Florence Griswold Museum Presents Over 30 Fairy Houses in ‘Whimsical Kingdoms’

It’s the return of the Florence Griswold Museum’s highly anticipated annual outdoor exhibition, Wee Faerie Village. This year the walking trail highlights over 30 faerie-sized castles, towers, and palaces celebrating fiction’s greatest royal tales.

The Florence Griswold Museum in Old Lyme presents Wee Faerie Village’s ‘Whimsical Kingdoms’ on the grounds of museum’s campus from Oct. 1 through Nov. 1. Visitors follow the “Treasured Map” to over 30 hand-crafted faerie kingdoms and scenes – from Cinderella’s enchanted castle to Rapunzel’s towering tower to Aladdin’s shimmering palace. All ages will marvel at the detail and craftsmanship as they visit scenes from King ArthurHarry PotterA Midsummer Night’s Dream, and Lord of the Rings.

This year’s Wee Faerie Village is the seventh of the Museum’s annual outdoor creative installations. Last year 14,000 visitors enjoyed the 2014 event, Wee Faerie Village in a ‘Steampunk’d Wonderland’ during its four-week run. In keeping with the steampunk theme, many of last year’s scenes were made from found objects like cogs and gears.

More than 14,000 visitors came to see last year's Steam Punk'd Wonderland exhibit.

More than 14,000 visitors came to see last year’s Steampunk’d Wonderland exhibit at the Florence Griswold Museum in Old Lyme.

This year, the artists have been challenged to create their kingdoms using natural materials. Their imaginations are sure to create fanciful edifices detailed with pinecone pinnacles, fungus fortresses, acorn-topped timbered towers, bark-covered buttresses, fluttering feather flags, and driftwood drawbridges. The annual event has come to signify an enriching, not-to-be-missed outing for visitors of all ages.

Along with the 30 wee-sized creations, two artists are fashioning grand structures out of natural elements as a special feature of ‘Whimsical Kingdoms.’

Jared is hard at work creating a magical castle from a tree trunk.

Jared Welcome is hard at work creating a faerie tower out of a tree trunk on the Florence Griswold Museum’s grounds.

Jared Welcome of JareBear Carvings from Connecticut will create a faerie tower out of a 77-year-old tree on the Museum’s campus. Hurricane Sandy took its toll on the once sturdy maple. The tree was scheduled to be removed earlier this year, but instead, was saved for this project. Using a chainsaw and sander Jared reveals an over ten feet tall fanciful tower hidden beneath the bark.

Greg J. Grady of Professional Sculptures in New Hampshire is a master sand sculptor. He will forge a splendid castle using seven tons of “Hi-G” (dense, flat-grained) sand.

Special Events

As part of its Wee Faerie Village exhibition, adults and families with children can enjoy a month of faerie-themed activities. Events include a visit from Princess Merida, baking contest, parties, performances, story-telling, book discussions, and craft activities. Many events are included in Museum admission.

Visit www.FlorenceGriswoldMuseum.org for a complete list.

Columbus Day, Monday, Oct. 12

The Museum will open on Columbus Day, Monday, Oct. 12 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Faerie dance lessons begin at 11:30 a.m. At noon, an artist from the TEN31 living statues troupe will lead visitors in a parade. Wings, crowns, tiaras and Medieval attire is encouraged.

Sand-sculpting demonstrations will take place at the sand castle during the day.

Hands-on crafts 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. .

From 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., shop for artful objects created by local artisans and crafters inspired by the faerie realm.

This quirky and creative artisan fair is a special one-day, pop-up event at the Museum.

Beyond the Faerie Realm

The Lyme-Old Lyme Chamber of Commerce encourages visitors of the Museum’s Wee Faerie Village to explore participating shops and restaurants in the historic town of Old Lyme for prizes and surprises. See www.VisitOldLyme.com for details.

The Florence Griswold Museum is located at 96 Lyme Street, Old Lyme, exit 70 off I-95. The Museum is open Tuesday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. with extended hours on Sunday from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Admission during the exhibition is $15 for adults, $14 for seniors, $13 for students, $5 for members. Children 12 and under are free thanks to the support of an anonymous donor.

Admission includes the outdoor walking tour of the faerie village as well as the Florence Griswold House, Chadwick Studio, Rafal Landscape Center and the Krieble Gallery special exhibition, The Artist in the Connecticut Landscape.

Wee Faerie Village is supported by an anonymous donor, the Joffray Family, and the Platner Family Foundation.