The Nice Dickens Honest in San Francisco–Marin Mommies| Marin Mommies
After a two-year hiatus, the Great Dickens Christmas Fair and Victorian Holiday Party return to Daly City’s historic Cow Palace for five weekends this November and December. The family-friendly holiday fair takes place on Saturdays and Sundays (as well as the Friday after Thanksgiving, November 25th) from November 19th to December 18th, 2022 and offers visitors an incomparable holiday experience.
An annual Bay Area tradition for nearly 40 years, the Great Dickens Christmas Fair features hundreds of costumed Victorian characters, from waltzing royals to rowdy chimney sweeps, covering 10 acres of twilight-lit shops, pubs, stages and dance halls populate. It’s always Christmas Eve at the Dickens Fair in 19th-century London.
This year the show has expanded to include the new Vauxhall Gardens, a 50,000 square meter park-like Victorian site with a 2,800 square meter ice skating rink with synthetic ice, Christmas trees for sale, refreshments such as hot cider for purchase and more. Entry to Vauxhall Gardens is free for the public (parking fee still applies); Unlimited skate time is $12 for adults and $6 for children ages 3-8 and includes skate rentals.
The Great Dickens Christmas Fair offers a variety of entertainment for all ages and tastes. Enjoy a whole new traditional Christmas pantomime with The Tale of Puss in Boots, delve into the Christmas past of Ebenezer Scrooge at Fezziwig’s Christmas party and marvel at the deductive skills of the famous detective Sherlock Holmes. Families can also take part in hands-on craft activities, old-world games of skill and chance, and lively interactive shows.
The Tinsley Green Children’s Area and Father Christmas Stage will entertain and delight; Youngsters can meet old Santa, ride the hand-operated adventure carousel, sip tea with characters from Alice in Wonderland and laugh at the antics of an authentic British Punch and Judy puppet show. Children can also build a whimsical fairy house, learn how to operate an 1860s printing press, sing sea songs and take fencing lessons.
The fair also features delicious food from the British Empire and beyond, from pub fare like fish and chips and bangers and mash to artisan chocolates and tea cakes to Indian fare. You can also enjoy a traditional English tea with scones and finger sandwiches at Cuthbert’s Tea Shop. (Reserve in advance to ensure you get a teatime table!)
The fair will take place on November 19, 20, 25, 26 and 27 and on December 3, 4, 10, 11, 17 and 18, 2022; Opening hours are 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. General admission to the Great Dickens Christmas Fair is $45 for adults and $25 for youth ages 5-12. Twilight tickets for entry after 3 p.m. are $30 for adults and $18 for youth. Children under 5 years are always free. Advance tickets are required. Buy tickets online here. Parking is $15 per car, payable at the gate.
The Cow Palace is located at 2600 Geneva Avenue in Daly City. Visit dickensfair.com for more information, online tickets and a full program of entertainment and events.