Victorian Holiday Party at the Great Dickens Christmas Fair
|Four authentic English pubs - and the Bohemian Absinthe Bar - serve up hearty Christmas cheer at the Great Dickens Christmas Fair. [Photo credit: Rich Yee]|
Chase the Humbugs Away! The Great Dickens Christmas Fair & Victorian Holiday Party returns to the Cow Palace Exhibition Halls with wildly authentic London street scenes, period music, theatre, dancing, and sumptuous feasting and shopping. A beloved Bay Area holiday tradition, the fair returns to San Francisco on November 21st and continues five weekends through Sunday December 20th including the Friday after Thanksgiving.
|A young shopkeeper offers Victorian reproductions and other unique gifts at the Great Dickens Christmas Fair. [Photo credit: Rich Yee]|
Only here can you wander through 19th Century London alleyways meeting characters right out of Charles Dickens’ books, sampling delicious British pub fare, and browsing through shops with unique crafts, toys and arts.
|Bring your appetite when you visit the Great Dickens Christmas Fair! There is ever so much to eat and drink, including hot roasted chestnuts served straight from the oven in a traditional paper cone. [Photo credit: Amy Hart]|
The Great Dickens Christmas Fair magically transforms over three acres of exhibition halls into the marvelous rollicking world of Charles Dickens’ London. Lively calls of street vendors ring out above the crowd and mingle with the voices of holiday carolers; tempting aromas of roasted chestnuts and hearty foods fill the air; enticing shops overflow with one-of-a-kind Christmas gifts.
|A happy trip on the Safari carousel at the Great Dickens Christmas Fair. Photo Credit: Bevan Iredale]|
The re-created Dickens’ London is warmly lit and meticulously decorated with winding lanes, shops, pubs, tearooms, lecture halls, a grand Music Hall, and even the London dock. From highborn royalty to denizens of the street, the Fair teems with over 700 colorful & iconic characters from the imagination of Charles Dickens and the pages of history!
|Over 100 beautifully decorated shops at the Fair offer unique holiday treasures such as Victorian reproductions, romantic clothing & accessories, and one-of-a-kind handcrafted jewelry. [Photo credit: Rich Yee]|
Originally conceived and created by Ron & Phyllis Patterson, the fair is now produced by Kevin and Leslie Patterson and Red Barn Productions, with this next generation continuing the family tradition of theatrical excellence, historical authenticity, and environmental theater. And now the third generation of Pattersons, Kevin and Leslie’s sons Andrew and Michael, work together running Mr. Punch’s Pasta, Maclaren’s Cookies. and inventive games and rides at the Fair. A true family affair!
|Decorating the Christmas Tree||Celebrate a Victorian Style Christmas|
|Fun Christmas Crafts||Christmas Dinner Menu|
|Rooty toot tuit, that's the way you do it! Meet Mr. Punch and his lovely wife Judy at the Great Dickens Christmas Fair. [Photo credit: Rich Yee]|
Seven stages offer entertainments, ranging from the family-friendly to the decidedly daring. Proper ladies and gentlemen may choose to enjoy an opera gala, children’s shows, melodramas, and music and dance. The more raffish might prefer to carouse with can-can dancers and salty sailors, or join the bawdy chorus at the infamous Broadside Music Hall Revue.
|The 'Tavistock House' at the Great Dickens Christmas Fair offers a view into a working Victorian kitchen. [Photo credit: Rich Yee]|
Bring your appetite when you visit The Great Dickens Christmas Fair — there is ever so much to eat and drink! The Dickens Christmas Fair offers a variety of yummy treats and delicious dishes to tempt all palates. Feast on delicious foods from the British Empire and beyond, from scrumptious savories to tempting handcrafted sweets. Traditional holiday goodies include a feast of roast beef and Yorkshire pudding, goose or quail, fish & chips, duck a l’orange, hot meat pies, plum pudding, mulled cider and scones, hot roasted chestnuts, or Ambrosia truffles. Then visit one of the five traditional pubs to enjoy draft ales, wine, and 3 champagne, or wrap your hands around a hot buttered rum, Irish coffee, or hot toddy. You can also enjoy a traditional English high tea with scones and finger sandwiches — anytime is teatime at the Dickens Fair!
