Explore Nature in a Magical Way with Chicago Park District’s Fairy Houses

Earn your wings this summer with these Fairy Houses scattered across the city.

Calling all Tinker Bell fans: grab your wands, wings and hiking shoes because fairy houses have sprung up at 20 natural areas in Chicago.

The Chicago Park District is celebrating the 20th anniversary of the CPD Natural Areas and Community Stewardship Program with 20 Fairy Houses this summer. Designed and built by volunteer groups, the miniature houses furnished with flowers, rocks and feathers are on display through Sept. 15.

How did Fairy Houses come to life?

When the park district began brainstorming ideas to celebrate the anniversary, the idea of magic in nature “bubbled up” into Fairy Houses, according to Kristin Brock, the manager at the park district’s Outdoor and Environmental Education Unit.

Each volunteer group through the Community Stewardship Program received a basic kit of supplies and minimal instructions, Brock says.

“Every single one of these Fairy Houses has blown my expectations for what I thought they’d be out of the water,” she says.

Some of these magical structures include “Fairy Village” at the Marquette Park Natural Area, the “Bedazzled Sanctuary” at the Burnham Wildlife Corridor and “Fairies: Like You and Me but Tiny” at the McKinley Park Natural Area.

Whether you love being active while outdoors or enjoy the natural areas for their quiet solitude, Brock says, the parks are great for all ages.

“There is something for everyone in nature,” Brock says. “The Fairy Houses are fun, they’re creative. I think they are going to inspire people to go visit natural areas and see other parts of the city.”

There are more than 90 CPD natural areas throughout the city that preserve 1,890 acres of prairies, dunes, wetlands, lagoons and other natural lands. Visitors can explore “wetlands teeming with frogs and turtles, prairies buzzing with small birds, and savannas filled with butterflies and wildflowers” as they discover these Fairy Houses displays, a park district press release said.

Where can I find the Fairy Houses?

Families can find the Fairy Houses with the interactive map featured on the Chicago Park District’s website. The organizers encourage fairy explorers to share their experiences on Instagram and Twitter with #FairyHousesChicago.

Here is the full list of where to find all 20 Fairy Houses:

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