Guest Post: A Visit To Dickens' Christmas Towne

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Guest Post by Susan Smigielski Acker

If you ever wanted to experience England during the time of Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol, now is your chance at Dickens’ Christmas Towne at the Half Moone Center behind Nauticus in downtown Norfolk. I took my family which includes, my husband and our daughters, Charlotte, 12, and Julia, 10, last Sunday to this new exhibit.

For an affordable price, you and your family will get a glimpse into that time courtesy of the Virginia Stage Company’s set building staff. The area is a bit dark which enhanced the image of no electrical power during that time. There are several shops, including Jody’s Popcorn, that sell treats. My family enjoyed the cupcakes, from Carolina Cupcakes, while sitting at a table and listening to a small choir, dressed in period costumes, from the Virginia Stage Company.

The performances is the best part of this excursion. We recommend checking the schedule prior to your visit to see your choice of shows. For instance, we missed a marionette show.

For a chance to shop visit the Virginia Zoo boutique for a unique ornaments. We chose keepsake cards designed to stand-up. There are five in a pack for $3. We plan to use them to accompany my husband’s homemade bread given to friends and neighbors for an added touch. We also got a kick out of the gifts made from lost flip-flops.

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Father Christmas was there for a professional picture. One picture opportunity that had a small crowd was at Flashback Photos. There are numerous costumes for children and adults. For a different twist, an artist will draw a character picture of you.

Kids also enjoy the various art and other activities.

Finally, kids get to ride a train around Town Point Park. My daughters did it, even though they felt they were a bit old for it. We know they enjoyed it because they were smiling upon their return.

Ticket prices are $5 for adults, $4 for children with ages under three admitted for free. For more information, visit www.nauticus.org

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