5 Weekends Nov 19 - Dec 18, 2022   |   10am-6pm   |   Cow Palace Exhibition Halls, San Francisco

Children’s Tour of London

Happy Holidays!

Welcome to the London of Charles Dickens, where one will find amazing amusements and amusing amazements at every turn!

Begin your tour just inside the South Hall’s UPPER LOBBY in VAUXHALL GARDENS, where a skating rink glistens and Christmas trees are available for purchase for adding cheer to your home decor. As you pass the skating rink you’ll approach our ticket takers, who will point you down the path to our LOWER LOBBY. As you pass through the Lower Lobby, you’ll make your big entrance into THE GRAND CONCOURSE – make sure to look for the beautifully decorated Christmas tree for the perfect holiday photo! 

Opposite the Christmas tree you will find the famed headquarters of Mr. Jingles’s Tours of London! Sign up to take a tour narrated by one or more of the many marvelous inhabitants of Our London, including characters from the works of Mr Dickens himself! Step into the Patterson & Sons Souvenir Shop and meet our Silhouette Artist, who can cut your likeness out of paper in less than 5 minutes.

Continue beneath the avenue of British Flags (The Grand Concourse) and stop by Mrs. Piper’s Photo Parlour to pose for a portrait of family and friends. Dress in Victorian clothing! Then stop by Whirlwood Magic Wands and try your hand at making magic. Across the way stop by BAKER STREET to visit Sherlock Holmes or Dr. Watson, for your invitation to unravel a mystery as you travel through London in The Sherlock Holmes Experience. See if you can be the one to solve the puzzle!

Pass through the doors of GRENADIERS GATE to discover the dark and notorious LONDON DOCKS where you will find the Paddy West School of Seamanship. Try your hand at knot making, be hoisted up into the rigging by a helpful sailor, and enjoy the lively shows on the Paddy West Stage.

Continue your wander past the Docks and into MAIDEN LANE and ALE HOUSE ALLEY! As you walk down the way you will find the Coin Strike on your left, where you can stop to watch as the hammer drops with a loud Bang! and creates a new work of art for some lucky purchaser.

Through the doorway to your left and into CHANCERY LANE, where many of Dickens’ characters such as Mr. Scrooge, Bob Crachit, and Tiny Tim reside or work.  Across from Chancery Lane is Mr. Dickens’ Study at Tavistock House, where he may be found working up his latest  novel and interacting with his friends (and even some of his characters!)  Mr. Dickens will also be reading from his marvelous book, A Christmas Carol, at intervals throughout the day.

Through the doorway next to Mr. Dickens’ Study, you’ll enter HOLLYBERRY PARK, home to the Corinthian Rose Fencing Academy providing the finest tutoring in swordsmanship for aspiring defenders  of the realm. After that, relax and share a refreshing pot of tea with the family at Cuthbert’s Tea Parlour; here you may have peanut-butter & honey sandwiches or scones, hot chocolate and other lovely treats! Reservations for both the Fencing lessons and the Tea Parlour are recommended as you arrive at the Fair.

After your tea, head straight down FISH STREET towards The MERMAID TAVERN STAGE where some of London’s finest musicians and dancers gather. Across the way from the stage, pick up a cake at London’s Finest Cakes, and as you head towards the door stop to have a picture taken with the fantastical Time Machine. Then pass through the doorway until you find yourself  in FAGIN’S DEN (at  the far end of the LONDON DOCKS). Here you will find Oliver Twist and the Artful Dodger making full-time work of picking pockets, snatching hankies, and generally making mischief. Nearby, the Peeler’s Clink Jail will hold you or any miscreants caught by Her Majesty’s Royal Constabulary behind bars – get “locked in” and take a photo.

Push on! Your tour is nearing a land of wonder and delight! Turn left into TINSLEY GREEN, where Father Christmas makes his appearance and poses for pictures on the FATHER CHRISTMAS STAGE at 1:00pm daily. Be sure not to  miss the Punch & Judy Puppet Theatre – enjoy a delicious meal at Mr. Punch’s Pasta or Oscar’s Meat Pies as you take in a show. You will also find fun with the Boot the Cat game, flipping a chimney sweep into a chimney at Flip A Sweep, then picking up a paintbrush and helping Paint the Roses Red. See the spectacular Adventure Carousel and take a ride on your favorite animal! Next door to the carousel is a Fairy House Workshop where you can make  your own fairy houses to take home. Don’t miss freshly baked warm cookies at Maclaren’s Cookies & Milk, or a visit to B & P Confectionary & Toy Shoppe.

Nearing your final destinations! Jog your merry way into JINGLES GATE and PICKWICK SQUARE, where you will find more eateries. Don’t miss the whimsical Holiday Pantomime The Tale of Puss and Boots at the VICTORIA & ALBERT BIJOU MUSIC HALL ~ enjoy a box of freshly-popped popcorn, and take any seat!

As you exit the theatre and turn right, you are once again near the entrance to the city, but you’ll probably want to retrace your steps to visit whatever you missed on the first go’round!

Happy Christmas!

The A to Z of Tea

~ All Things British by Will Wood
A ~ Always begin your day, with a bit of T-E-A
B ~ British folk, as you see, brew Tea properly
C ~ Cup of bracing tea, breakfast for you and me
D ~ Darjeeling of the East, perfect company’s taste feast
E ~ Enough of coffee’s Tars, Tea has the strength of Mars!
F ~ Found floating in the Emperor’s cup, tea leaf of the first Sup
G ~ Grind your Tea carefully, to be brewed appropriately
H ~ High Tea in the Tea Room, reservations needed soon
I ~ In your sweet cup of tea, sugar lumps? 1, 2 or 3?
J ~ Judge the company you keep, and the Tea you steep
K ~ Kindness is the quality, aided by thought and Tea
L ~ Long should you keep, your Tea Caddy to steep
M ~ Many a one, or two, deserves a more bracing brew

N ~ Never watch a kettle boil, for that is an endless toil
O ~ Oh, for a full cup of Tea, & not a single penny from me
P ~ Porcelain cup delicacy, perfect setting for your Tea
Q ~ Quality purveyors of Tea, Royal Appointment to her Majesty
R ~ Run the Tea water gently, damping the leaves simply
S ~ Serve Tea sweets at Teatime, our British hour sublime
T ~ Tea then must British be, everything from A to Z
U ~ Under the Teapot’s dome, a broiling brew comes home
V ~ Volumes of 8 ounces or less, a teacupful can only bless
W ~ Waltz the Christmas night away; our tea dance is your display!
X ~ Xmas and Christmas Tea, holiday gifts for you and me
Y ~ Yuletide in our Tea garden, let mercy rule and pardon
Z ~ Z to A British Tea has its way, & our proper salute to Earl Grey!

“Whether I shall turn out to be the hero of my own life, or whether that station will be held by anybody else, these pages must show.”

~ Charles Dickens, David Copperfield

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