On a sunny October day the air around the grounds of Florence Griswold Museum is filled with dragonflies darting by on gossamer wings. Yet as you wind your way through the Old Lyme museum's Wee Faerie Village, there's just enough fairy dust scattered about that you can imagine, if only for a moment, that perhaps they weren't dragonflies after all.
There's a sense of magic here in amongst these fantasy faerie homes. A peek inside each window offers a glimpse into another world. There are tiny rooms that sparkle with glitter, furnished with tables laid with teeny tea sets as if inviting a visitor to stay a while. And every house tells a story that is as unique as the artist or artists who created it.
The Wee Faerie Village, which the Florence Griswold Museum initially conceived of as a way to encourage visitors to explore the museum's lovely gardens and grounds by the Lieutenant River in 2009, is back by popular demand. When it first opened in 2009, it drew 10,800 visitors over three weeks in October.
"Normally, 60,000 is a good year for us," said exhibit organizer David Rau, museum director of education and outreach.
Despite its initial success, the museum changed the theme the following year to scarecrows in 2010 and to birdhouses in 2011. But people kept clamoring for faeries and so, this year, they're back.
There are 33 houses created by different artists and the museum is hosting dozens of special events built around the Wee Faerie Village in the Land of Picture Making theme until November 5.
Don't miss the Faerie Parade on Columbus Day. It starts at noon but there are creative dance lessons at 11:30 a.m., in case you want to glide through the gardens with a little style. Children 12 and under are admitted free to the Wee Faerie Village throughout the month, and faerie dress is encouraged!
You can find out more at www.FlorenceGriswoldMuseum.org.