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Christmas in Victorian style

Maxwell Mansion hosts Dickens Christmas Party.

Learn to make holiday wrappings at the Schuylkill Center for Environmental Education.
Learn to make holiday wrappings at the Schuylkill Center for Environmental Education.Read more

If you're interested in celebrating a Victorian Christmas this year, the Ebenezer Maxwell Mansion wants you to visit.

The mansion houses an entire first floor restored to depict Victorian life in the 1860s, including a dining room and parlor rich with rococo revival furniture of that period. On Saturday, it will be fully decorated for Christmas for its annual Dickens Christmas Party.

Houseguests will "step back into a time period where gracious entertaining was paramount," according to a news release. Guests can sip holiday punch and snack on cookies in the parlor as they hear an actress portray the Ghost of Christmas Present as she reads excerpts from A Christmas Carol in front of a decorated tree.

Visitors will take part in a museum tradition of more than 40 years. They will be able to peruse the gift shop for old-fashioned clear toy candy, Victorian Christmas cards, and copies of Dickens' A Christmas Carol illustrated by Arthur Rackham.

Santa over the seas

The Battleship New Jersey Museum and Memorial in Camden invites families to come aboard for Breakfast with Santa on Saturday, when visitors will be able to go through the same chow lines that served BB62's sailors a hearty buffet-style breakfast in the Crew's Mess area.

After breakfast, kids can visit Santa and walk away with a complimentary photo. Though they'll have to wait for Christmas to find out if Santa filled all of their gift wishes, children will be able to compete for prizes and giveaways right on the ship, such as games, tickets to local venues, and tickets for battleship tours.

A homemade holiday

During a time where mall crowds are hectic and the streets are filled with traffic, the Schuylkill Center for Environmental Education invites families to enjoy a relaxing seminar to make gifts for the season. Art teacher and professional sculptor Jennifer Frudakis will hold a seasonal workshop today, where kids will learn how to make homemade cards, ornaments and gift boxes.

Families can design signature wrapping paper using apple and potato prints, along with other natural objects. Visitors are encouraged to bring photographs, magazine images, or other print materials to use in collage. Light refreshments will be served and, after holiday gifts are created, a holiday story will be read.

Additional forthcoming seasonal workshops include Centerpieces, Luminaries, and Decorations Inspired by Nature on Thursday and Creating an Edible Winter Fairy Tale: Gingerbread Houses and Woodland Creatures next Friday.