The Elf Fantasy Fair is a two-day event taking place twice a year in The Netherlands. The April edition is on the grounds of Kasteel de Haar in Haarzuilens. In September, it is held at Kasteeltuinen Arcen.
The theme this year is Good Fairies – Bad Fairies. While this changes annually, core events remain the same with most visitors dressing up in simple to elaborate costumes. Along with watching or trying role playing games, crafts, dancing, storytelling, parades, music, archery, readings and book signings by famous fantasy authors, you can tour this castle which has a moat, and picnic in the woods and gardens among the many strange inhabitants. They might remind you of characters in stories you read or movies you saw.
The castle is family-owned. On the tour, we were told the family has had several famous visitors. It’s stunning inside and has modern conveniences. I can daydream about being 12 years old with free reign of it to explore the turrets and hallways and the enormous numbers of rooms and take in the view from all the windows. It would take all day.
There are stalls with related items for sale. Among the handcrafts available are leather goods and jewelry. There are craft supplies, books and clothing in shops to entice you on your way around the grounds. The food trends to healthy and delicious. Tip: bring your own snacks and drinks and augment them with Elf Fair fare.
The Elf Fair in Haarzuilens is reachable by train and a shuttle bus service. In spring, Kasteel de Haar is magical with everything in fresh green around it. You could easily imagine yourself in a fairy tale. If you want to go this year, you can try the atmosphere in the fall at Kasteeltuinen Arcen.
Here are some pictures from this spring.