Children's Fairyland

In 1948 a farsighted Oakland nursery businessman and LMBC member, Arthur Navlet, saw an opportunity. He took the idea for a storybook theme park to the Lake Merritt Breakfast Club, outlining his vision: fairytale and storybook sets that young children could play on "and become part of", gentle farm and domestic animals, and live entertainment for the whole family. Galvanized by Navlet's presentation, the club members brought this proposal to Oakland's parks superintendent, William Penn Mott, Jr. (Mott would later be appointed the director of the national park service under President Reagan.) With Mott's support, the Breakfast Club and the citizens of Oakland raised $50,000 - then a huge sum for such a project - to build Children's Fairyland. Since 1950, Children's Fairyland has been delighting children and their parents with whimsical storybook sets, gentle rides, friendly animals, wonder-filled puppet shows, and inspired live entertainment. For more information, go to

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