Dickens Fair

I feel like I'm pretty up on what's happening in the city at any given time, especially when it comes to kids activities, but I also love coming across new recommendations from other moms, most often on the one of the mom Facebook groups I'm a part of. There was a great thread a few months ago, sort of a running list of people's favorite things to do during the holiday season and several people mentioned the Dickens Fair. I had heard of it, but never really looked into it. This time, after multiple people confirmed that it's great for kids, I checked it out again. I debated going with the family, but after hearing it can get really crowded, we decided that I'd go with the boys and Dave would stay with Colette, and then Annie was up for joining us so it worked out great.

We got there right when it opened and stayed until about 1:30 and though it was filling up a bit more, it wasn't too crowded at all and pushing C around in a stroller would've been fine. I think it was better having just the boys, but nice to know for the future.

It's really so cool how you're transformed to a different time. Many people are dressed up and in character the whole time so it's a fun experience. I didn't have much festive to wear but dressed the boys up with their suspenders and newsboy hats. They rode the old-time carousel, played some games -- use a mallet to try to fling a doll into on of the chimneys and toss a shoe from a bed trying to knock down some cats -- had some good treats and watched several shows. I was surprised with how interested the boys were in the shows. There was one play going on (that did involve an evil witch who sucked William in), and then they watched Mother Goose and her nursery rhyme show and then took part in the Mad Hatter's tea party. I think We watched a bit of the puppet show but they weren't that into it, not sure if it's just because they had watched enough today already, or if they weren't into puppet shows, but overall, I was impressed. G sat pretty well during the play but we basically had to pull William out of there, he loved it.

We walked around and checked out some of the shops, but by that point the boys were getting tired and hungry and unfortunately we had to wait awhile in one for food. But they had sausage in a bun, so everyone was refreshed a bit. William had spotted Santa come through on his sleigh as part of a parade while we were eating lunch so we were on a quest to find him. We had to wait in another line, but William was determined. Annie was such a great sport and it was fun to do something with her and the boys.

It was a fun day and something totally different than anything we've done before with the boys so I like the idea of making it an annual tradition. Now I know a bit more of the logistics so I would definitely get there first thing again, bring a stroller and lots of cash -- everything is cash-only and things do add up. I got a discounted ticket a few days ago and kids under 5 are free so this was definitely the year to check it out. I think it was fun to expose the boys to different types of short performances that we could leave and move around if we wanted to. A fun way to kick off the holiday season!

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