Hadn’t planned on fluttering over to Joliet? An upcoming festival in the southwest suburb is pure magic and well worth the trip. Put on your most sparkly wings, wave your wand and fly to Pilcher Park Nature Center for Fairy Festival, held Saturday, May 5. The annual fest’s fairy-guided activities include a breakfast, nature walks, fairy training, pampering, crafts and more. Keep reading for the scoop on what makes it so charming.

photo: courtesy of Katrina via flickr

Fly in Fairy School
It may be a Saturday, but Fairy School is still in session and it begins with each child learning their unique fairy name. Fairy instructors train with their winged pupils on a trampoline camouflaged with flowers to simulate bona fide flight and reveal the well-kept secrets of flying undetected in invisibility training. Students learn to speak like fairies during a vocabulary lesson, which includes special pixie words and an introduction to the super-secret fairy pledge.

The fun of this fest is getting dressed up. If you’ve outgrown the wings in your closet, no worries because fairy suppliers will be onsite selling ravishing wings, tutus for twirling and even terrariums so you can take home a smidgen of this fairy magic.


Flutter to Fun Activities
A fairy’s life is not all work and no play, and you’ll see how with a guided walk around the nature center where you can stop and smell the wildflowers. A non-stop supply of bubbles will lift everyone’s spirits and, when energy is at an all-time high, your little ones can jump their sillies out on the inflatable. Or, rest your wings and take a spin in Cinderella’s horse-drawn pumpkin carriage, get pampered at the nail salon or settle in for a relaxing story time.


Make Enchanted Crafts
No fairy is complete without a wand. To make sure everyone is legit, “enchanted sticks” are gathered from the forest floor so fairy wannabes can construct their own. Even those not too enthused about the whole fairy concept will be eager to help once they hear that the secret bonding ingredient is green troll snot collected from the depths of the forest. The wands are rolled in fairy dust, which may look suspiciously like glitter, but we’re assured it’s quite powerful when granting wishes.

Dine & Romp Amongst the Fairies
Fairies-in-training are invited to enjoy a pancake and sausage breakfast while their winged hostesses sprinkle magical flavors on their plates and pose for pictures. Sweets vendors will also be at the ready with brightly colored popcorn, a vast selection of candy and ice cream with sprinkles.

The fest’s pretty park setting lends itself to running and roaming in the midst of all the fairy fun. There are 640 scenic acres filled with trees and hiking paths — not to mention awesome photo opps.


This Sounds Awesome, How Do We Register?
Walk-in visitors are welcome at Fairy Festival, but if you want to be super organized you can register early at jolietpark.org by using the Registration drop-down. If you’re not a Joliet resident, you’ll register as a non-resident. General admission is $10, $15 if you want to dine with the fairies.

Fairy Festival
Held Sat., May 5; 9 a.m.-2 p.m.
Pilcher Park Nature Center
2501 Highland Park, Joliet
Online: facebook.com/fairyfest

Will you go to this magical festival? Let us know in the Comments!

— Maria Chambers