We’re a family that loves fairies. We’ve invested countless hours standing in line at Disney parks waiting to have two-minute conversations with fairies. So when we heard about Artpark’s Fairy House Festival in Lewiston, N.Y. we knew we had to check it out.
Cost: $10 a person
Parking: Free on-site parking
We entered Artpark at the lower entrance, where we were greeted by park workers collecting entrance fees, handing out wrist bands, festival maps, and event schedules. Parking is immediately behind the entrance booth. It was only about a two-minute walk from our car to the first festival attraction, which we really appreciated because the temperatures that day were in the 90’s.
First up was the unicorn sighting – the two white horses with beautiful twisted manes to look like horns. My daughter wasn’t too terribly impressed with them, it may have been because she was anxious to get deeper into the festival. They were housed in a very small pen so it was easy to view them but the lack of interaction was disappointing. And watch where you walk!
Next stop – the story teller. Kids gathered in her beautifully staged area on a rug, in a shaded area overlooking the Niagara River. The gorgeous scenery and Niagara Gorge views keep the adults entertained while the kids were entranced with her stories. We spent about fifteen minutes listening to her. She did a great job welcoming in new kids; there was not an official start/end time – she just continued with her stories all day. She ended one story by giving the kids the vision to see real fairies for the day – we saw this as the perfect opportunity to move to the next attraction.
International Street Theater Artists
On to watch some of the international street theater artists. From my understanding this was a new addition to the festival. It was a diverse group including Uta Bekaia from Georgia, The Lost Wheels of Time from Israel, Circus Orange from Canada, and Giraffe Royal from Estonia. Their costumes were amazing! Very intricate and heavy looking. I felt so bad for them – it was so hot out! But they showed no signs of it bothering them.
There was a main performance field where they performed their theatrical shows. We watched less than ten minutes of one show before my daughter asked to leave. I found it to be entertaining, but it seemed that it was aimed at a slightly older crowd (she’s 7.)
We continued on to the Wishing Tree. Kids wrote a wish on a piece of paper and hung it on a tree. At sundown fairies would collect the wishes and make them come true. It was such a simply little thing they had set up, but my daughter really enjoyed it.
On to play in the Emerald Grove area; while not specific to the festival, this play area is always a good time for the kids.
Fairy Tea Party
By this time, we were thirsty, so we headed over to the fairy tea house. The tent was draped in multiple colored fabrics and was guarded by a male fairy. He had to confirm that we were actual fairies before entering. Once inside, we were greeted by a fairy pouring warm water into small cups (made at pottery workshops held at Artpark – specially for the festival.) We took our water and sat down on the scattered pillow and cushion and enjoyed our tea. We enjoyed our tea party and were excited that you were allowed to take the pottery home. What parent doesn’t like a free souvenir!
It didn’t quite quench our thirst. Luckily there were drink standings selling water and popsicles. I would recommend bringing your own bottle of water. Outside food was allowed. Many families were picnicking in the Emerald Grove area.
Make your own head piece was definitely the highlight of the day. All the supplies were provided for free and there are plenty of adults there to assist in your creation. We spent about twenty minutes wrapping our grape vine headbands with ribbons and wild flowers. The kids (and adults) looked the role of fairies walking around the park with ribbons blowing in the breeze. And another free souvenir – Yes!
On to the Potion Recipe tent. Another winner in my daughter’s eyes. You were given a test tube to fill with a combination of ingredients. It looks messier than it really was. Plus, there was a hand washing station right outside the tent. I on the other hand didn’t enjoy having to carry this one around the festival – Yuck!
We skipped the face painting tent. The line was incredibly long, it was estimated to be about a 45-minute wait. They were painting full face butterflies, so the line was moving very slowly. We opted to make a magnet and move on.
Screen Printing T-Shirts
Next we decided to screen print t-shirts. This was the only activity at the festival that cost additional money. At $5 a t-shirt it was a bargain. You picked your t-shirt color/size, your design, and your paint color. Unfortunately, you didn’t actually do the screen printing yourself but it was interesting to see them make it.
And there were fairy houses – lots of them. They were scattered around the park grounds – too many to see them all. Each one was so unique. The entire family enjoyed looking at them. The details on some of them were so cool.
I found after we left there was a fairy house building workshop. I wished we would have done that, but we were all tired and hot by the time we left. Another activity would have led to a very crabby child.
All in all, we enjoyed our relaxing day at Artpark. The festival was not what I was expecting at all. These were not Disney fairies! I personally thought $10 a person was a little much. We agreed that it was worth going to once, but If we are in the area next year during the festival we will probably skip it.
Have you been to Lewiston’s Fairy House Festival? Have you been to one in another area? Any that you would recommend? Leave us a comment, we would love to hear from you.
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