The Great Dickens Christmas Fair is a one-of-a-kind holiday adventure into Victorian London - an elaborate party with hundreds of costumed players performing and interacting with patrons in over 120,000 square feet of theatrically-lit music halls, pubs, dance floors, and Christmas shops. It's a twilight evening in Charles Dickens' London Town - a city of winding lanes filled with colorful characters from both literature and history. Enticing aromas of roasted chestnuts and hearty foods fill the air. Cries of street vendors hawking their wares ring out above the bustling crowd. Dozens of lamplit shops are filled to overflowing with Christmas gifts. The Dickens Christmas Fair is a treasured Bay Area tradition since 1970 and a splendid way to celebrate the holidays.
Stage Schedules are included in the free event program offered upon entry at the Front Gate to the Fair.
In the Streets of London
Watch for Mr. Dickens & characters from his novels throughout London: scenes from “A Christmas Carol” and other books may emerge at any time!
Characters You Will Meet:
A multitude of characters from the imagination of Mr. Charles Dickens come to life in our Victorian London: Ebenezer Scrooge, Bob Cratchit & Tiny Tim; David Copperfield, Nicholas Nickelby and his Family; Oliver Twist & Nancy, mingling with chimney sweeps, musicians, carolers, music hall performers, saucy sailors and more. Over 800 costumed players create living history all around you. Join us!
10:45am: Toy Parade to Father Christmas Stage
12:50pm: Father Christmas Parade to Father Christmas Stage
2:45pm: Her Majesty Queen Victoria Visits London
5:50pm: Boar’s Head Procession to Fezziwig’s
Fezziwig's Dance Party
9:45am: Opening Tableaux
10:00am: Dancing to Bangers & Mash Band
10:40am: The Trial of Samuel Pickwick, Esquire
11:00am: Dancing to Bangers & Mash Band
11:45am: Siamsa Scottish & Irish Dance Show
12:15pm: Dancing to Bangers & Mash Band
1:00pm: Special Performance
1:30pm: Special Performance
2:00pm: Dancing to Bangers & Mash Band
2:40pm: Parlour Entertainments & Games
3:00pm: Dancing to Bangers & Mash Band
3:45pm: Siamsa Scottish & Irish Dance Show
4:15pm: Dancing to Bangers & Mash Band (including a visit from Her Majesty Queen Victoria)
5:00pm: Parlour Entertainments & Games
5:20pm: Dancing to Bangers & Mash Band
6:00pm: Parlour Entertainments & Games
6:20pm: Dancing to Bangers & Mash Band
7:00pm: Sing-A-Long Hallelujah Chorus
Victoria & Albert Bijou Music Hall
10:30am: Holiday Pantomime: “The Surprising Tale of Baron Munchausen & Mopsa the Fairy”
11:15am: All's Well That Ends Badly
12:00pm: Music Hall Singers
12:15pm: Gilbert & Sullivan’s “Trial By Jury”
1:00pm: Her Majesty’s Royal Opera presents Songs from Operetta
1:45pm: Holiday Pantomime: “The Surprising Tale of Baron Munchausen & Mopsa the Fairy”
2:30pm: Her Majesty’s Royal Opera presents Grand Opera Classics
3:15pm: All’s Well That Ends Badly
4:00pm: Music Hall Singers
4:15pm: Gilbert & Sullivan’s “Trial By Jury”
5:30pm: Saucy French Postcards Tableaux Revue (age 18 & over) with intro by Ballet Russe
6:15pm: Saucy French Postcards Tableaux Revue (age 18 & over) with intro by Ballet Russe
Paddy West Stage at the London Docks
11:00am: Paddy West Nautical Music & Songs
12:00pm: Dangerous Puppets (at their booth)
12:30pm: Sing-A-Long Shanty Session
1:30pm: Dangerous Puppets (at their booth)
2:30pm: Coventry Carolers (Her Majesty Queen Victoria visits at 2:55)
3:25pm: Dangerous Puppets (at their booth)
3:30pm: Congress of Wonders & Atrocities
4:00pm: Paddy West Nautical Music & Songs
4:30pm: Dangerous Puppets (at their booth)
4:45pm: Coventry Carolers
6:15pm: Paddy West Closing Songs
Entertainment throughout the day: Yet more music and seafaring songs; Navigation Lessons with Model Ships; Knot Tying, Games & Sailing Skills; Traveling Tattoo Parlour
Father Christmas Stage
10:30am: Jack is Back!
