Queen Califia's Magical Circle

Queen Califia's Magical Circle, Escondido: Hours, Address, Queen Califia's Magical Circle Reviews: 4.5/5

Queen Califia's Magical Circle

Queen Califia's Magical Circle
4.5
Monuments & Statues
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Tuesday
9:00 AM - 12:00 PM
Thursday
9:00 AM - 12:00 PM
Saturday
9:00 AM - 2:00 PM
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Detailed Reviews: Reviews order informed by descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as cleanliness, atmosphere, general tips and location information.

4.5
179 reviews
Excellent
112
Very good
48
Average
13
Poor
2
Terrible
4

Karin V
93 contributions
This exhibit was a bit hard to find, but well worth looking for. My husband and I both loved it. It is very unique. We have never seen anything like it. It is open very limited times so be sure and check times/days before going.
Written September 26, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

af3
San Diego, CA24 contributions
Never would one expect to find such a sculpture garden hidden away in Kit Carson Park in Escondido! Niki de Saint Phalle is noted for her brightly colored mosaic-covered pieces based on mythological creatures. She has truly created a special place for all ages to enjoy. Closed Mondays and rainy days, open 8:30 to dusk and free!
I love bringing friends here... even long-time San Diego residents are surprised and delighted to see such a jewel in our vicinity.
Written June 28, 2011
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

ireneniehorster
San Diego, CA5 contributions
Family
One of our favorite places in Escondido. This is a must for everyone in the family. Queen Califa's Magical Circle is a fabulous art installation by French sculptor, painter, model and film maker, Niki de Saint Phalle. In this monumental sculpture park, you will find yourself surrounded by a wall with huge snakes. In the middle of this colorful mosaic and mirror labyrinth there is a patio, and in its center there is a arched structure with an enormous Goddess in the center of it all. Inside this structure you can sit and enjoy the magical surroundings, and you might hear water trickling down the sides of an irridescent egg shaped water feature. You can admire fantastic sculptures of unique creatures, and everything here is covered with colorful tiles, clay hand prints, mosaic artworks and a lavish variety of shiny rocks and gems. Be prepared to be transported to a different world of colors and textures of monumental artistic proportions.
Written September 15, 2014
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

101travelers
Los Angeles, California208 contributions
Friends
I came upon this on a list of 100 Must See sites and it truly is magical! It really does help if you have GPS to make finding the location easier since it is a hidden gem. Once you get into the large park, drive down the road and make a right, then left at the smaller road. The entrance is near the far end of the lot. It is a short walk to the entrance. At first you won't see the sculptures but that is intended.
The beautiful colors and the sunlight glistening off the shiny stones and mirrored tiles make this one of the most fantastic sites ever! I would have gladly paid $10 to see this but it is FREE! What a wonderful gift by the artist and the city. I happened to be traveling to the area but specifically wanted to see this. The photos posted by other reviewers are fabulous but you will be blown away. The fantastic sculptural creatures and walls will bring out the child in everyone. The tiles are of every color imaginable and it is a joy to see as well as touch. The area is compact and accessible with level paths. There were children and adults and many spots to sit and take all the magic in. I took dozens of photos and we were probably only there about 30 minutes. It was sensory overload! Trust me, visiting QC Magical Circle will make a lasting impression on you. Please visit!
Written April 28, 2013
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

smarteconomist
San Diego, CA30 contributions
Nominally a children's garden, this installation of world-class statuary makes adults reflect. Viewable at several levels: children's bright shiny statues; adult interplay of colors and textures; Jungian archetypes solidified. One of 4 Niki Saint Phalle installations of great cost and thought; some of statuary will make you shudder if you understand and more will make you rejoice; but will not leave you unmoved. I am normally left cold, insensitive to most "art" but this grouping will stay with me for life. This emphasizes the origin of "California" and interplay of texture/material/composition/light in many ways.
Written November 25, 2009
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

MegDesc
Escondido, CA80 contributions
Family
OK, this is really cool. The whole sculpture park is unique. You can find samples of this artist's work around the world, and there are some in Balboa Park in San Diego. But Escondido has a whole garden! The problem is that the City is not good at maintaining this treasure. Even now, the garden is closed, and it has been for awhile, in order to repair some things. It needs to be fixed and opened again--you'll not find anything like it anywhere near!
Written August 9, 2014
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

749dileepb
Gig Harbor, WA113 contributions
Queen Califia's Magical Circle is a American sculpture garden created by French artist Niki de Saint Phalle. The garden consists of nine large-scale sculptures, a circular snake wall and maze entryway, artistic bench seating, and native shrubs and trees.

It is open to the public Tuesday and Thursday, 9 a.m. to noon, and on the 2nd and 4th Saturdays of each month, from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m
Written December 30, 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Susan M
Escondido, CA13 contributions
Family
This is a unique and gorgeous artistic garden of the imagination originated by international artist Niki de Saint Phalle. Unfortunately, she died the year before it opened and was not able to see the finished product. It took about 50 people working for 4 years to construct the garden made of very large creatures, and, of course, Queen Califia, covered in thousands of rocks, stones, and glass cut into amazing mosaic pieces. The park is only open Tuesday and Thursday mornings from 9am-12noon. There are volunteers there to tell you about the artist and her work and, particularly, about the garden. This is truly a gift to the public and a "must see" if you are in the Escondido area. If you want to see it "sparkle", then go on a sunny day! Children and adults alike will wonder at the magic of this "garden"! Kit Carson Park is near the Westfield Shopping Center.
Written June 14, 2017
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

mini
Fremont, CA166,819 contributions
Couples
I've been wanting to see Queen Califia's Magical Circle so I drove to Kit Carson Park. There is parking close by and then one walks to the area. There is some viewing one can see from the fenced off area; trees however obscure the view.

As such, its very difficult for visitors to the area to see it. The sign said that right now the only viewing times are on the Second Saturday of each month, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m, weather permitting. Don't quite understand the weather permitting as they are outside.

As such, part of the magic of this place is timing one's vacation to fit in with the hours to see it. Do check the web site in advance to check current viewing hours.

Calafia is a warrior queen who ruled over a kingdom of Black women living on the mythical Island of California.

The artwork is definitely worth seeing.
Written October 19, 2015
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

CARedflame
Escondido, CA94 contributions
Business
I am a docent at Queen Califia's Magical Circle .It's a unique and beautiful place by the artist Niki de St. Phalle. Presently open only the 2nd Saturday of each month from 8am till Noon in the Summer and 10am till 2pm the rest of the year. Check with the City of Escondido for specifics.
Written August 27, 2015
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

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Frequently Asked Questions about Queen Califia's Magical Circle

Queen Califia's Magical Circle is open:
  • Tue - Tue 9:00 AM - 12:00 PM
  • Thu - Thu 9:00 AM - 12:00 PM
  • Sat - Sat 9:00 AM - 2:00 PM