From Our Editors
In 1950, a man named Arthur Navlet, with the support of Oakland’s parks superintendent William Penn Mott, Jr., the Breakfast Club, and the citizens of Oakland, paired with a local architect to design America's first storybook theme park—a low-tech, high-touch outdoor playground designed to ignite children's imaginations with fairytale-inspired play areas and friendly animals. Children's Fairyland is located on the shores of Lake Merritt in the heart of Oakland, where all a kid needs to do is pass through the Old Lady in the Shoe's house to enter a fantastical place steeped in creativity and joy.
With every attraction, ride, and show, the park stays true to Navlet's original vision of building a realm where children can "create, imagine, play, and learn." A nonprofit community organization, Fairyland offers children and families a safe, stimulating environment for play and imagination with fairy tales, fantasy sets, performing arts, animals, and unique children's programming focused on early childhood education and literacy. The park is also home to the Open Storybook Puppet Theater, one of the oldest continuously operating puppet theater in the United States.