Botanic Garden Sweet: Fairy Festival

Encinitas gets extra ethereal on the eve of the Summer Solstice.

MAGICAL CREATURES, THE NATURAL WORLD: Fairies, having wings, can fly just about anywhere they please or happen to be needed. This can include the tallest skyscrapers or restaurants or boats or homes, because if there is a window or a door or the smallest of cracks, the tiny winged things can find a way inside. But fairies, as every lover of children's literature and lore knows, adore nature best. That's where they find strength and inspiration and beauty and fun, so even if they must flit away from the trees and flowers for a day, to help a human in the city, they'll return to their plants and shrubs. The San Diego Botanic Garden, in fact, is just the kind of location that fairies favor; it is large, around 35 acres, and it is lush with coast scrub oaks and prickly pears and bush sunflowers and all sorts of native bloomy pretty plants. This makes the Encinitas wild place both the perfect year-round retreat for fairies and the ideal spot for aspiring fairies to try their wings on and get a grapple with magic wands and other forms of enchantments. And those aspiring fairies, youngsters who like to dress up in full fairy regalia, shall find their way to the flora-filled spot on the eve of the Summer Solstice, for a full day devoted to crafts, dress-up, and the ways of fairydom.

THE FAIRY FESTIVAL... sets gently down at the garden on Saturday, June 20. Kids are encouraged to show in their sparkliest outfits (the grown-ups, though, are asked to leave their fairy togs at home). A full spate of fairy crafts will flutter over the day, from the creating of treasure chests (think wooden boxes and rhinestones) to the fashioning of fairy dust bottles. If your tot has forgotten his or her magic wand, there's a workshop that'll help replace that all-important item, and there's an area devoted to the building of fairy houses, too. Does your at-home garden or yard have one? So essential. The spellbinding creatures may flit and float where the wind takes them, but they always like returning to a home base made from natural materials. The cost to attend? It's included with admission to the San Diego Botanic Garden, but stow some cash for material fees. Be sure that your little fairy gets a photo taken with the Fairy Princess, who shall be holding court at the glittery gathering.

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