11:00am: Arrival of the Toy Parade; Mother Goose
11:30am: The Bold Tailor
12:00pm: Mad Hatter's Tea Party
12:30pm: Punch & Judy
1:00pm: Father Christmas
2:00pm: Wonderland Story Time
2:30pm: Jack is Back!
3:00pm: Punch & Judy
3:30pm: Wonderland Story Time
4:00pm: The Bold Tailor
4:30pm: Punch & Judy
5:00pm: Jack is Back!
5:30pm: Rats in the Haggis
Professor Flockmocker's Laboratory
Meet Prof. Phineas J. Flockmocker III, who will confound you with his curious inventions, dubious facts, and disregard for conventional science. Home to crackpot Victorian inventors ...and Steam Man!
10:30am: Dr. Xander T. Culpepper’s Miracle Elixir Show Of Miracles
11:00am: Scrooge is Visited by the Ghost of Jacob Marley (A Christmas Carol)
11:30am: Trickish Matters with Jeremiah Johnston
12:00pm: The Adventures of Jim Chiminey
12:30pm: Dr. Xander T. Culpepper’s Miracle Elixir Show Of Miracles
1:00pm: Scrooge is Visited by the Ghost of Christmas Past (A Christmas Carol)
1:15pm: Trickish Matters with Jeremiah Johnston
1:45pm: The Adventures of Jim Chiminey
2:15pm: Scrooge is Visited by the Ghost of Christmas Present - Nephew Fred's Christmas Party (A Christmas Carol)
2:30pm: The Cratchit Family Christmas Dinner & Another Christmas (A Christmas Carol)
2:45pm: Dr. Xander T. Culpepper’s Miracle Elixir Show Of Miracles
3:15pm: His Royal Highness Prince Albert presents the Tannenbaum to Her Majesty Queen Victoria
3:30pm: Scrooge is Visited by the Ghost of Christmas Yet-to-Come (A Christmas Carol)
4:00pm: The Adventures of Jim Chiminey
4:30pm: Scrooge is Redeemed! (A Christmas Carol)
4:45pm: Trickish Matters with Jeremiah Johnston
5:15pm: Boxing Day in the Office with Mr. Scrooge & Bob Cratchit (A Christmas Carol)
5:30: Christmas at Dingley Dell (Pickwick Papers)
The Adventurers Club
Where the ﬁnest & brightest Victorian minds come together. Learn proper etiquette and meet luminaries like Benjamin Disraeli, Lewis Carroll, Ada Lovelace, Oscar Wilde, Mary Shelley, or Edgar Allan Poe. For more details on each presentation, and special happenings offered each day, please see Our Open House Schedule.
10:00am: Welcome to the Adventurers Club: Meet our members and participate in lively discussion!
10:45am: Upstairs & Downstairs: Learn the British way to serve tea, set a table, or practice letters.
11:25am: A Fancy-Dress Déjeuner: Mr Pickwick and his Club companions attend to hear Mrs Leo Hunter premiere her epic poem, ‘Ode to an Expiring Frog’.
11:30am: Writers’ Presentations: Oscar Wilde & others share the ﬁnest poetry & prose of our age.
12:15pm: Pre-Raphaelite Artists Salon: Sketch live models from romanticized medieval and classical themes. Pencils and pads provided; all ages are welcome!
1:15pm: Military Demonstrations: Engaging discussions of military techniques, tactics & the latest weaponry, brought to life with detailed scale models.
2:00pm: Explorations in Science: H.G. Wells discourses on early civilisations, sea monsters & science.
2:30pm: Discourse with Dignitaries: Interviews, presentations and discussions.
3:00pm: Tell-Tale Theatre: Relish the dark tales of the master of the macabre, author Edgar Allan Poe, as he and other literary luminaries present a chilling Christmas tradition.
