The Heart of the Holidays Wonder and Delight! Enter the world of Charles Dickens' Victorian London on a magical Christmas Eve, and discover the heart of the holidays! Resounding laughter, mirth and merriment abound. You are invited to join the dance, mingle with over 750 joyous performers, and revel in hearty food and drink!
Immerse yourself in Dickens’ heartfelt stories as they unfold around you. Explore over three acres of vintage exhibition halls, marvelously transformed into lamplit streets, boisterous pubs and wondrous theatres, music halls, dance parties, tearooms, and shops offering one-of-a-kind treasures.
Join us for our 2017 Season ~
5 Weekends Nov. 18~Dec. 17,
including the Friday after Thanksgiving!
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.
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!
Come wander the lanes of Victorian London, as the glow of twilight settles upon the city, the scent of pine boughs and freshly baked scones floats in the air, and the music and sounds of holiday merrymaking accompany your stroll. 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!
Our cast members are essentially the moving parts of our magical time machine,” says Kevin Patterson, who, with his wife Leslie Patterson, co-produces the Fair. “It will sweep you, heart and soul, into a tradition of lively historical celebration that brings laughter, dance and delight to all who enter its gates.”
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.
Bring your appetite when you visit The Great Dickens Christmas Fair— there is ever so much to eat and drink! Feast on delicious foods from the British Empire and beyond, from scrumptious savories to tempting handcrafted sweets. Then visit one of the five traditional pubs to enjoy draft ales, wine, and 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 Great Dickens Christmas Fair is also perfect for young people, offering special activities, games, and holiday entertainment opportunities. Younger guests will enjoy meeting Old Father Christmas; riding on a hand-powered Adventure Carousel; cheering and jeering at Punch & Judy puppet shows; marveling at the Mother Goose Parade, and taking tea with Alice of Wonderland. As well, there’s the chance to meet characters from A Christmas Carol, Oliver Twist, and Nicholas Nickleby— and even to encounter the great Charles Dickens himself! 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.
Find the perfect holiday gift and revel in a wonderland of one-of-a-kind artisan treasures. Over 100 beautiful shops offer fine crafts, romantic clothing and accessories, ceramics, handsome drinkware, dazzling jewelry, toys and ornaments, antiquarian books, and more.
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—with an all-new 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.
The Great Dickens Christmas Fair is directed and produced each year by the Patterson family, for more than three decades creators and producers of the world’s original Renaissance Faires at Black Point Forest in Marin County and in Southern California.