The Ebenezer Maxwell Mansion will host its annual Dickens Christmas Party on Saturday afternoon, featuring a taste of Victorian hospitality.

From 2 to 4:30 p.m., families can participate in a tradition of Victorian holidays, enjoying cookies and Christmas punch in the mansion's dining room. Actors portraying novelists Charles Dickens and Louisa May Alcott will read from the works of those authors. Children can buy items from the mansion gift shop, and an art teacher will help them wrap purchases and make holiday cards. Guests can also take self-guided tours of the 1859 mansion.

The Ebenezer Maxwell Mansion is a restored historic house museum in the Tulpehocken Station Historic District, one of America's first railroad suburbs built after the extension of the Reading Railroad in the mid-19th century. Reservations for the party are strongly encouraged, but not required.

Dickens Christmas Party, 2 to 4:30 p.m. Saturday at Ebenezer Maxwell Mansion, 200 W. Tulpehocken St. Admission: $12, $10 for members, children under age 10 free when accompanied by an adult. Reservations are encouraged. Call Diane Richardson at 215-438-1861 for details and reservations. Information:

'A Christmas Carol'

The Walnut Street Theatre for Kids continues its holiday tradition for families across the area with its annual production today and Saturday of

Charles Dickens' A Christmas Carol


Beginning at 10:30 a.m. today, children can enjoy the story of Ebenezer Scrooge, who is not a fan of Christmas. Despite the kindness of the humble Cratchit family, including Tiny Tim and Scrooge's trusty clerk, Bob, his dismal outlook on the holiday remains the same. Things take a big turn, however, when ghostly guests visit Scrooge on Christmas Eve. Scrooge finally opens his eyes to the magic and merriment of the season after traveling with the ghosts through his past, present, and possible future.

New director David Stradley gives families a glimpse into A Christmas Carol of 1840s London, with an original score based on the musical stylings of the mid-19th century. The show will feature authentic instruments, sets, and theatrical special effects of that period. The show is targeted for children in grades kindergarten through ninth and their grown-up friends. There will be repeat matinee performances through Dec 19.

Walnut Street Theatre is celebrating its 200th anniversary this year.

"Charles Dickens' A Christmas Carol" at 10:30 this morning and 11 a.m. Saturday; through Dec. 19 at Walnut Street Theatre, 825 Walnut St. The 10:30 a.m. performance today will be interpreted in American sign language. Tickets: $10 to $14. Information: 215-574-3550 or

Tickets can also be purchased

through Ticketmaster or by calling 1-800-982-2787.

Chester holiday concert

The Chester Children's Chorus will present its 15th Anniversary Holiday Concert on Saturday at First Pentecostal Holy Church in Chester.

The critically acclaimed 100-voice choir will perform seasonal carols, music from Africa, Gregorian chants, and original gospel music.

Founded in 1994 by John Alston, choir director and Swarthmore College associate professor of music, Chester Children's Chorus uses music as a vehicle to offer children who live in the Chester-Upland School District the opportunity to expand their intellectual and cultural horizons and strengthen their life skills. The choir's new album, titled 15th Anniversary Album, will also be available for sale at the concert.

Chester Children's Chorus 15th Anniversary Holiday Concert, 8 p.m. Saturday at First Pentecostal Holy Church, 324 Pusey St., Chester. Admission: Free and open to the public. Tickets are not required. Information: 610-328-8180

or Doors open 30 minutes before concert begins.

Contact Monica Peters