Dickens offers fun holiday events, starting this Saturday

For the second year, area children will have the chance to meet Santa Claus at a spot a little closer than the North Pole — at Dickens Parlour Theatre.

“It was very popular last year so we’re expecting a lot of kids to come visit Santa again,” said DPT Manager Cheryl DuBois. “I imagine, since last year was so popular, that this year will be even more popular, because the word is out.”

DuBois said that, in 2012, the theater worked with Lord Baltimore Elementary School students to present a Christmas concert and enjoyed it so much they decided to offer a holiday event in 2013.

“We decided last year to have Santa visit, because there really aren’t a lot of opportunities for kids to see Santa in the area, unless they go to a big shopping mall, which is quite a drive,” she said. “This is a very comfortable situation for the kids, and it’s not intimidating. Plus, they’re not waiting in a big line with a lot of grumpy shoppers.”

On Dec. 6, 7, 13, 14 and 20 Dickens will hold its regular children’s magic show matinees at 2 p.m., with tickets costing $14 for children and $20 for adults. After the show, the children will be invited back to the parlor for refreshments and to meet St. Nick from 3 to 5 p.m.

“They’ll come over to the parlor and have cookies and hot chocolate. We’ll have Christmas music playing, and they can go over and see Santa in the Santa Room,” explained DuBois. “All the kids can see Santa, but if you want a portrait with Santa, it will cost an additional $10.”

Families who chose to get portraits with Santa Claus will receive the photos that day.

Following the Christmas holiday, Dickens will be holding New Year’s events for both adults and families.

Dickens will hold a “New Year’s Early” family celebration on Dec. 31 at 4 p.m. Tickets will cost $35 for adults and $15 for children 12 or younger. Attendees will be able to enjoy hors d’oeuvres and beverages while DPT owner and magician Rich Bloch and his squad of Miracle Merlins entertain at the tables.

“So that families and kids can celebrate New Year’s Eve together, because most of them can’t stay up that late,” said DuBois, adding that the evening will include a sparkling-cider toast. “We set the clocks back, and we do New Years at 5 o’clock. That’s a lot of fun, and we’ll have magic for that, as well.”

Shows featuring mentalist duo Jeff and Tessa Evason will be held at the theater Dec. 27 through Dec. 30, at 7 p.m., with tickets costing $25 each.

“They really get the audience involved and just blow everybody’s mind. It’s definitely a fun evening,” she said. “We had sold-out shows last year, so they’re back by popular demand.

“They love performing here, and they’re phenomenal. They can recite your driver’s license number in your wallet. They’re very dynamic and charismatic.”

Dickens Parlour Theatre is located at 35715 Atlantic Avenue in Millville. For more information or to make reservations, which are strongly recommended, call (302) 829-1071 or visit www.dptmagic.com. To learn about the Evasons, visit www.evason.com.