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Baking, crafting, mama-ing and taking photos of it all. When I remember.

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Day trips with children: Portsmouth Fairy House Tour

Travels with kids! Always fun, right?


On a whim (or…reasons*) I decided to take the kids to Portsmouth on Sunday. I Googled “things to do with kids in Portsmouth” and, lo and behold! The Portsmouth Fairy House Tour just happened to be this past weekend! And my children are completely enamored of fairy houses! Win!

We had an uneventful drive down, with lots of the usual are-we-there-yets and how-much-more-highway-is-theres and please-be-quiet-mama-doesn’t-know-where-she’s-goings.

The arc of our trip went something like this:

What a beautiful day! Isn’t Portsmouth a cute town! I wonder where this fairy house tour is? I think we need to go that way… Look! Dancing fairies! OMG tiny dancing fairies! They’re so cute! So…where are the fairy houses? Oh, lunch, huh? Let’s go find our friends…

Finally find Strawbery Banke. Buy tickets. Get terrible map.

Let’s eat hot dogs! Yeah, you guys like hot dogs! Lady at hot dog stand: “We’re out of hot dogs for right now! I think there’s PBJ inside?”

Head inside. Find friends. Likely scare friend by thrusting map at her and begging for help deciphering it. There is not PBJ inside, but instead lots of delicious-sounding things I know my kids will not eat, especially not for $8.50.

Um. Food. We need food. And a better map.

Head back outside. Try harder to decipher terrible map. Finally get an inkling of what’s where. Event nearly over.

Look, guys, bubbles! Oh, now there’s hot dogs! Let’s eat! Yeah!

H stuffs a too-giant bite into his mouth, gags, spits it all out. $*%&^&#*

OK. Fairy houses! Look there’s one! Look, more! Look! Look! Look! E, “Oh! Mama! This one here must have slept late! We must be quiet so we don’t wake her!” This one is so detailed! OMG, dragonflies made of oak seeds! Tiny windows! Bitty chairs! This is amazing!

See a group of adult fairies I’m pretty sure are in drag. E, “Oh, mama, those fairies are so beautiful!”

Cotton candy cotton candy cotton candy cotton candy, mama, pleeeeease cotton candy! I buy cotton candy fairy floss. The kids turn blue.

Let’s head over to the gardens. Oh, fairy flowers! Let’s look at the water! Ooh, an island! Ooooh, a playground! Oooooh, mama, another island! Maybe it has four trees!

Remember, we have to walk all the way back to the car…

H staggers along. I finally pick him up. He’s a small largish warm inert lump. With wings. I can barely stagger myself, under his weight.

Let’s get going guys! Feel free to fall asleep!

They do. I only take a few wrong turns trying to get on the highway.

* * * * * * *

All in all, a really fun trip, despite the technical difficulties acquiring food and the terrible (really…awful) map of the event. It was a gorgeous day – bright blue skies & cool breezes. The kids were real troopers with all the walking we did – 5 miles! Tiny legs! No wonder H was about to fall asleep standing up by the end. Would definitely do it again, perhaps with a little more planning than just discovering it the night before, on my phone, while lying in bed. But the magic, wonder & awe on their little faces as they looked for fairies in the gardens? Priceless.

*Ingress. In search of 300 UPVs for September. Almost there!


In a giant fairy house.

Spreading her fairy-butterfly wings.

This fairy house was AMAZING. 

It had a tiny window!

E was TOTALLY convinced this fairy was real. And asleep. Perhaps my favorite moment of the whole trip.

Fairy dome.

Fairies gotta bank too.

Cotton candy bigger than their heads.