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A Charming Dickens Victorian Village to Add to Your Christmas Bucket List

A trip to the Dickens Victorian Village should be on everyone’s Christmas Bucket List this year and we’re sharing a few reasons why you’ll want to see it.

Father Christmas standing in front of the Guernsey County Courthouse

Each year, at the end of November, the already charming southeastern Ohio town of Cambridge is transformed into the most adorable Christmas town you ever want to lay eyes on. 

Take the beautiful architecture with classic storefronts, dozens of hand-crafted, life-size Dickens characters lining the streets, Christmas music emanating through the air from the courthouse light show, and add a dusting of snow and you have the perfect recipe for a Hallmark movie. 

Cambridge is the perfect Ohio vacation destination for a winter getaway for families, couples, or as I recently discovered, girlfriends. 

I asked one of my best friends from elementary school to join me in Cambridge to check out the Dickens Victorian Village and to learn about glass manufacturing in Cambridge. 

With shopping, food, and Christmas lights, what more could we ask for?

Save with the Let’s Getaway for the Holidays Package

Dickens characters on the street

The best part? Planning was easy with the LETS GETAWAY FOR THE HOLIDAYS PACKAGE that is available through different hotel properties in the area. 

This is an overnight getaway at select hotels that offers the following: 

  • hotel stay at property you select (see participating properties below)
  • 2 tickets for the Guernsey County History Museum
  • 2 tickets for National Museum of Cambridge Glass
  • a $20 gift card for Theo’s (restaurant)
  • $20 Main Street Moolah
  • and a Dickens souvenir ornament

Packages range from $145-250. This package is available to book Dec. 11-12 and Dec. 18-19.

Exterior photo of a hotel

 

You can book directly through the participating hotels.

Fairfield Inn & Suites by Marriott 740-435-8700

Comfort Inn 740-435-3200

Hampton Inn 740-439-0600

Salt Fork Lodge & Conference Center 740-439-2751

Sleep Inn & Suites 740-435-0035

We stayed at the Fairfield Inn & Suites by Marriott and loved our stay. The room was large, the beds were comfortable and call me odd, provided for the purpose of this review but we covered the cost of all activities, meals, etc. 

interior hotel room

More Hotels and Airbnb’s Near the Dickens Victorian Village. Book Your Stay Now!

If you prefer not to purchase the package or are looking for different accommodation options, you’ll find them below. Book early for the best rates and availability. 

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Plan Your Visit to See the Dickens Victorian Village

A street scene from Dickens Victorian Village

This post does contain affiliate links. 

Dickens Victorian Village Welcome Center

Your first stop should be at the Dickens Victorian Village Welcome Center. After all, that’s what brought you to Cambridge in the first place. You’ll find it at 647 Wheeling Avenue. It’s open Friday and Saturday from 10 am to 6 pm. 

When you step inside you’ll find friendly docents ready to share the story of the Dickens Village which began 15 years ago by a local artist and businessman, Boy Ley. He and his wife were looking for something that could bring visitors to Cambridge and after seeing the lights at Ogleby, West Virginia came up with the idea for the Dickens characters. 

Today, what started as a dream to bring tourists to this small town in southeastern Ohio has grown to welcome people from all over the globe. 

Dickens Victorian Village includes 92 scenes and 180 characters all representing everyday life in the Victorian era.

various steps to creating the Dickens faces

You’ll see: 

  • the sketches that Bob Ley created which started it all
  • learn how the faces for each character is sculpted and painted by local artists
  • see the wooden structures that serve as the skeleton for the mannequin bodies
  • pose in a scene with Charles Dickens
  • shop in the store
  • And redeem your coupon for the souvenir Dickens Victorian Village Christmas Ornament included in the getaway package.

Dickens street scenes during the day

It goes without saying that you won’t want to miss the magic that happens at night when the scenes truly come to life as the antique street lights turn on, but don’t miss the opportunity to appreciate the detail that goes into scenes that line Wheeling Avenue by viewing them during the day as well.

Dickens figures as the day turns to dusk

While you’re downtown, you should take a few moments to browse the shops with the classic storefronts while you spend your $20 in Main Street Moolah and appreciate the charming Dickens folks you “meet” along the way, from lamplighters to royalty, you never know who you’ll run into in historic downtown Cambridge. 

The royal family in a classic store front window.

You may be getting hungry so while you’re downtown stop in at Theo’s Restaurant and use the $20 gift card that is also part of the package.

This Dickens scene is located at Theo's Restaurant.

Theo’s pride themselves on home cooked food and has been serving food to happy customers since 1931. While you really can’t go wrong with anything served at Theo’s, I would highly recommend that you leave room for a slice of one of their famous pies. 

National Museum of Cambridge Glass 

Cambridge Glass offers rows of glassware to view

You are now acquainted with the Dickens Victorian Village and probably have a full belly (especially if you took my advice and grabbed that pie) but now is not the time to take a nap. Let’s learn a bit more of the area’s important heritage with a stop at The National Museum of Cambridge Glass. 

This museum is a must for anyone interested in glassware or history, plus, you’ll find the largest collection of Cambridge Glass you’ll ever see under one roof. 

Costumed docents invite you to the museum and introduce you to the history of Cambridge Glass via a short film and glassmaking demonstration. If nothing else, you’ll leave with a greater appreciation for your grandmother’s stemware that may sit in your cabinet after you learn the 75 steps it took to make a single piece. 

