi-cultural stories. The world of play and children’s programming has also evolved over the years, with modern play structures using more natural objects than man-made ones.
In 2012, Fairytale Town’s board of directors and staff began a master plan process to assess facility requirements for the future and how to best serve the community. The increased space was identified as essential to accommodating increasing visitation, while ensuring adequate space for children to play freely without impacting quiet spaces that are important to Fairytale Town’s youngest guests. In addition, Fairytale Town leadership held a series of community sessions to understand broader community needs and interests. The master plan includes the community input received.
The City of Sacramento has approved the half-acre expansion and supports the expansion of Fairytale Town’s structures and services for the public.
Why Play? Play IS Learning!
Over the past few decades, researchers in the fields of education, brain science and psychology have amassed concrete evidence that play is a vital activity of childhood development and builds the foundation for a lifetime of learning. Play helps develop cognitive, emotional, social, and physical skills. Furthermore, play contributes to proper brain development and is also linked to developing key skills that serve as a foundation for critical thinking, communication, problem solving, and collaboration. Often referred to as 21st century skills, these competencies compliment core subject matter knowledge and are highly valued in an increasingly complex, competitive and interactive world. Learn more about the importance of play.
Key Features of the Master Plan:
Improving Fairytale Town’s space and facilities will serve over 250,000 guests annually and will enhance services to the community as well. Fairytale Town’s Master Plan includes the following improvements to the Park:
- Increased open space for active, physical play – The Master Plan adds one half acre to Fairytale Town, affording 20% more space for children to safely explore without encroaching on quiet spaces needed for its youngest visitors.
- Sacramento Story Center building – The exciting Story Center identified in the Master Plan will be a flexible space allowing for all-weather programming and more hands-on interaction. The building’s multi-use rooms will accommodate diverse program activities, from costumes and props to a tech room allowing children to produce story recordings and videos. The Center will also house exhibits pertaining to reading, writing, and storytelling. The Story Center plans also include a public-use community room as Land Park, unlike other area parks, does not have a community center.
- Faster Admission Booth lines – The Master Plan alters the current admission area to streamline processes and move group admissions to a separate entrance. In addition to speeding any current wait times, the improved processing ability at the ticket booth will also help to improve safety for visitors and the public by eliminating long lines that can spill into adjacent parking lots.
- Up to Five New Play Sets – New play sets designed to serve children between the ages of 8 and 12 and offering a wider selection of stories from a variety of cultures will be constructed.
- Expansion of the Garden Area – Expansion of this popular area of the Park will help more children discover the magic of gardening in an interactive learning environment. Expansion of the area will enable more children to learn about basic gardening skills and introduce Sacramento’s farm-to-fork initiatives to young children.
- Outdoor Classroom – An outdoor classroom will provide a more focused venue for Fairytale Town to welcome school field trips and offer workshops.
- Improved pedestrian and stroller access – The Master Plan incorporates a sidewalk spanning from the entrance of Fairytale Town along the eastern perimeter to the public restrooms. There is currently no sidewalk, causing park users and Fairytale Town visitors to struggle with strollers and presenting a challenge for less able-body pedestrians. Additionally, improved lighting in the area will benefit pedestrians inside and outside the park.
- Gift Shop and enhanced concessions – The addition of a gift shop and an expanded concession stand offering a wider variety of food and drink will be a revenue generator for Fairytale town.
- Improved and increased numbers of visitor and public restrooms – The number of visitors long ago outgrew the Fairytale Town restroom amenities currently available. With some 250,000 visitors per year, the restrooms will be expanded and updated to accommodate greater numbers of visitors. In addition to improved bathrooms for Fairytale Town guests, the Master Plan includes an ADA upgrade and doubling of the number of restrooms for use by the general public and sports club participants.
Fairytale Town Expansion Site Plan & Renderings
About the Architect
Fairytale Town selected WMB Architects to design the new admissions building and entry plaza, Sacramento Story Center building, and park layout. For 48 years WMB Architects has worked with community-based clients to create places where people can congregate, play, act, entertain, explore, and learn. WMB draws inspiration from the mission of their clients, crafting environments within the community that reflect the character, image, and meaning of the client’s values and purpose. WMB Architects is based in Sacramento and Stockton and creates architecture for community, educational, commercial, and religious clients throughout Northern California.
Project Timeline & Phases
In preparation for the expansion, the exterior fence on the south and east sides of Fairytale Town will be moved to incorporate the additional half-acre within the park’s boundary. Work on the fence will begin mid-February 2019. The master plan will be completed in multiple phases over two to five years and is projected to cost a range of $3 to $6 million.
- Build Story Center
- Build Box Office and Administration Building
- Build outdoor classroom
- Facility furniture and equipment
- Improve interior and exterior walkways
- Lighting improvements
- Build additional playsets
- Additional walkway work
- Garden installation
- Facility furniture and equipment
- Café improvements
- Build new playsets
- Additional walkways
- Final lighting improvements
- Demolish and rebuild restroom shared with Land Park
Expansion Interest Form
Are you interested in being part of the capital campaign to support Fairytale Town’s Master Plan? Please fill out the contact form below, and one of our team members will get in touch with you.