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Whimzeyland in Safety Harbor, Florida, is an excellent feat of creativity and inspiration. While this incredibly enthralling project is still a forever work in progress, it is a magnificent house that offers visitors a sense of joy, well, creativity, and Whimsey. Plan a visit to Tampa, St. Petersburg, and explore this spectacular architectural and creative landmark.
Safety Harbor, Florida or also known as “Bowling Ball House,” houses a colorful oasis with a distinctively furnished exterior. The owners of the house are Todd and Kiaralinda, who have been working on it for over twenty years. Originally known simply as the “Bowling Ball House,” the home features more than 500 painted balls littering the yard in many formations.
Moreover, stacks, pyramids, and walls of bowling balls beautify the grounds, bordered by a dizzying landscape of colors created by the recycled art all around. In addition, rainbow mosaic pathways, gardens made of colorful bottles, and bright ceramic sculptures create an otherworldly atmosphere. Furthermore, the house also features a gallery that houses decorated bowling balls donated by other artists.
We heard about Whimzeyland for years but never had a chance to explore it in person. However, since photos of the house are worth a thousand words, we decided to make Safety Harbor a pitstop during our trip to Dunedin. So, here is a sneak peek of the experience that we had at Whimzeyland.
Our Arrival at Whimzeyland, Safety Harbor, Florida
As soon as we arrived at 1206 3rd St. N in Safety Harbor, we had no clue what to expect at the Ball Bowling House. Interestingly, while Whimzeyland had been featured in various magazines and TV shows, we were still uncertain what we would discover. We didn’t even know where we should park our vehicle or if we would be fined for trespassing. At the time of our visit, the owners were busy on the roads doing shows and art festivals, so we were very cautious.
We were very cautious and decided to park our vehicle on the street, even though the house had a mulch parking area. As soon as we got out of our car, a wonderful world of Mardi Grass Beads and large jester head sculptures greeted us. Although we were reluctant to roam freely at first, it became apparent that the owners are very welcoming – even to unexpected visitors like us.
Gorgeous Gardens and Kitschy Décor
The entire Bowling Ball House offers an enthralling experience. In addition to hundreds of bowling balls bordering the flowerbeds, vibrant mosaic sidewalks look charming, leading visitors through the gardens. It is also a place where you will find palm and bottle trees living in peace and harmony.
The mosaic tiles refreshed the memories of a cross between the Wizard of Oz and our exciting trip to Barcelona. The whole place was incredibly bright and cheery, and we found ourselves smiling as we moved along the path.
Gift Shop at Whimzeyland
Just right of the entrance, you will discover a welcoming multi-purpose outdoor place. Since we were so overwhelmingly delighted and forgot that we were in someone’s home, not in a museum, we thought it was a gift shop. However, it was a covered porch that seemed reserved for creating art, dining, enjoying music sessions, etc.
The place is a perfect place and lets visitors roam in awe. There is also an opportunity to pick up a postcard and enjoy the Safety Harbor Art and Music Center (SHAMc). It is started by the homeowners and one of their friends.
Since we were unexpected guests, we were hesitant to peak in windows as we weren’t sure if someone was staying in the house or cottage. However, because of our entire itinerary for the day, we could not do a complete story on the Whimzeyland and the people behind all this.
Amazing Bowling Balls of Whimzeyland
Hundreds of bowling balls of Whimzeyland are one of its most significant charms. Regardless of where you roam in the house, you will find something fun to see. It is genuinely remarkable to see how they made and used bowling balls as garden separators. You will also find hundreds of balls left by visitors who knew the owners would put them to good use.
The entire house is genuinely a visual feast, and the owners have created an incredible mixture of Florida’s attractive landscaping and original art. As a visitor, you will find it unique, innovative, and creative that this community embraces it.
Moreover, besides being an incredibly charming place, visitors can also learn and get new ideas on how to recycle everyday-use items and transform them into beautiful works of art. For instance, the colorful bottle gardens are easy to create and inspire.
The place will also leave you wondering how adding a bit of color can have such a huge difference. In fact, the atmosphere of Whimzeyland feels like you are celebrating Christmas, Easter, or your birthday. So, if you plan a trip to Pinellas County, add Todd and Kiaralinda’s amazing house to your itinerary.
Downtown Safety Harbor Main Street
Safety Harbor is a picturesque town with a beautiful main street. The street is filled with restaurants, shops, bars, and local parks. Visitors have the opportunity to enjoy monthly festivals with celebrations, food, and music. In addition, the town also presents an arts and crafts fair and farmer’s market.
Exploring the main street in the evening is an excellent idea. You will find many restaurants offering a variety of food options, including chicken, pork, steak, vegetarian, seafood, and specialty desserts. Visitors come from all around to explore an array of bars lining the street.
Moreover, if events are what you are searching for, Safety Harbor is the destination. Every third Friday, the street is packed with happy visitors and vendors. The sound of the crowd and the smell of the food make this an exciting program every month.
The downtown area of Safety Harbor is one of the hidden treasures of Pinellas County. It is a quaint and compact downtown area located northeast corner of the peninsula with beautiful old oak trees. On Main Street, visitors can find everything from fine art to antiques.
Furthermore, the Farmers’ Market is also a must-discovering for visitors. It is situated at the Gazebo at John Wilson Park and opens every Sunday from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. You can buy fresh Florida vegetables and fruits, plants, flowers, baked goods, and more.
Safety Harbor Art and Music Center (SHAMc)
SHAMc is a non-profit organization that aims to share knowledge of and education in visual arts, fine arts, and performing arts. In addition to creating an enthralling bowling ball house, Safety Harbor Art and Music Center was also a life-long dream for Todd, Kiaralinda, and Heather Richardson.
Thanks to the Pepsi Refresh Grant (PRG), as well as the support of the community, the founders were able to initiate the transformation of the Rigsby House into Safety Harbor Art and Music Center. After acquiring the property, the founders have now created their dream center. It is a place where people gather to celebrate art.
The quiet town of Safety Harbor houses one of the most surprising attractions and a vibrantly colored house – Whimzeyland. Overflowing with bright, happy colors and gardens made of colorful recycled bottles, Whimzeyland invites visitors to take a mesmerizing walk along its rainbow mosaic pathways and explore a landscape you have never seen in Florida.
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