This past weekend marked Vermont’s first Fairy Houses Tour at the Nature Museum at Grafton. The event, held to benefit the museum’s educational programs, encouraged creative expression and curiosity about the natural world, and provided children and adults alike with a way to stimulate their imaginations and enjoy their natural surroundings.
Fairy Tree Houses. Photos: Erica Bowman.
A devoted group of volunteers organized the Fairy Houses Tour and rallied local businesses, families, and individuals to create Fairy Houses using materials found in nature, like twigs, birch bark, moss, flowers and leaves. Though many of the materials used were similar, each Fairy House builder put a personal spin on their creation. Many Fairy Houses were themed, like a Fairy Circus, several Fairy Schoolhouses, and a Fairy Farm, and all showed a great amount of care and detail in their construction, right down to pint-sized fairy furniture and housewares.
The Fairy Circus. Photos: Val Khislavsky.
Each Fairy House or Fairy Village was given its own place along a woodland path that runs behind the Nature Museum. The path guided visitors to each of the Fairy Houses, ooh’s and aah’s echoing at each stop along the way. At the end of the Tour, visitors were treated to a reading by fairy book author Tracy Kane, and had the opportunity to construct their own Fairy Houses. Despite the less than perfect weather on Sunday, people came from near and far to see the Fairy House creations and to show their support for the Nature Museum at Grafton–hopefully this event will take root in the community for years to come.
The Fairy Hangout. Design & Construction: JMMDS.
Photos: L: Val Khislavsky; R: Erica Bowman.
Fairy Houses Tour History:
Fairy Houses Tours have been held throughout the country and based on the books of author Tracy Kane, who was inspired to create Fairy Houses when she visited Maine’s Moneghan Island and was introduced to the tradition of building fairy houses from natural materials. Tracy has published a number of fairy books for children, and makes appearances at stops on the Fairy Houses Tour. More information on Tracy, her books, and Fairy Houses can be found at fairyhouses.com.
The Fairy-Go-Round and Fairy Wheel. Photos: L: Val Khislavsky; R: Erica Bowman.
About the Nature Museum at Grafton:
The Nature Museum is located in the picturesque village of Grafton, Vermont. The museum celebrated its 20th anniversary earlier this year and houses a number of exhibits that educate about Vermont’s wildlife and natural resources. The Nature Museum also offers a number of educational programs and camps for children of all ages, as well as workshops for adults. It publishes an online newsletter including its upcoming events and exhibits, animal profiles, and topics on sustainability.