Cambridge Dickens Victorian Village

Every year the town of Cambridge transforms into a charming destination that celebrates Victorian era Christmas. The concept of the Dickens Victorian Village is brilliant if you ask me.

Downtown Cambridge is a special place at any time of year. There are loads of historic buildings that house some lovely shops, restaurants, offices and even a fantastic bakery that has been in business for nearly a century. A gorgeous 1881 era Courthouse holds court (literally) over the downtown, providing a gorgeous focal point and even a backdrop for an amazing light show during the holidays.

The Dickens piece adds something unexpected. You see, it involves about 180 life sized characters in Victorian dress and arranged in about ninety vignettes around downtown. They tell the stories of people who lived here and of the activities that went on in this area. There are carolers, a photographer, a glass blower, a seamstress and many, many more. I was especially taken with the Father Christmas and with the coal miners who looked so lifelike I wanted to sit down and ask their stories.

Characters can be found under lampposts, in doorways and in building windows. A few are placed so unexpectedly, that they were almost surprising when I happened upon them in the dark. I did return the next morning to hit a couple of shops and got to see some things in the daylight I had missed the night before.

Plaques placed with each scene tell a short story, making this public art project an easy history lesson too.

This event always takes place November 1 through December 31 and has been going on for seventeen years. It attracts small groups like families as well as large groups that come by the busload to take part in the fun every year.

Go if you can. It’s free to walk around. As mentioned before, there are plenty of places to eat and shop while you’re there so be sure to support those small businesses. Click here to read about that fabulous light display at the courthouse too!

For all you National Road enthusiasts, note that this is right on that famous route we all enjoy so much! Follow Make The Journey Fun on Facebook to see more pictures from the Dickens Village!

Mail Pouch Covered Bridge

One of the most special covered bridges I’ve seen in person is in Guernsey County, Ohio. It was built on private property but is fortunately visible from the road.

Constructed in 1981, it is a short 42 feet and features a Mail Pouch advertisement. The farm is picturesque but the bridge makes it even more beautiful.

I swung by here on my way home from Jamestown, New York last spring and I’m so glad I took the time to go find it.

Have you seen a covered bridge featuring a mural or advertising of some kind?

Guernsey County Courthouse

Guernsey County has one of Ohio’s most beautiful courthouses. The sandstone building is enormous. It doesn’t just sit in downtown Cambridge, it presides over downtown.

They put on an incredible light show timed with music as part of their Dickens Christmas Victorian Village every year. I haven’t been in a long time and badly need to add this to my wish list for 2021.

If you go, it’s right on the National Road. There are some great shops downtown and good restaurants too including Theo’s Restaurant where there’s no vegetarian menu but a PIE list that will make you forget all about that! Salt Fork State Park is just outside of town and provides a wonderful backdrop for relaxation and recreation. Try the pizza at the lodge and if you go in summer spend a day at the beach.

A friend directs their tourism – she and her staff at the visitors center would love to hear from you. Oh, and if you go, be on the lookout for Bigfoot! They claim he lives there!!!