If you’re headed to California, one new attraction at The Flower Fields in Carlsbad is a whimsical playground with fixtures from the Santa’s Village theme park. Co-owner Paul Ecke III purchased the buildings and giant mushrooms in an auction, outbidding Paul Reubens, the actor who played Pee Wee Herman.
“I am really excited about sharing (the buildings) with the next generation of kids,” Ecke says, discussing the three structures and 11 mushrooms he bought in the auction in 1998. For several years the pieces were displayed in his sister’s yard.
Ecke loved going to the amusement park near Lake Arrowhead when he was a child and wanted to own a piece of it when it closed. He hopes other Baby Boomers like himself will want to come to The Flower Fields to show their children and grandchildren the mushrooms and tiny buildings.
Stretched out across 50 acres just east of I-5, The Flower Fields attracts 150,000 visitors annually. At the base of the hills full of thousands of ranunculus flowers is an Armstrong’s Garden Center. Thanks to a series of winter rains, the blooms are about 25 percent larger, says Fred Clark, general manager.
As a tourist attraction, The Flower Fields is open from March 1 to May 12 from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily. Admission is $9 for adults, $8 for seniors and $5 for children ages 3 to 10.
For more information, visit www.theflowerfields.com.