Besides being the father of the contemporary novel Charles Dickens is also inextricably associated with Christmas. His depictions of the Holiday throughout the course of his many novels, but most famously in A Christmas Carol are truly the stuff of legend.

But what does this have to do with what to do in San Francisco this Christmas?

After all you can travel for the holidays but not all the way back into a fictionalization version of the nineteenth century, right?

Oddly enough, not right. Fans of literature or just festivity are in luck. The Great Dickens Christmas fair is your answer to the question what to do in the Bay Area for Christmas?

But the event is expansive. So expansive in fact that you need a guide just to make the most of it. That in mind read on for a guide to this Bay Area Christmas event!

What would a San Francisco Christmas festival be without a little bit of grub, right? At the Dickens Christmas fair you get plenty of tasty options.  There are five different vendors offering full menus that range from sweets to full plates of traditional Christmas fair. There is even a Greek vendor for people that want a nice Holiday gyro.

The nice thing is that the food at this event is very moderately priced. Plates range from $2-15 meaning people on a variety of budgets should have no trouble finding something tasty to sit down with.

Just make sure you remember to save room for desert!

One of the nicest things about this California Christmas festival is the vendors. The event really creates the atmosphere of stepping back in time. You can find ordinary things but what will really catch the eye is the extraordinary. Puppets, replicas of fairies. Pastel portraits done on the spot. Antiquarian book dealers. Things people just don’t even really think about anymore. If you are looking for a great place to get Christmas gifts you have found it.

And of course there is more. Leather, jewelry crafts. Toys. Anything you can think of in majestic display amidst a Dickensian back drop.

The entire event is one grand majestic play. There are designated spots throughout the event where you can find people playing 19th century music, dancing in the style of a classic ball or even acting out scenes that come to us straight from the grandmaster himself.

Perhaps the most exciting aspect of the event (at least to fellow book geeks) is that the festival “streets” are saturated with characters that walked right off the pages of Dickens. Not just characters from the Christmas Carol either. You also meet folks from Oliver Twist, including Oliver and the ill fated Nancy. There are also characters from Bleak House, David Copperfield and more.

If you love the Western World’s greatest story teller, you will deeply appreciate the chance to step right into a world that is of his making.