3:30pm: London’s Best Dressed: An hour of sartorial splendor as Lady Franklin holds a contest to name “London’s Most Fashionable Lady and Gentleman.”
4:30pm: Christmas Salon: An engaging and entertaining Christmas Salon of ghost stories, conjurers, fairy tales, songs and games!
5:30pm: Christmas Carols: Be uplifted by expertly performed traditional Christmas carols, led by the Swedish opera sensation, Madame Jenny Lind!
6:15pm: Formal Toasting: An extravagantly witty, traditional Ofﬁcers’ Mess formal toasting ceremony.
Prince Albert's Crystal Palace Great Exhibition Stage
View a model of Prince Albert’s Crystal Palace, and interact with innovative thinkers of the day including scientists, paleontologists, industrialists, inventors, engineers & artists. Demonstrations & participatory experiences occur throughout the day. Young artists & scientists encouraged to attend!
10:00am: Morning Exhibitions
11:30am: Arts & Artisanry of the Great Exhibition: Stained glass, embroidery, and Victorian paper crafts are featured as well as the Designs of the Day.
1:00pm: Natural Science & Industry: Discoveries in biology, geology, & paleontology, including dinosaur bones and fossils
2:45pm: Telegraphy & Applied Sciences: Presentations in electro-magnetism, mathematics, telegraph machines, and wet plate photography
5:00pm: Afternoon Exhibitions
Silk Road Stage
Enjoy music and dance from around the world
11:00am: Special Performance (on certain days)
11:30am: Mr. Brown’s Mummers
12:00pm: The Crown & Anchor Dancers (English Country Dance)
12:30pm: Special Performance
1:00pm: Silk Road Ceilidh (Traditional Irish Dance)
1:30pm: The Crown & Anchor Dancers (English Country Dance)
2:00pm: Waltzes & Polkas with the Bruno Band
2:30pm: Mr. Brown’s Mummers
3:00pm: The Crown & Anchor Dancers (English Country Dance)
3:30pm: Special Performance
4:00pm: Waltzes & Polkas with the Bruno Band
4:30pm: Silk Road Ceilidh (Traditional Irish Dance)
5:30pm: Special Performance International Dance (on certain days)
Tavistock House: The Dickens Family Parlour
Meet Mr. Dickens' family & characters throughout the day, including readings by Mr. Dickens at posted times
Here is where you may visit with the Dickens family, characters from his novels, visiting performers, and enjoy occasional readings from the illustrious author himself at posted times. Partake of festive parlour games, Christmas carols and sing-a-longs, and observe a working Victorian kitchen. Even Mr. Scrooge comes by to pay his respects during the holiday season!
Mad Sal's Dockside Ale House
(Shockingly Scandalous, NOT Recommended for Children)
10:45am: Special Performance Dance (on certain Saturdays); Reverend Palmer’s Cockney Christmas Service (on Sundays)
11:30am: Pipe & Bowl Morris Dancers
12:10pm: The Gin Alley Sallys
12:45pm: Mad Sal’s Dockside Music Hall (featuring Le Cancan Bijou)
1:35pm: Brass Farthing
2:10pm: Paddy West
2:45pm: Pipe & Bowl Morris Dancers
3:25pm: Mad Sal’s Dockside Music Hall (featuring Le Cancan Bijou)
4:15pm: The Gin Alley Sallys
4:50pm: Paddy West
5:25pm: Brass Farthing
6:00pm: The East End After Hours 'oliday Hextravaganza! (featuring Le Cancan Bijou)
Green Man Inn
London locals including the Pickwick Club can be found quaffing fine brews and holding forth with harmonious songs of the day. The illustrious Mr. Charles Dickens reads captivating passages from his books at posted times and even Her Majesty, Queen Victoria, stops by for tea.
Adult/General Admission (13+): $30.00
Children (5-12 yrs): $14.00 (Children under 5 are always free!)
Pickwick Club 2018 Season Pass: $120.00 (a $390.00 value!)
Adult Twilight Tickets, available after 3:00 PM: $18.00 (available only at the box office)
Child Twilight Tickets, available after 3:00 PM: $10.00 (available only at the box office)
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