An elaborate fairy village hidden in the woods. A rock garden of castles. An enchanted forest. A mountaintop trail filled with gnomes and fairies. Check out some of these whimsical spots, which are only a short drive away, then extend the fun with some creative crafts at home.

Discover Tiny Doors

Legend says fairy doors are gateways to the world of fairies. Inspired by these doors, Atlanta artists have created bits of whimsical magic around town. Make up a scavenger hunt or take an afternoon to imagine what’s behind each door.

Secret Doors of Decatur 
Discover this series of over 30 miniature secret doors, each created a local artist. The doors are tucked in unexpected locations around Decatur.

Tiny Doors ATL
Explore Atlanta in an exciting way with a Tiny Doors ATL scavenger hunt. There are more than 20 themed doors across metro Atlanta, and the spots include small props, such as animals, books, plants and more. Find a map or join a bike tour online.

Invite Fairies to Your Yard

Make a Fairy Garden: Start with any shallow container, like a flowerpot, birdbath, wood box, or an old rimmed baking sheet. Fill it with a layer of soil and add moss, pebbles, small plants, shells and other natural items. Furnish the garden with more miniature pieces – a bench, tiny flowerpots, fencing made with sticks, small figurines, animals or dolls.

Create a Tiny Door: Use scraps of wood, craft sticks or even twigs to build a tiny door. You can paint it and add details like a doorknob, mailbox or a welcome mat. Place your tiny door in a spot that’s sure to attract a fairy. Jenny at The Gingerbread House has instructions for making a painted stone door, just the right size for a  fairy to visit!

Visit a Fairy Garden

Atlanta Botanical Garden – Gainesville
All aboard for fun in the Gainesville Garden! Located in the new Ada Mae Pass Ivester Children’s Garden, the Fairyland Trolley connects two fairy villages while passing magical fairy rings and houses.

Calhoun Rock Garden
Meander through this tranquil garden of miniature medieval stone villages, which was was created as a place of prayer. Built behind the Seventh-Day Adventist Church, the church members and caretakers of the rock garden designed the garden as a place for peace, prayer and reflection. Calhoun.

Halcyon Fairy Village

Halcyon Fairy Village
At the Halcyon Fairy Village, located off the Greenway in Forsyth County (exit 12 off 400), visitors are invited to move things around, bring their own fairy houses and decorations and creative touches to the fairy village. Tunnels, walkways, trees with faces, little tree stump chairs and more make it a place for imagination and creativity. Alpharetta.

Sawnee Mountain Fairy Trail
Not far from the start of the Sawnee Mountain Visitor Center is a wooded fairy trail with miniature houses, caves, and gem-covered meeting spots, perfect for fairies. The houses can be found in trees, off the trail, and in small clusters. Sometimes there are remnants left of fairy parties, meals and meetings. Cumming.

The Village at Indian Springs Enchanted Forest
The Village at Indian Springs Enchanted Forest was designed to pay homage to different areas of the world, including Asia, Africa, South America, Australia and Europe. Along the trail, visitors will discover gnomes, fairies and other tiny mystical creatures. In the middle of the gardens is a playground and a splash pad (open in late spring and summer). Flovilla.

Rock City
Rock City is home to countless fairies and gnomes. The Enchanted Trail features Gnome Valley, Fairyland Caverns and Mother Goose Village. Last year, a troll was sculpted out of a rock formation. And be on the lookout for tiny doors meant for fairies and gnomes. Lookout Mountain, Tenn.

Creative Fairy Fun

Fairy/Gnome Houses: Create simple gnome/fairy houses using just paper. Roll white paper into a tube and tape it. Cut out a tiny door from colored construction paper. Cut a circle from colored construction paper. Then cut a slit into the circle and tape to create a little mushroom roof. Cut out tiny circles and glue to the roof.

Fairy Wings: This craft can be made from white poster board and yarn. Draw large wings on the poster board, and cut out. Cut four holes (two in each wing). Thread the yarn in the holes, loop and tie to create straps so the wings can be worn. Decorate and color.

Little Flower Pot Gnomes: Tiny flower pots can be found at dollar/discount stores for this simple craft. Paint the flower pot. Use construction paper to form a hat, and white felt to make a beard. A small puff ball will be a nose.

Pixie Dust Popcorn: Start with popped corn and spread it in a shallow pan or on wax paper. then drizzle with melted white chocolate, drizzle it over the popcorn and then top it all with sprinkles.

Fairy Cakes: Make no-bake fairy cakes by cutting a purchased pound cake into cubes. Dip each cube in melted white or dark chocolate; place on a rack and add sprinkles or other fairy decorations. Let stand until firm. Find complete instructions at Real Advice Gal.

Clothespin Fairies
Create a fairy family using clothespins and basic craft supplies. Use peg-style clothespins and add facial features with paint or markers. Glue on yarn hair and add wings and clothes with scraps of fabric or colored paper. Emma at Kids Craft Room has full instructions.

Fairy Photo Session

Fairy fans of all ages can have a portrait session at Fairyography. Photographer Heather Larkin provides elegant dresses, wings, accessories and a makeup session for her fairy portraits. Athens. 706-338-4414.

Fairy Books

Flower Fairies Magical Doors by Cicely Barker (Warne, $15.69, ages 5-9). Take a peek inside fairies’ homes through eight paper doors. Each page has elaborate pop-ups and paper ephemera to open and explore.

Backyard Fairies by Phoebe Wahl (Knopf Books for Young Readers, $16.19, ages 3-7). A young girl searches for fairies in her backyard and the woods beyond, following clues and traces of magic.

Fairy Science by Ashley Spires (Crown Books for Young Readers, $12.39, ages 4-8). Ester, a budding fairy scientist, doesn’t believe in magic. When a forest mystery is discovered, can she solve it with science?

– Kristy MacKaben and Emily Webb

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