Sunday, June 9, 2013

Clark's Eliok Farm (The Enchanted Forest)

I remember being a little girl with a key in a nursery-rhyme or fairy-tale park. I inserted the key into boxes that played audio recordings of rhymes or stories related to the characters or structures in question.

Neither my parents nor my aunt can tell me where I was. I've searched extensively on the Internet, and, to this day, there are fairy-tale parks in Oakland and Sacramento with this feature. We lived in California for a summer when I was five, but in Fresno; I doubt our parents would've driven three hours to take us to a fairy-tale park.

If you know of a defunct fairy-tale or nursery-rhyme park on the east coast (especially Pennsylvania or Maryland) that had keys and story boxes in the late 70's or early 80's, please do share. 

Last weekend, Jim, Erin Quigley, and I took the children to Clark's Eliok Farm in Ellicott City, Maryland, which houses many of the characters and structures from the Enchanted Forest. They didn't trigger any childhood memories, but I loved them. Virginia's Mark Cline (my very own hero) helped restore Humpty Dumpty and Willie the Whale. (To see a photo of Willie the Whale, Happygirl, and me, click here.)

I'm a sucker for a giant pumpkin, especially. And a giant shoe! I love a giant shoe! 

This shoe has a slide inside...

Jim liked Toots the Tugboat best; he really was on the water: Here's a photo of Cade looking out Toots's eye:

Lots of vintage structures, lots of vintage characters:

Mother Goose (w/ a slide) is vintage, not EEQ, who's still a spring chick.

Dioramas (my favorite was Sleeping Beauty):

Wooden cut-outs:

Barrel-car rides, hayrides, horse rides (for small, additional fees)...oh, my:

We visited Clark's Eliok Farm for over four hours and didn't even mine for gems or check out the maze. I'll definitely return before the little kids outgrow this sort of fun, especially given the inexpensive admission ($5/person) and our open invitation to stay at Hotel Quigley. I was enchanted, for sure.


  1. sweetheart! Fresno does have a fairy tale park and you DO put a key in the box to hear the story.
    Another reason to visit.

    1. I don't think I knew where in CA you are until just now, and honestly I didn't think about the possibility that the park I visited was in CA until I started trying to find a similar one near my childhood home and couldn't. Seems like all the parks like that are out there? So maybe that really is the answer. Maybe that really is the park! I'll have to show my mom and dad some photos and revisit the topic with them. I would love to come and visit! I'd love to do a fairy-tale park tour of CA, to be honest. Y'all have it going on out there!

  2. ooooh what an amazing place to visit, Brandee! I'm so jealous, hehe...