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A Dickens of a street fair for the Christmas season

November 20, 2005|Patricia Connell

San Francisco

Nov. 25-Dec. 18 (weekends only): The Cow Palace's exhibition halls are transformed into a 100,000-plus-square-foot slice of Victorian England at the Great Dickens Christmas Fair. The scene is twilight in London, a city of winding lanes lined with lighted shops, theaters and taverns, peopled with street vendors and entertainers in period garb and offering puppet shows, games, magicians, Victorian crafts and more. Fish and chips, meat pies and similar victuals will be available and plenty of merchandise will tempt visitors to part with their pounds.

2600 Geneva Ave.; (800) 510-1558, and 11 a.m.-7 p.m. Adults, $20; students, seniors and military, $17; children 5 to 11, $8; younger than 5, free. Cow Palace parking, $7.

Nov. 27: In 1985, the California Academy of Sciences mounted an exhibition, "The Far Side of Science," that took a bemused look at science through the eyes of cartoonist Gary Larson. To publicize the show, the academy organized a 5K/10K walk-run dubbed "Run to the Far Side." In the two decades since, the event has become a Thanksgiving weekend tradition attracting as many as 12,000 runners. Participants in the 5K are invited to show up in costumes inspired by a "Far Side" cartoon and compete in a costume contest after the race.

Race starts at 8:30 a.m. on East Middle Drive, Golden Gate Park. Information and to register ($30; age 18 and younger, $25; deadline 11 p.m. Thursday), go to Race-day registration, $35 and $30, 7-8:15 a.m.


Mukilteo, Wash.

Dec. 17 (ongoing): Boeing's Future of Flight Aviation Center makes its debut. Designed to give visitors an interactive experience of commercial jet production, the facility lets guests digitally design their own aircraft, ride in a flight simulator, test-drive the next generation of in-flight entertainment systems and sit in a mock-up of the 787 Dreamliner (planned for rollout next year). Boeing tours of its 98.3-acre jumbo jet assembly plant will now begin and end at the Future of Flight center.

8415 Paine Field Blvd.; (800) 464-1476, 8:30 a.m.-5:30 p.m. daily except Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year's Day; Tours begin on the hour, 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Admission $15; 65 and older and active military, $14; children 6 to 15, $8; younger than 6, free.

-- Patricia Connell

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