Glassware made in Cambridge

See examples of the different types and styles of Cambridge Glass that was made during the factory’s operations. My favorite part of the display is the Hollywood Collection which are look-a-likes of the pieces of Cambridge Glass that have been shown in TV, movies or owned by movie stars like Clark Gable.  

You can also try your hand at etching from antique etching plates, see some of the molds used to create the glassware and see a traveling salesman’s original sales kit. You can also shop from the gift shop before you leave.  

The museum is located at 136 S. 9th Street and is open from 12 p.m. to 4 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays until December 21st. 

Mosser Glass

The Mosser Glass showroom features seasonal displays.

Now that you have an appreciation for how glass is made, it’s time to explore the beautiful Mosser Glass Showroom a.k.a. Retail Store. During non-Covid times you may also tour the factory and see the artisans at work.

Mosser Glass has been in operation for over 40 years and is considered one of the leading manufacturers of high-quality, handcrafted pressed glassware. You’ll find a stunning collection of seasonal and everyday items from pitchers to cake plates to adorable Christmas Trees in a variety of sizes. 

If you love glassware, you’ll have a hard time narrowing down your selections. If you love to decorate, you’re in just as much trouble. 

My friend and I both picked up a couple of gifts while we were there but I’d be lying if I didn’t add that I wish I had purchased a trio of their white Christmas trees to add to my milk glass collection. No worries, if you leave and suffer regret for NOT purchasing something you may be pleased to know that Mosser ships around the world. 

The Mosser Glass Retail Store is located at 9279 Cadiz Road and is open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday and on Saturday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.   

Read my post You’ll Find Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About Glass Manufacturing in Cambridge to learn more. 

Pizza from Creno's

By now, it’s time to check in to your hotel so you can freshen up before dinner. We ordered a pizza from Creno’s Pizza to be delivered to the hotel which was pretty yummy or you could dine at any number of eateries in the area. The Forum Restaurant, Francis Family Restaurant Georgetown Tavern on the Hill and the Bear’s Den Steakhouse were all recommended while we were in town. 

An historic courthouse lit with Christmas lights.

The best spot to see the lights come on are at the Guernsey County Courthouse and good news! If you’ve arrived by 5:30 you’re right on time for the nightly light show. Take my advice and grab a seat on one of the benches in front of the courthouse. You’ll want to be comfortable for this. Watch for a few minutes or kick back and enjoy the entire show before strolling back down Wheeling Avenue to view the evening transformation. 

When you’re finished, you can head back to your hotel to relax and get some sleep. 

Rise and Shine! You don’t want to miss anything! 

Kennedy’s Bakery

A creme stick donut with sprinkles

I’d suggest skipping breakfast at the hotel and heading directly to Kennedy’s Bakery. This hometown favorite has been serving the community since 1925. You’ll find made from scratch baked goods ranging from fresh-baked bread to Tea Cookies, Cream waiting for you at 1025 E. Wheeling Avenue. 

Covered Bridges

A covered bridge in a wooded area.

You have a bit of time before heading to the Guernsey County Museum which opens on Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday from 12-3 so take this time to drive to City Park to see the Armstrong Covered Bridge. While closed to vehicle traffic, it is open for foot traffic and a great location for a photo opp. You’ll find the park at 218 N. 8th Street. 

Covered Bridge located on a back road in the country

If you enjoy covered bridges and have a bit of extra time on your hands take a drive outside of town to the Indian Camp Covered Bridge which is located on Covered Bridge Road. This will take you about 15-20 minutes out of town but if you like covered bridges, it’s definitely worth it.  

Guernsey County Museum

At 188- years old, the Guernsey County Museum is one of the oldest homes in Cambridge. Stroll through the 16 rooms, which include an authentic one-room schoolhouse and replica of a coal mine from the late nineteenth century. You’ll find the museum at 218 N 8th St.

McKenna’s Market

A storefront in Cambridge

From there, you can stroll through Cambridge and view the many churches that line the streets or make your way to McKenna’s Market where you’ll find Ohio made food products, a selection of Ohio Wines and a deli where you can order hot or cold deli sandwiches. McKenna’s is located at 705 Wheeling Avenue.

I hope you’ve enjoyed learning about Cambridge, the Dickens Victorian Village and the LETS GETAWAY FOR THE HOLIDAYS PACKAGE and that you are inspired to plan your own trip to this quaint Ohio town. If you have any questions, please leave a comment below. 

For more things to do in the area read 17 Quirky and Unique Things to do in Southeastern Ohio or for more to do in Cambridge check out —–> https://visitguernseycounty.com/

More Things to do for Christmas in Ohio 

The Best Christmas Light Displays in Ohio in 2020

21 Drive Through Christmas Lights in Ohio

Magical Christmas Towns in Ohio

Enhance Your Trip with these Resources

More Posts About Things to do in Southeastern Ohio 

Finding Bigfoot at Salt Fork State Park Lodge During Creature Weekend

Go Underground Cambridge on a Forgotten Places and Spaces Tour

Marietta Ohio: A River Town Steeped in History

Have you been to the Dickens Victorian Village in Cambridge? Leave a comment and tell us what you enjoyed most.

 

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