Fairies don’t just exist in your books and dreams, they are real — and really close to some of your favorite places in Ann Arbor.
Little homes for these special creatures are located on the corners and allies of some of the most popular, local locations. Specifically, the coffee shops and theaters that some know best. When hunting for the little portals you can leave small gifts at the front steps of these entrances to let the fairies know that you were there and that they are appreciated. Some locations even have guestbooks nearby to ask questions or drop a visitation reflection.
Hunting for these local doors makes adventuring around town a fun experience for kids. Rejuvenate the magic of fairy tales by creating the mystical journey in real life. Below are ten of the urban fairy doors that remain today:
Door 1: Michigan Theater
The fairies can fly in and watch a movie, too! This door is located on the side of the entrance to the theater on State St. Don’t forget to stick a few thumb-sized popcorn pieces for the fairies too because both humans and fairies enjoy the entertainment offered by the theater.
Door 2: Sweetwaters Cafe
Fairies like their caffeine too! Next time you stop by Sweetwaters Cafe on 123 West Washington St. make sure you tap on the front door of the fairy home — a little caffeine fiend may answer! Located inside the cafe itself lies the little white door that is home to a family of fliers. While you are brainstorming, check out the little door on the brick wall.
Door 3: Ann Arbor District Library
Look for a good read, and a fairy might be there too. The little turquoise and ocean-blue door is located right on the left side of the book shelf in the Youth Library department. Specifically, in the back wall of the “Folktale and Fairytale” section where you can learn more about these magical creatures while getting the chance to see their own home.
Door 4: Ann Arbor Sewing Center
This door is SEW cool! If you are a girly girl or appreciate a little pink in your life, then check out this polished fairy door. At the Ann Arbor Sewing Center on 5235 Jackson Road, you can discover a hidden home right by the cash register at the checkout. Grab your sewing supplies and even create a project of your own for the flying fairies around Ann Arbor!
Door 5: The Ark
Warning: goblins are in town! Tread lightly as you discover the goblin door with a miniature tombstone right on its front steps. Find the home of these ghoulish creatures, which is located to the left of the exterior door leading to the ticket booth, at the Ark on 316 S. Main St.
Door 6: The Red Shoes
A little red door stands outside the bigger door leading to a place that prides itself on being “no place like home.” The little, circular-edged fairy door has a glass window in the front panel and white steps.
Sometimes, visitors can also find a tiny red car or toy soldier battle from the playful fairies. To discover this little red, head south on South Ashley Street (332 S. Ashley) and arrive at The Red Shoes store for your surprise.
Door 7: MOTT Hospital
For smiles, the fairies have arrived at the place where they can brighten your day. Inside the new C.S. Mott’s Children Hospital and the Voigtlander Women’s Hospital, you can find a happy home for fairies that cast their contagious happy spells. They even created their own “wing wing” on the front of the door where they take their “spellevator” to their new wing of the hospital.
You will see a sign that says “Floor 2 ½” by the “Urban Fairies Operation’s Operator’s Hospitable Fixumupatorium” where they are said to help the “Faireez, Insectz, Burdz, and Batz” of all needs.
Door 8: Jefferson Market and Sweetery
Have your cake and see a creature too! A little yellow cupcake sits atop the yellow fairy door at the Jefferson Market and Sweetery. While enjoying your baked goods, check out the sweet and eyefull-tasty fairy door that is located at the bottom of the main bakery counter. The market is located on the old west side of Ann Arbor at 609 W Jefferson St. Have a tasteful adventure!
Door 9: Google Headquarters
Little fairies, big company. The “Giggle Crew” has planted their location at the 5th floor of the Google office building, across from the elevators. Look closely and you will see a “Giggle” logo in exactly the same font as Google, yet it’s a fairy-only entrance. It’s aluminum porch and threshold support the clear, plastic door. Google says “Don’t be evil” but the fairies have arrived to make that statement true, sprinkling their magic across the headquarters.
Door 10: Nicola’s Books
Fairies love their fairy tales — so much that they decided to bring some near to their home! Up on the mantle of the fireplace at Nicola’s Books, which is located at 2509 Jackson Ave. in the Westgate Shopping Center, lies the home for the book-smart fairies who stay close to a good book. Right in the corner of the mantel is the oak brown door that blends in ever-so-nicely with the wall.
The two books Andersen’s Fairy Tales and Cinderella and other Classic Italian Fairy Tales are columns to the great little escape. Cozy up with a book by the fireplace and feel the magic as the friends are nearby too.
Find more of the urban fairy doors at other locations in Michigan. Fly fast because they are always changing! This post was originally published in 2022 and is updated regularly.
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