Which raffle basket will you try to snag at the Fairy House Festival?

This year, the Nature Museum is raffling off seven baskets brimming with local gifts and food items. Visit "The Second Nature Shop" next to the Arts & Crafts tent during the Fairy House Festival to see these overflowing prizes and buy raffle tickets for your chance to win one of these themed baskets. All proceeds directly benefit the museum's mission to connect people to nature. Raffle tickets will be sold on Saturday and Sunday throughout the Festival. 

Raffle ticket prices are 1 for $2, 3 for $5, and 7 for $10. Raffle winners do not need to be present at the drawing to win, but will need to make their own arrangements to return and pick up their winning basket at The Nature Museum. Drawings for raffle winners will be held on Sunday, September 24th at 4:15 p.m at the Fairy Shoppe.

Fairy House Basket

Our Fairy House Basket is filled with everything you need to create your own fairy magic at home.  The basket includes a set of fairy wings and glitter fairy tattoos, four fairy-themed books—"Fairy Animals", "Fairy Flight", and "The Fairy House Handbook", and "Fairy Bible", and fairy wind chimes and three sweet fairy figurines for your home or garden. 

Nature Basket

Get out and reconnect with the natural world with our nature basket!  Enjoy a variety of nature-themed books—including Beekeeping for DummiesConservancy by Richard Brewer, Aviary Wonders, A Mammal Tracks and Scat Guide, a Mushroom identification guide— plus a decomposition notebook, bird mazes, an eco-friendly mosquito repellent bracelet, a wooden owl pen, Sunflower garden seeds, bug goggles, and a gift certificate to Erskines!

Seventh Generation Baskets

Earth lovers will also love our two Seventh Generation baskets, which offers a variety of eco-friendly cleaning and household supplies.

Cheese Basket

For the cheese lover, our cheese basket offers a variety of cheeses from Grafton Village Cheese Company, featuring truffle cheddar, maple smoked cheddar, and smoked-chili cheddar cheeses, among others.

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Local Meat Basket

Thank you to Black River Produce for their donation of locally raised steaks and burgers for our local meat basket. Selections include ground beef patties and NY Strip Steak.

Local Foods Basket

Explore a variety of local food venues and tasty treats in our local foods basket which includes gift certificates to Shona's Grill and the Flat Iron Exchange, local goodies from the MKT: Grafton, and jams and chutneys from Blake Hill Preserves.

Vendors Ramp Up for Another Exciting Fairy House Fest!

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We are delighted to have several vendors participating in the the Fairy House Festival taking place NEXT weekend, September 23rd-24th. 

With the fairy trail and all of the other activities and excitement of the festival, it's very easy to build up an appetite. While we welcome folks to pack a picnic lunch, you may wish to save room instead for the fresh fare on offer from two special locally-based food vendors participating in the festival.

As a big believer in magic, our store is thrilled to be serving up goodness at the Fairy House Festival! The festival weekend turns our little town into a whimsical, wonderful adventure and is one of our team’s favorite events of the year!
— Ali Hartman, Owner, MKT:Grafton

It doesn't get more local than MKT: Grafton.  The modern general store, located on Grafton's Main Street, will be selling an assortment of delicious fare at the festival this year. Lunch will be served both days from 11am-3pm at their festival booth.

Returning vendor Jamaican Jewelz Catering, based out of Rockingham, will be serving a selection of freshly prepared plates, including jerk chicken and other Jamaican cuisine favorites. 

And stop by our own refreshments tent where we will be selling fresh popped popcorn, cold seltzer water, and delicious locally made ice cream sourced by Rushton Farms, Grafton, VT. 

In addition to all the tasty fare that will be available at the festival, we are excited to welcome back two talented art-minded vendors. Body artist and face painter extraordinaire Mona Frye of Handpainted By Mona of Springfield will be back to bring joy to the faces of festival-goers. Chester favorite, Community Art Garden, will be back; owner Emily Burkland will be offering her signature hair feathers. 

Festival tickets are on sale now; take advantage of our reduced advanced tickets and save! Have questions about the fest? Check out our FAQ page. 

The Nature Museum and our vendors can't wait to welcome you to the fest! See you soon!

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We are still on the lookout for Fairy House Festival volunteers for Sunday, September 24th!

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We asked for volunteers for this year's fest and you all came through! Thank you! We are still on the lookout for a few more helpful folks for Sunday, September 24th. Are you available to help us?

Volunteers receive a free Fairy House t-shirt and entrance ticket! 

A few quick things we should note:

  • Do you have any special requests to work in a specific Fairy Department? Tell us in the comments on your application. Volunteers work in the Arts & Crafts tent, serving refreshments and behind the scenes. 
  • We do consider special requests for job assignments but placement is not guaranteed. Positions are filled according to the discretion of the Volunteer Crew Leader. Volunteers should be flexible and open to unpredictable changes that often arise despite well laid plans.
  • Volunteers are trained in their specific job duties when you arrive at your work station.
  • Please check-in 15 minutes early for your shift to check in at the Front Desk of The Nature Museum and change into your blue volunteer Fairy House Festival t-shirt. You may use your free admission to enter the festival on the day that you are volunteering either before or after your work shift.

Thank you so much for your interest in volunteering with The Fairy House Festival. Staff will contact you by email or telephone to confirm your volunteer job and your specific work shift as soon as possible prior to the festival. Please let us know if you're available to volunteer Sunday by filling out the form below. Thanks in advance!

