Visit a place where the sights and sounds of Christmas are all around you. Stage sets of Dickens’ era buildings, shops, props, and more await. You stay dry and warm because it is all indoors. There are events for everyone in your family. Dickens’ Christmas Towne is fun for all ages, and this year, it is better than ever.
My kids and I have visited Dickens’ Christmas Towne each year since it began. This year, they have really knocked it out of the park. You can stroll the streets in England and stop by shops that offer more than ever. See illustrations by P.J. Lynch, which were used in A Christmas Carol. Hear festive music by Bob Zentz in a cozy, decorated room. Purchase gifts from the Virginia Zootique or the main shop. Snack on Jody’s Popcorn as you watch the trains whirl by. And there is so much more.
This year, my boys are 11 and 13, so I wasn’t sure how the moody teen would do. In the end, it was hardest to drag him away. There is something magical about leaving your worries behind and entering a place like this. He spent ages filling out papers at the Make a Wish Station. Once you’ve written down your heart’s desire, you put it in the tube and watch it get sucked up into the house. Of course, you can always make your wishes the more traditional way by visiting St. Nicholas. I have always felt that they have the best St. Nick here. Don’t be embarrassed, parents, it’s okay for you to get in line, too.
Another hit was the snowball throwing area. Cloth snow balls can be thrown into a window that then drops them down to be thrown again. There may have been a few that were thrown at people while we were there. Nearby, we also listened to holiday stories told by a bookworm (this is a great room for younger kids), saw candles and wax shapes being made, and discovered other fun activities. At 11, my youngest still wanted to spend quite a bit of time watching the train display.
As we played, dreamed, and laughed, we wet our whistle with tea from The Two Leaves (I highly recommend the Wedding Chai). Later, we enjoyed ice cream while watching John the Juggling Ginger entertain on the stage. After his performance, there was a puppet rendition of A Christmas Carol that had many of the kids in stitches. We perused shops and tried new things. I saw little kids completely engaged by the talking Christmas tree. But the best thing about our visit is that by the time we left, we were happier people than those who entered. For a short time, we were carefree and just taking it all in. We were in the moment. Everything seemed a little more magical when we stepped out.
But if you are a regular scrooge, and you find yourself at Dickens’ Christmas Towne, don’t fret. You can always pass your time in the pub.
Tickets may be purchased online or at the door. You can also reserve a spot for one of their special Tea Parties online. For special days and events happening, check the schedule. Find out more about the shops available by checking the vendor page.