|The working Victorian kitchen near the Dickens Family Parlour. [Photo credit: Beppe Sabatini]|
|Good children share their holiday wishes with kind, jolly Father Christmas at the Great Dickens Christmas Fair & Victorian Holiday Party. [Photo credit: Rich Yee]|
The Great Dickens Christmas Fair is perfect for young people, offering special activities, games, and holiday entertainment opportunities. Younger guests will enjoy meeting Father Christmas, a hand-powered Adventure Carousel, Punch & Judy puppet shows, a parade with Mother Goose, and teatime with Alice of Wonderland, as well as the chance to meet characters from A Christmas Carol, Oliver Twist, and Nicholas Nickleby — even to encounter the great Charles Dickens himself!
|Youngsters may create their very own 'fairy homes' in the Fairy House Activity Area at the Great Dickens Christmas Fair. [Photo credit: Rich Yee]|
In addition, youngsters can create their very own Fairy Houses, try their hands at being “printer’s devils” with an actual 1860s printing press, learn to tie intricate knots, sing sea chanteys, have their hair French-braided, or create their own holiday gifts such as rolled beeswax candles and hand-painted ceramic ornaments.
|Teatime with Alice of Wonderland & Friends [Photo credit: Beppe Sabatini]|
The Great Dickens Christmas Fair offers a wonderful change of pace from the commercialized American shopping malls with a wonderland of one-of-a-kind artisan treasures. More than 100 costumed vendors and artisans offer unique and thoughtful gifts, including Victorian reproductions, fine art, romantic clothing, handsome drinkware, unusual ceramics, dazzling jewelry and accessories, even an overstocked antiquarian bookseller.
|Raise a toast with Champagne Charlie & the girls at Mad Sal's Dockside Ale House! [Photo credit: Rich Yee]|
Adult patrons love to gather in the Bohemian absinthe bar for lively conversation, or at Mad Sal’s Dockside Ale House to join in the singing of rowdy favorites and watch high-kicking dancers take to the stage for the wicked Can-Can Bijou. The immensely popular and scandalous “Saucy French Postcard Tableaux Revue” returns to the Victoria & Albert Bijou Music Hall; enjoy a glimpse of the naughty inner reveries of stalwart Englishman Horatio Everard, Esq., and view the very flower of English Womanhood in bloom—a risqué exhibition of beauty unveiled! This immensely popular Twilight Hour entertainment is sure to beguile and delight the adults in the audience. Admission to this attraction is free, but you must request tickets upon arrival at the Fair; they go quickly and guests must be 18 or older to gain admittance.
|More raffish patrons may enjoy the "high life" to be found at Mad Sal's Dockside Ale House, at the Great Dickens Christmas Fair. [Photo credit: Rich Yee]|
Ticketing and Other Pertinent Information: General Admission tickets (age 13 and up) are available at the Box Office for $25 for the first 3 weekends and $30 for the final 2 weekends; at $12 for Children ages 5-12; and wee ones under 5 are free. Tickets are fully transferable.
|Make way for the Queen! Smartly uniformed soldiers lead young Queen Victoria and her Royal Consort Prince Albert through the streets of the Great Dickens Christmas Fair. [Photo credit: Rich Yee]|
A Tip from Scrooge: Print-at-home discount tickets are available at www.dickensfair.com beginning September 15; Season Passes are available online for $90 (a $295 value!); and Twilight Special tickets (good after 3:00 pm daily, available only at the Box Office) are $15 for adults and $8 for children ages 5-12. Group rates are available online for groups of 20-29; for parties of 30 or more, contact Golden Gate Group Tickets, firstname.lastname@example.org, 415-668- 0525. For more information, please call (800) 510-1558 x 114 or visit www.dickensfair.com.
TRADITIONS & HISTORY
FOOD & PARTIES