Purchase Your Fairy House Festival Tickets Online in Advance and Save!

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The 2017 Fairy House Festival is rapidly approaching and we are busy pulling it all together! We couldn't do it without all of the hard work from our staff and the volunteers who come out of the woodwork to help us pull off our largest fundraiser of the year. We are expecting over 1,500 visitors to our corner of Grafton on Saturday, September 23rd and Sunday, September 24th. 

This is truly an all ages event; small children will enjoy the massive bubble blowing in the meadow and having their face painted. Older kids can tackle a craft or two and even build their own impromptu fairy house from materials we provide. And of course, there are the fairy houses; they are placed throughout the woods on a gentle path and their creativity will blow you away. 

It's such a special positive day for kids and adults alike; we really hope you can make it. As a non-profit, we rely heavily on funds raised from events like the Fairy House Festival to continue our work bringing nature education to the larger community that we serve. 

So make a day of it! We will have a select group of food vendors, but you are also welcome to pack a picnic lunch and make use of our picnic tables or spread out a blanket. 

Ticket prices are as follows; note that a family of four saves $6 when they purchase their tickets in advance online. 

Advanced ticket prices: $10 adults, $8 seniors, (64+) $4 children (3-17), under 2 free
Day-of, at the gate: $12 adults, $10 seniors (64+), $5 children (3-17), under 2 free

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Twigs & Stems // September 2017

Here are a few links from around the web that caught our attention in recent weeks. Have you seen something that stuck with you that you'd like to share? Post it in the comments! Love what you see here? Follow us on Facebook, as we often post these goodies as we find them. 


47 Mesmerizing Photos of Animals National Geographic

47 Mesmerizing Photos of Animals
National Geographic

Mighty Acorns Club for Ages 3-5: A New Time for a New Year!

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There's such ease associated with getting outside with kids in the summer in Vermont. Short hikes, dips in local swimming holes, and forays to local lakes and ponds are literally (and luckily!) just outside our doorsteps. Summer is a fertile time for instilling a love for the outdoors; but the onset of fall and its cooler temps shouldn't mean the end to all of this natural fun.

Our Mighty Acorns Club starts up again this month with a new slate of nature programming for children ages 3-5 and a caregiver. As in years past, we will offer a special program every month (September-June) suited to these youngest naturalists. Even as temperatures steadily fall moving from fall into winter, we will bundle up and get outside together as a group after being introduced to a different topic each session indoors with our environmental educator Jay DeGregorio. We even head out on snowshoes for our January session!

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Based on feedback from past years, we have opted to shift the club's meeting to the second Friday of each month. That means our first "meeting" is this Friday! It will be a joyful morning full of all things fairy; participants will try their hand at crafting fairy houses and structures. The  9th Annual Fairy House Festival is just around the corner and this Mighty Acorns session is a splendid way to build excitement for the littlest festival goers. 

We welcome drop-ins to Mighty Acorns, but appreciate an RSVP if you know you can make it for our planning purposes. And if you're keen—sign up for multiple sessions with one easy registration form. Mighty Acorns is $5 per child; explore the museum and the surrounding woods at your leisure after the program. We even have special kits that you can check out to embark on further explorations after the programs ends. 

We hope you can join us Friday!

Sign Up Online

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What Could That Milkweed Pod Be?

By Laurie Danforth, Board President

FAIRY furniture, homes, cider mills, libraries, spas, schools, an amusement park or even a disco!  The building blitz is about to begin and we need fairy builders AND foragers!  As Fall approaches it is time for gardens to be cleaned and put to bed.  Cutting back astilbe, daylilies stems, kalmia branches, and many other garden plants that have expended all their energy during summer’s blaze of color makes for perfect building materials for the imaginative work of participants in The Nature Museum’s Fairy House Festival.

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In 2008 when I was first introduced to the concept of a fairy house, I truly had no idea what one was or how one would go about getting other people to build them or to attend a festival to see the homes.  Since then I have seen how our Fairy House Festival encourages folks to get outside and look at the small wonders of nature during the entire year and in every kind of habitat.  Since that original festival 9 years ago over 400 architects and builders of all ages have brought their immense creativity and love of nature to their exhibits.  From preschoolers to retirees there has been no limit to their magical designs.

The Fairy House Festival has grown to be The Nature Museum’s largest fun-raising fundraiser.

In the last two years alone over 2400 people from all over New England and even into Canada have made the festival a Fall destination.  Not only do we always have an outstanding fairy village beautifully exhibited along two woodland paths, but also we offer building materials for anyone who wants to try their hand at construction.  That is where foragers from every habitat are critical to the success of the festival.  Beaches, woods, gardens, rivers, lakes… they all offer possible building materials for magical fairy creations.

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As you meander this month in the woods or in your garden please consider collecting materials for others to build fairy creations….or build something yourself!  An acorn top can become a plate, an acorn a teapot, birch bark can become a roof or a sail, shells can be anything from bathtubs to lampshades…..you get the idea.  Drop off your gatherings in a box or bag any time on the front porch of The Nature Museum.  Let your imagination flow with the fairies!

Special thanks to Margo Matt, who has been an outstanding forager for fairy house supplies this summer! As Queen of the Fairies (complete with shocking pink wings) I look forward to sprinkling you with magic fairy dust and sending you on your way to one of the best outside nature events in all of Vermont.