Summer is the perfect time to find the fairies that call Los Angeles home. But where to start your search? We asked Chris Young, author of Is That A Fairy, who is a bit of an expert on where and how to find the fairies (hint: they love gardens!) in LA. He tells us about his interactive e-book, where to find fairies, how to talk to them, and why they’re particularly drawn to living in Los Angeles.
image courtesy of Chris Young
Meet Chris. He’s an expert on fairies, and he became one because the fairies love his gorgeous home garden at his Laurel Canyon home. This garden inspired his book Is That A Fairy? which is a whimsical interactive e-book about Ben and Daisy, a young boy and his dog, and their backyard adventure searching for real life fairies. As they read the book, kids can help Ben make a safe home for his friends, uncover hidden fairies, and even change elements of the story. It’s a fun book for summer car rides, perhaps on the way to find fairies in hidden LA spots. We asked Chris to give us the scoop on where and how to find fairies in LA.
What inspired you to write a book about finding fairies in LA?
Ironically, the goal with the Is That A Fairy eBook, is to encourage kids to want to put down those handheld devices they’re using to read my book and go play outdoors. Ha! In my childhood, every minute of free time was spent outdoors playing and observing wildlife and flowers. Of course, most children know fairies are real because they can still see them. We adults can see them, too, but we have to let our inner child do the searching.
photo credit: Santa Monica Mountains Conservancy
What makes LA a great place to find fairies?
Fairies are drawn to nature and Los Angeles is very lucky to have the Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area running through it, while also being surrounded by the ocean, desert, forest and farming valleys. Those are a lot of perks if one is a pixie, gnome or fairy and looking for a city to call home! The canyons such as Laurel (where I live) and Topanga are great places to look for fairies. They have a rich diversity of wildlife, native plants and trees, all of which fairies are drawn to. Los Angeles is also a center of the arts and creativity and the fairies especially like to be around those sorts of adults.
photo credit: Steve A. via Yelp
Where should kids start their own search for fairies in the city?
1. Descanso Gardens has a little train you can ride which winds through the wonderful gardens! It’s a fun way for kids big and small to see the beautiful plants. I hear the fairies are big fans of the little train too.
1418 Descanso Dr.
La Cañada Flintridge
2. Explore the magical Garden of Oz. Fairies love colorful and shiny things and this beautiful folk art garden delivers! (Hint: it’s only open two hours a week, Thursdays from 10 a.m.-noon.)
3040 N Ledgewood Dr.
photo credit: Meghan Rose
3. The Children’s Garden at the Huntington Botanical Gardens. Fairies cannot resist the combination of nature and children!
1151 Oxford Rd.
4. All of the beautiful hiking trails in the LA area from Malibu Canyon State Park, Griffith Park to Channel Islands National Park! Go on a hike with trusted adults and explore. Fairies love areas that are really wild.
5. But really, the best place for kids to find fairies in Los Angeles is wherever they can find nature near them, whether it be a window box full of flowers, the little tree they pass by on the sidewalk going to school, a vegetable garden at their school, their favorite park or their own backyard. Fairies will be there, giggling and wondering if they’ll be seen. Just look really hard!
Do you have any tips for how kids should talk to fairies when they find them?
Always speak very quietly. Fairies are easily startled. I always whisper.
When you’re not looking for fairies, what are your favorite things to do with kids in Los Angeles?
My very favorite thing is to have children visit my garden, Tiny Sur. I love hunting for Monarch caterpillars and explaining the life cycle of butterflies. We have a very wonderful mellow hive of honeybees in the garden and it’s fun to explain the work and importance of bees. Sometimes I will bring our tortoise Wentworth, out for a walk. He’s a big hit with the little ones. I think the most important thing any adult who loves nature can do is to share that love with the children in their lives, wherever you an find it.
I also love to take kids on road trips to see the jaw dropping nature that surrounds LA such as the Big Sur Coast, Joshua Tree’s magical desert for star gazing or Yosemite National Park filled with giant ancient Sequoia.
ipad app store: itunes.apple.com/gb/app/id960962830
Do you have any tips for finding fairies, making fairy gardens or exploring fairy worlds in Los Angeles?
—Chris Young & Meghan Rose