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July 31, 2019 4 min read

Oaklandish and Fairyland are teaming up once again to host a night of pure imagination — for grownups only!

Children’s Fairyland in Oakland – the midcentury storybook theme park on the shores of Lake Merritt – is a magical family destination that stimulates a young child’s creativity, imagination, and desire to learn. Famous for its storybook sets, puppet shows, gardens, and animals, Fairyland provides free admission and educational programs for thousands of children from underserved communities every year.

And yet for many Oaklanders, Fairyland is shrouded in mystery. Most of the time, Fairyland is off-limits to adults unless they’re accompanied by a kid. But on Friday, August 16, from 7 to 10 p.m., #Fairyland4GrownUps will give adults 21+ (only) a chance to experience the magic of this Oakland icon!

Get your posse together! Tickets for the 9th annual #Fairyland4Grownups will go on sale at the downtown Oaklandish store at 10 a.m. on Saturday, July 20.*

Enjoy tunes by DJ Dion Decibels in the park’s Old West Junction, local brews, performances, and more!

*This is a popular once-a-year event and is expected to sell out! There are no limits to how many tickets a person can buy. Any tickets remaining after the weekend will then be made available for sale online.

Questions? We have answers:

When and where is this happening? 
Fairyland will open for grownups 21+ on Friday, August 16, from 7 to 10 p.m. You will enter at the main “fairy” gates (behind the big shoe) at 699 Bellevue Avenue in Oakland. Visit the Fairyland website for directions: fairyland.org

Where and when can I pick up Will Call tickets? If you purchased your tickets online, look for the Will Call pop-up tent outside the Fairyland entrance. It will open at 6 p.m. on the day of the event. The tickets will be under the last name of the purchaser, and we will ask for valid ID at pickup. Please note: you will not be able to leave tickets for your friends with us at Will Call. Parties should plan to arrive together. However, there are ins and outs so you will be able to meet late-arriving friends at the gate to give them their tickets.

What time should I arrive? Early! We will start pre-screening folks at 6:30 so that you can enter the gates right at 7 p.m. for the full experience. Please have your ID and ticket ready at pre-screen so we can speed things along. There will be a bag check. No glass containers or beverages of any kind are permitted. Please leave unnecessary items at home.

How will I get there? It’s up to you, but we highly encourage you to take public transportation or a ridesharing service. Check the Fairyland website for specific directions.

If you drive:

On Bellevue Avenue next to Fairyland, there is limited parking. Bring $2 to pay for your spot;

There is also limited metered parking in the neighborhood which is free after 6 p.m.;

At the Kaiser Center Garage at 300 Lakeside Drive, there is parking from 4:30 p.m. until midnight that costs $7. It’s about a six-minute walk from the garage to Fairyland.

What’s actually happening at the party? There will be a giant dance party over in the Old West Junction, presided over by DJ Dion Decibels. There will also be puppet shows and other surprise attractions around the park. We’ll have beer and wine, and a bunch of Oakland’s finest food vendors will be slinging snacks on the grass! The best part: you’ll be allowed to explore the entire park, from Willie the Whale to the Alice in Wonderland Maze.

Will I be able to get on the rides? Sorry, no, the rides won’t be operating. You also won’t be able to go to the top of the pirate ship or go down the dragon slide because they were designed to only hold young children.

Which local food and drink vendors should I expect to see there? We’re still adding more options, but confirmed are: Fairyland’s own Johnny Appleseed Cafe, ­­­­­Tacos Sinaloa, Izzy’s Cheesesteak, Ale Industries, and Urban Legend Cellars.

How much do tickets cost and when can I get them? Tickets are $35/person and include two beer/wine tickets. Tickets will be available for in-store purchase at the Oaklandish downtown store on Saturday, July 20, at 10am, with any remaining tickets available for sale online on Tuesday, July 23. There won’t be any extras for sale at the gate. Remember that this party is only for adults 21+.

Who benefits from this party? Proceeds help provide access to local children through free field trips and family memberships and support summer camp scholarships, hands-on science lessons with Fairyland’s animals, a renowned Children’s Theatre program, and more. Your participation helps keep these benefits flowing!

Do I need to bring anything? All you REALLY need to bring is your ticket and ID, but we’d recommend carrying some extra cash for food and Fairyland souvenirs. Fairyland will be selling their Magic Keys that activate the special Storybook Boxes around the park, and they’ll even have their steampunk-looking bronze-plated keys available! And since this is a kiddie park, please don’t bring anything you wouldn’t want a toddler picking up off the ground in the morning (like cigarette butts, glass bottles, etc.).

I bought a ticket, and now I can’t go to the party. Can I give my spot to a friend? Sure, if you want to give your physical ticket to someone else, no problem. Tickets and proof that the ticket-bearer is over 21 years old are all that are needed for entry. If you ordered your ticket(s) online, please email us at tickets@oaklandish.com with your name change at least 24 hours before the event starts.

Do I have to wear a costume? Not at all, but many people do. #Fairyland4Grownups accepts everyone, regardless of their attire. But, let’s be real… you know you’ll probably have more fun in a tutu.