On June 7, as the sun set on Clematis by Night, the much-anticipated “Fairy Tale Playhouses” were revealed. These child-size homes, reflecting beloved and popular fairy tales from all over the globe, are designed to entertain and educate, and were painted and adorned by local artists as part of the City of West Palm Beach’s “Summer in Paradise” (S.I.P.) The campaign is in partnership with Habitat for Humanity of Palm Beach County, whose mission is to build simple, decent and affordable housing for low to very low-income families around the world. Other key “Summer in Paradise” elements, including larger-than-life teacups and saucers, were also revealed.
“Our ‘Summer in Paradise’ campaign does an excellent job of offering residents and visitors non-stop fun and entertainment and, also, opportunities for families to make meaningful summer memories,” said West Palm Beach Mayor Jeri Muoio. “I am pleased with the campaigns’ continued focus on community partnerships, creativity, and philanthropy. This year’s ‘Summer in Paradise’ is sure to be another huge success, and I look forward to seeing everyone there!”
Each Fairy Tale Playhouse artist was paired with a local nonprofit, who assisted with the design and construction of the piece. Renata Rodrigues, a part of the Lot 23 artist-in-residence program, was partnered with the Arc of PBC, and put together a house inspired by Momotaro – The Adventures of the Little Peachling.
“All the cutouts attached to the playhouse were made by the artisans of the Arc. There are 3 gorgeous mosaic pieces and many hand painted flowers, stated Rodrigues. “It was great to being able to incorporate their work to the design, and I hope we can work together again in future projects.”
Photo opps and selfie spots are also a priority in this year’s “Summer in Paradise” lineup. The City brought back the “Big Storybook,” outlining all involved in the community activation, noting how each artist, fairy tale and nonprofit is paired. New this year are the “Mad Hatter Teacups,” which were once car tires that have been upcycled into cup and saucer sets spread on the Great Lawn. The installation was inspired by “Alice in Wonderland”’s famous tea.
Additional waterfront activities include: “StoryVille,” a create your own life-size fable activity; “FlaminGO Croquet,” complete with an “Alice in Wonderland” theme and flamingo mallets; and “Fairy Tale Trivia Tuesdays.” The Fairy Tale Playhouses are open daily from noon – 9 p.m. and all other activities nightly from 5 – 9 p.m. As is summer tradition, the City will also expand its Clematis by Night offerings, booking two times the bands and extending entertainment hours to 10 p.m.
“This is a local activation, with community at the heart,” said Mary Pinak, Community Events Manager for the City of West Palm Beach Department of Parks and Recreation. “Through the collaboration of 15 local nonprofits and 15 local artists, we have built something incredible – providing entertainment and a significant spotlight on affordable housing. We encourage everyone to come have a ‘sip’ of summer – see the playhouses, play the additional free games and enjoy all that the City of West Palm Beach has to offer.”
This year summer will also extend beyond the shore, as fans of the “Fairy Tale Playhouses” can get their additional fill by visiting two more child-size homes. The “Thumbelina” house, designed by internationally acclaimed artist Frankie Cihi, is sponsored by Related Companies and will delight small shoppers while on display on the square at CityPlace. At the end of the summer, it will be donated to Quantum House. For more information, please visit: cityplace.com/community.
Visitors wishing to try their luck on winning a playhouse can take visit the Palm Beach Outlets and register to win the Go Coastal Playhouse painted by artist Melissa Rinaldi on display there. For more information on how to register to win, please visit: palmbeachoutlets.com. Visitors can travel to both locations from the waterfront collection for free, via the City’s trolley system. For more information on stops, routes and frequency, please visit wpb.org/About/Transportation-Services.
The “Fairy Tale Playhouses” are on display on the West Palm Beach waterfront at 101 N. Clematis Street, West Palm Beach Florida, through July 26, when they will be auctioned off in support of charity.
The playhouses, and all on-going, daily activities, are free. For more information about “Summer in Paradise,” and other waterfront events, visit wpb.org/events, call 561-822-1515 or follow the City of West Palm Beach on Facebook @CityofWPB and on Twitter and Instagram @westpalmbch.