Did you know there are fairies living in secret right here in the Bay Area? I know what you’re thinking: geez, even fairies are moving here now! But these mythical creatures are here to spread enchantment and joy to children and adults alike. They are not here to overbid on real estate and spew app ideas to venture capitalists. In fact, they all live in modest homes and most people don’t even notice they’ve taken up residence right under a tree, curb, or even on buildings. But RedTri has found some of the best fairy lairs in the Bay Area, so sharpen those eyes and get ready to go on a fairy hunt with the kids!
Before you flutter off, here are some tips to get ready: grab a bag of fairy pearls to leave for the fairies (marbles, rocks, glass beads), a magic wand (because Tinkerbell has one) and dust off the fairy wings (the pair you bought for Halloween but always seem appear on your child for ordinary occasions like grocery shopping and school) and let your imagination lead the way.
And now some rules: If you take a rock from a fairy you must leave a rock. Or better, just don’t take anything. Instead, leave a gift. Because fairies love surprises! Some fairies like to receive letters too so don’t be shy about writing a letter to a fairy before you hit the street. Lastly, fairies are real and you are visiting their homes, so please do not move or rearrange their homes. If you do move anything at a fairy’s house, you might piss it off and no one wants a pissed off fairy flying around.
Fairies Found Living in Logs in San Francisco
In San Francisco’s Glen Canyon Park, there lives banana slugs, coyotes and it’s most unique inhabitant: fairies. With the scenic views of the canyon and the feeling of being in a faraway land—not in the middle of an urban city—two fairies have taken up residence there. One is at Silver Tree Camp, also known as the Glen Ridge Co-op building. The other is on the unofficially named Banana Slug Trail. Both within a two-minute walk from each other, which makes for a delightful kid hike.
Though it’s not in its original glory, the Silver Tree fairy house is not to be missed! Carved into a fallen tree stump by the local artist, author, and poet Tony Powell, kids can stick their hands in the door to see if the fairy have any hidden “pearls” inside. Also, this fairy loves receiving letters. So be sure to write a message to leave at its home. If you’re lucky, the fairy might even respond through its website (yes, this fairy has its own website, this is San Francisco after all). Lastly, Tony Powell is the same artist who installed the fairy door in San Francisco’s Japanese Tea Garden. He mentioned there are new fairies doors currently being created so keep an eye out when walking the streets of SF.
The Banana Slug Trail fairy house isn’t hard to miss. It sits in a large tree trunk along the main trail to Silver Camp. Created by a local Glen Canyon resident, the fairy house has taken on a life of it’s own with people adding their own decorations and tokens for the fairies.
Secret Fairy Lair in Livermore
There is a well-hidden community of fairies living at Alden Lane Nursery in Livermore. Speckled with fairy doors all over the property, fairy hunters can opt to buy a fairy map that comes with clues or wander around. People are invited to come anytime during business hours and you can stay and have lunch under the trees and there are even public restrooms. The artist, Sue Fordyce, said she was inspired by Pokemon Go to create the fairy adventure. But with a twist: she wanted the focus be about disconnecting from technology and being in nature exploring.
If all this fairy hunting has you inspired to create your own fairy door, check Alden Lane Nursery’s monthly calendar for special fairy door workshops throughout the year. Additionally, there are upcoming plans to launch fairy door private parties. Give them a call to learn more, and just say you heard it from a fairy riding on a red tricycle.
Alameda Island is Sprinkled in Fairy Dust
Did you know Alameda Island has the largest population of fairies in the entire Bay Area? With hundreds of fairy doors located in nooks and crannies all over the island the kids will be kicking up fairy dust and having a blast hunting for them.
The first miniature immigrants weren’t even fairies but mouse doors. Created by an anonymous artist, Mows510 (pronounced “mouse”) who started the trend back in 2015 when he installed his first mouse doors. Local residences became enamored with the mouse doors and started recruiting other mystical creatures, like fairies, to move to the island too. Now, there is even a dedicated private Facebook group who monitors where the fairies and mice live – almost like a magical RedFin real estate map or a Hollywood Stars map. Which means if you’re lucky enough to be accepted into the Facebook group you can download a map and set-off on your merry way. If not, well here’s a tip: the most concentrated cluster of fairy doors is at the corner of Clinton St. and Oak St. in Alameda. The neighbors are really friendly and love to help fairy hunters find doors and direct them to their favorites. If the kids really want to see some of the original mouse doors by Mows510, there are a few in the USS Hornet parking lot. Or if you want to get the kids super excited, take them to Tucker’s Ice Cream to find the mouse door there.
Did you find any fun fairy houses? If so, let us know where in the comments below!
All images taken by Tarah Photography