Follow the red, winding, up-and-down, tree-covered road? That's just what many a family and child at Sacramento's Fairytale Town have done on the storybook park's beloved Crooked Mile.
The Crooked Mile is one of Fairytale Town's original playsets, and it opened on the Land Park grounds on Aug. 29, 1959, according to the park's site. The Crooked Mile was inspired by one of Mother Goose's more obscure nursery rhymes, "There Was a Crooked Man." The English rhyme reads:
"There was a crooked man, and he walked a crooked mile.
He found a crooked sixpence upon a crooked stile.
He bought a crooked cat, which caught a crooked mouse,
And they all lived together in a little crooked house."
A few of the many storybook parks that opened in the 1950s — after the success of Disneyland — have or have had Crooked Houses inspired by the rhyme. But Fairytale Town's Marketing and Membership Manager Kathleen Richards said she does not know of another park that has a Crooked Mile like Sacramento's.
The premise of the playset is simple — it's nothing more than a raised, winding walkway lined with greenery — but it's one of park visitors' favorites nonetheless, according to Fairytale Town Executive Director Kathy Fleming.
"It's a very simple thing, just a raised walkway, but kids make everything about it magical," Fleming said.
Adults require child supervision to enter the park and will not be allowed to enter without a child being with them, according to a sign at the park's gates. Parents are welcome on the Crooked Mile with their children, and kids under 5 aren't allowed on it without parent supervision.
Fairytale Town is open daily from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. through the spring and summer (March-October) and Thursday-Sunday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. in the winter and fall (November-February). Admission to the park is $5 for parents and kids on weekdays and $6 on weekends. The park closes when it rains, so make sure to check the weather before planning your visit.