Skip the Mall!

Black Friday’s best deal is the gift of time with your children and grandchildren, at Wilton’s favorite Great Trains Holiday Exhibit and A Christmas Carol, for a day of family fun.

The Great Trains Holiday Exhibit opens Friday, Nov. 27 at the Wilton Historical Society. A Christmas Carol live at Wilton High School’s Clune Center plays live the same day at 7 p.m.

Trains, Trains, Trains! 12–4 p.m.

The much anticipated Great Trains Holiday Exhibit: An Interactive Wonderland will open the day after Thanksgiving, Friday, Nov. 27 from 12 – 4 p.m.. Dressed for the holidays, the Society’s historic 18th and 19th century buildings are transformed into a train-lovers delight with eight different train layouts winding through tiny towns with many different kinds of buildings, tunnels, cable cars, and two working Ferris Wheels!

New this year:  a Wilton-themed HO layout; expanded “O” gauge layout; and a working Lego train set. The interactive display enchants visitors of all ages with lots of buttons to push and knowledgeable “train engineers” on hand to “talk trains.” In a special train room for the youngest guests, there are buttons galore plus Thomas the Tank Engine and a Brio set for hands-on fun.

The Great Trains Holiday Exhibit will run from Friday, Nov. 27, 2015 through Monday, Jan. 18, 2016 on Thursdays – Saturdays, 10 a.m.-4 p.m.; Sundays 12-4 p.m.; and Wednesdays by appointment. Admission is free for members of the Society, and $10 for non-member adults. The Wilton Historical Society is located at 224 Danbury Rd./Route 7.

A Christmas Carol One-Man Show by Dickens’ Descendant Gerald Charles Dickens

Begin the holiday season with a festive family activity! Mark your calendar for Friday, Nov. 27, when The Historical Christmas Barn and The Wilton Historical Society will present A Christmas Carol at the Clune Center for the Arts at Wilton High School. This heartwarming show-of-the-season is performed by Gerald Charles Dickens, the great-great grandson of literary master Charles Dickens. Gerald, an actor and producer hailing from Oxford, England, is back for a return engagement in the popular show, and he’ll be performing his captivating rendition of this timeless holiday classic. Presented at 7 p.m., the event benefits the Wilton Historical Society. Admission is $15; tickets are available online.

Gerald Charles Dickens bears more than a passing resemblance to his famous ancestor, who originally toured the U.S. in 1867 reading his literary works before spellbound audiences. The historians report that A Christmas Carol was his favorite piece to perform. According to Gerald, his great-great grandfather adored theater and initially wanted to be an actor but pursued writing as a career for practical purposes. For many years Gerald says that he himself “avoided anything to do with Dickens like the plague.” But in 1993 when a friend asked him to do a reading of A Christmas Carol on its 150th anniversary of publication to help raise money for a historical restoration project, he couldn’t turn him down. To his surprise, he enjoyed doing it and has been delighting audiences around the world with his rendition ever since.

During his energetic one-man show, Dickens brings A Christmas Carol to life. He leaps, he sobs, he laughs as he entertains, depicting 26 characters of the classic tale with just a table, wing chair, and hat rack accompanying him on stage. “It’s a wonderful show–a great family tradition–the best way I know of to kick off the holiday season,” says Bob Byers, president of Byers’ Choice Ltd., the sponsor for Dickens’ U.S. tour.

Dickens returns to the U.S. for a 2015 tour that will take him to several states across the country.   He will transform theaters into scenes straight out of the classic holiday tale, much as Scrooge was transformed from a dispirited miser to a joyous soul after his Christmas Eve encounter with ghosts from the past, present and future.

The Historical Christmas Barn is located in the historic Lambert House at 150 Danbury Rd. (corner of Route. 7 and Route 33), and is open Monday–Saturday, 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. and Sunday 11 a.m.-5 p.m..