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There’s nothing like a small town, Texas Christmas. Picking out your tree from a nearby farm, greeting friends on Main Street as you pop in and out of locally-owned shops looking for that perfect, unique gift for a special someone. Bundling up in coats and blankets to enjoy a carriage ride around the town square while sipping frothy hot chocolate and watching snow fall gently around you. Gathering with neighbors, friends, and kids of all ages to watch the town Christmas tree light up for the first time. It’s magical!
But wait, you say. We live in San Antonio, the 7th largest city in America. What’s so small town about that? And, snow? There’s no snow in San Antonio! OK. You’ve got me there. But hear me out.
Just up the road apiece, in a lovely little town called Boerne, an annual Christmas celebration mixes the best of an old-time, elegant, Victorian Christmas with the down home Texas hospitality of a big-hearted community. That special holiday magic still exists, y’all, and you can find it at Dickens on Main.
Taking place on Thanksgiving weekend each year (Friday and Saturday, from 1:00 p.m. – 11:00 p.m.), this year’s 16th annual Dickens on Main invites you and your family to welcome the holiday season on the Hill Country Mile in downtown Boerne with a free, family-friendly festival full of the sights, sounds, tastes, wonder, and delight of Christmas.
[Dickens on Main is a] great family-friendly event to celebrate Christmas and enjoy old traditions. My son, who was three-years-old when we attend last year, took pictures with Santa, played in the snow, and sang Christmas carols. We all sipped hot chocolate and ate tasty treats from street vendors the entire time. I hope to make it an annual family tradition!”
– Tori Johnson, blogger at The sTORIbook, on her visit to Dickens on Main
Here are some of the activities at Dickens on Main that you won’t want to miss!
Holiday Lighting Ceremony
Friday, November 27, 6:00 p.m.
Friday and Saturday, November 27 and 28, from 1:00 p.m. — 9:00 p.m.
North Pole Plaza: In true Dickens fashion, North Pole Plaza will be filled with good ‘ol family fun! Enjoy a petting zoo, trackless train, pony rides, vintage ornament making, and more, plus a “letters to Santa” writing station that will ensure Santa knows just what to deliver under the tree. And, for a change of pace, take the kiddos to the 60-foot long snow slide for a sledding experience they will never forget. This white Christmas in Boerne brings in more than 40,000 pounds of snow for families to enjoy—and this is in addition to the snow flurries on Main Street each evening.
San Antonio blogger Lori, with My Six Ring Circus, took this video of her son flying down the 60-foot snow slide at Dickens on Main last year!
Santa’s Workshop: Santa Claus is coming to Dickens on Main again this year. Parents can bring Santa’s favorite helpers and little elves to Santa’s Workshop for a picture with the jolly man himself. Additionally, there will be a craft station where the kids can make their very own birdseed ornaments to take home as a Dickens keepsake.
South Pole Plaza: Because Dickens on Main will be an event your family will cherish for years to come, what better way to remember it than by homemade, unique crafts made by the little ones? Don’t miss the South Pole Plaza kids’ area to create a souvenir and savor a memory with one of the many crafts provided.
Live Ice Sculpting Shows
Friday and Saturday, November 27 and 28, from 6:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m. and from 7:30 p.m. – 8:30 p.m.
A crowd favorite, the ice sculpting show returns to South Pole Plaza twice each evening for this year’s Dickens on Main. Watch in amazement as block ice transforms into a masterpiece. Children will take delight in the fast-paced and magical action live ice sculpting offers, and the beautiful result is a treat for all ages.
“Bah Humbug: A One Man Christmas Carol”
Friday, November 27 and Saturday, November 28, at 5:45 p.m., 7:15 p.m., and 8:45 p.m.
“Bah Humbug: A One Man Christmas Carol,” the one actor rendition of Dickens’ A Christmas Carol is back this year and as memorable as ever. A Dickens on Main favorite with an amazing spin on things, “Bah Humbug: A One Man Christmas Carol” brings all of Dickens’ original characters, portrayed by one actor! This magical retelling of the famous holiday classic is one you will not want to miss.
Friday, November 27 and Saturday, November 28, 8:00 p.m. – 11:00 p.m.
Austin-based band Groove Knight will bring the house down to wrap up Dickens on Main’s Friday night. An award-winning high energy dance band, Groove Knight is sure to please the whole family as they share the power of generations of great dance music from the ‘60s, ‘70s, ‘80s and today.
Honored as the Hill Country Entertainer of the Year not once but twice, Thomas Michael Riley is a local Texan and celebrated country artist. The final performance of this year’s Dickens on Main will be one to remember, so be sure to catch the show at the North Pole Plaza on Saturday evening. Thomas Michael Riley is unique, talented and true Texas—the perfect way to close out the weekend in Boerne.
Black Friday and Small Business Saturday
Friday, November 27 and Saturday November 28, 1:00 p.m. – 10:00 p.m.
Sleep late on Black Friday morning and skip the traffic and stress of sunrise shopping by joining us on the Hill Country Mile, home to some of Texas’s best boutiques and shops. From alternative antiques to high-end couture, Boerne is sure to have just what you need to finish your Christmas shopping. The shopping will not end on Black Friday—shop locally and invest in Boerne by shopping on Small Business Saturday. Find unique gifts to put under the tree for your loved ones. Stores will have extended shopping hours both nights.
Friday, November 27 and Saturday, November 28, 6:00 p.m. – 10:30 p.m.
To top off your Dickens on Main experience, enjoy a horse-drawn carriage ride in scenic downtown Boerne. Friends and family can pile in and take part in this quintessential Christmastime activity. This makes for a great photo opportunity, too.
And, of course, Dickens on Main features the best of small-town holiday food and drink!
After Thanksgiving, ring in the holiday season with your family at this one-of-a-kind, small-town Texas Christmas celebration. And, follow all of the Dickens on Main fun on social media and share your experiences with the hashtag #BoerneChristmas.
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