Escape the hustle and bustle of the holiday season and travel back in time to days of Christmas past. Genesee County is a great place for families and friends to get caught up in the story of Charles Dickens’ “A Christmas Carol” in historic Holly, or experience a Victorian Christmas at Whaley Historical House Museum in Flint.

In its 40th year, the Holly Dickens Festival features the smells of roasting chestnuts and hot chocolate, shops and restaurants decorated for the holidays, the sounds of Christmas carols sung on the streets and street performers including Mr. Scrooge! The festival will take place Saturday, Dec. 14, from 2:00 to 8:00 p.m. and Sunday, Dec. 15, from 2:00 to 6:00 p.m. in downtown Holly.

At Whaley Historical House Museum visitors will see how the Whaley family celebrated and decorated for the holidays and learn how many American holiday traditions began. The Saturday Victorian Christmas celebrations include performances by UM-Flint Theater students and a reading of “Twas the Night Before Christmas.” The house is open Saturdays through Dec. 21 from 1:00 to 4:00 p.m., Sundays through Dec. 15 and on Thursday Dec. 19 from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. for a performance of “A Christmas Carol.”

For more historic holiday magic, Crossroads Village and Huckleberry Railroad are open weekends from 4:00 to 9:00 p.m., featuring holiday traditions from the turn-of-the-century and night-time train rides.