Last year, our fairy house festival trail featured the creations of over 40 individuals, families, and organizations, each one a unique expression and a unique gift to our community.
The festival's houses and other creations are fresh each year. Made with natural materials and open to the elements, the stars of our festival are symbols of nature's impermanence and magic.
We were lucky that so many eager builders came our way! We typically have a full roster of builders by August. Please join our newsletter list to receive news in the run up and prepping stages of the Fairy Fest.
If you haven’t built with us in the past, please be sure to read below for lots of important information and tips for both Builders and Collectors.
Notes For Builders
We require that your fairy house structure be installed on The Nature Museum’s fairy trail on Friday, September 27th between 10 AM and 6 PM. When you arrive with your exhibit on Friday, you are required to find an open site along the Fairy Trail to install your piece. Your site may be reserved in advance if you would like to walk the trail prior to Friday and select your site. On Friday, it is first come first serve to fill the available sites along the trail.
If you are unable to install your fairy house during this drop off time, please contact us to make other arrangements. You may return to collect your fairy house exhibit any time after 4 p.m. on Sunday.
Each year tour-goers like to know who builds which exhibit. In order to identify your exhibit along the Fairy Trail, please be sure to create a sign out of natural materials (i.e. handwriting on birch bark glued to a stick) that lists all the names of the Fairy Builders in your group. If you have given your exhibit a specific title, please make a second sign out of natural materials to share this with the viewer. Bring these signs with you and install them nearby your Fairy House Exhibit.
All registered Fairy Builders will be listed in our festival program and will receive 2 free tickets (for a child and an adult) to attend the event. Plus, your name will be entered in a raffle for Fairy Builders to win a Fairy House Festival t-shirt.
The name of the person who registered to build an exhibit will be on the FIP (Fairy Important Person) List at the Fairy House Festival Ticket Table during this weekend event; please check in at this table at the event to receive your Fairy House Builder badge.
Thank you for spreading your wings and flying with The Nature Museum. We delight in the annual Fairy House Festival, when the gateway to the magical world of nature is wide open and we invite people of all ages to interact directly with the Vermont landscape, expressing their creativity while fostering a deeper relationship with the natural world
Tips for Builders, Please Keep These Guidelines in Mind
Please use natural materials – feathers, dry grasses, leaves, sticks, pebbles, shells, bark from a fallen tree, milkweed, moss, nuts, pods, acorns, berries, gourds, miniature pumpkins, pinecones.
All fairy houses must appear to be made entirely of natural components. Hot glue, acrylic spray, natural twine and other man-made items can be used but should be concealed by natural elements.
Platforms or man-made support materials can be used for easier delivery and transport, but must be concealed with natural materials when installed on-site. There are a limited number of tree cookies available to builders from The Nature Museum. Please inquire about getting one to use as a foundation for your structure.
Try to avoid using any reproductive materials (such as roots or seed pods) from invasive plant species that could spread the unwanted invasive plant.
Houses may be any size and the theme of the house may be anything you wish.
Please do not use any items of value in the houses.
Please keep in mind that edible materials (such as nuts or seeds) will attract woodland creatures other than fairies.
Notes For Collectors — Help Us Build a Collection for the Builders!
Calling all collectors! Our Fairy House Building Station is one of our many wonderful activities for visitors to enjoy during our festival. Here, folks can grab a bucket and choose from all kinds of supplies to make their own fairy house among our garden and meadow. This isn't possible without your help! Collecting these magical natural items is a big task and your help is invaluable!
Some examples of items we accept include small stones/pebbles, acorns, other tree nuts, dried reeds/grasses, small sticks/twigs, seashells, dried flowers, pine cones, small tree cookies, dried moss, native vines, tree bark, and much more!
Things we please ask that you don't donate include dangerous or invasive plant species (Japanese knotweed, oriental bittersweet, Chinese lantern seeds, poison ivy vine, stinging nettle, plants with thorns, etc.), large items (stumps, logs, bushes), and anything else that could be dangerous, cumbersome, or difficult to break apart.
If items can be cut/broken up into grab-able sizes, great! But, we're not picky. Items can be dropped off at the museum at any time, even if we're not open. The Nature Museum (and fairies) thank you for your support!