How to Celebrate the 150th Anniversary of 'Alice in Wonderland'
Visit one of these Alice-themed sites, each one curiouser and curiouser than the next.
Published in 1865 by Lewis Carroll (the pen name of Oxford math teacher Charles Dodgson), Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland has since become a classic. The book, which, as we all know, is the story of a young girl who follows a white rabbit into a secret world, was inspired by a boat ride Carroll took with the three young daughters of a man named Henry Liddell. To entertain the children, Carroll made up a story about a bored girl named Alice (the name of Liddell’s middle daughter) who goes on an adventure. The resulting book has since been translated into 170 different languages, including Braille, Esperanto, Latin, and even emoji.
To celebrate the book’s 150th anniversary, spend an afternoon visiting some of the real sites that inspired Alice’s adventures, as well as homages to the beloved book character.
Follow the Alice Trail in this idyllic Welsh beach town where the Liddell family spent their vacations. Though the Liddell family home on Llandudno’s West Shore has been demolished, there are plenty of sites for Alice lovers, including the St George’s Hotel, where it is rumored that Lewis Carroll wrote part of the book.
To mark the town’s literary past, a marble White Rabbit statue commemorates Lewis Carroll’s Centenary, while wooden statues of the Queen of Hearts, the Mad Hatter, and the White Rabbit—with his waistcoat and pocket watch—dot the landscape.
The city of Oxford celebrates Alice’s Day annually, but visitors can take their own Alice-themed tour of the city any day of the year.
It was in Oxford’s Deanery Garden that Carroll first met Liddell and her sisters. The garden features a horse chestnut tree where Alice’s real-life cat may have sat, as well as a mysteriously locked door in the garden wall that might have helped inspire Wonderland. Liddell’s birthday party in the garden is thought to have been a template for the Mad Hatter’s Tea Party.
Christ Church’s Great Hall features the “Alice Window,” a stained-glass homage to Lewis Carroll with a portrait of Liddell. Opposite Christ Church sits the Alice Shop. Though it’s now an Alice in Wonderland–themed store, the shop is situated on the actual site of the old Sheep Shop that fans will recognize from Through the Looking Glass.
New York City
The original manuscript of the beloved children’s book will be displayed in New York’s Morgan Library until October 11. The book, which is normally housed at the British Library, is being shown alongside original drawings and letters, rare editions, and vintage photographs, many of which have never been on display before.
Head to Wonderland via Central Park with a visit to the park’s famed Alice statue. Commissioned by philanthropist George Delacorte, the bronze statue of Alice, the White Rabbit, and the Mad Hatter has been a favorite feature of adults and children alike since it came to Central Park in 1959.
The Wonderland House is an Alice in Wonderland fan’s dream destination, complete with a Mad Hatter–themed dining room featuring an enchanted table and tea-cup stools. The rest of the inn is replete with Wonderland-themed décor, from checkerboard floors to oversized chairs, Queen of Hearts bunk beds, and White Rabbit miniatures. Upside-down flamingo wallpaper will get you in the mood for croquet. The nearby Looking Glass cottage offers Alice-inspired accommodations for smaller groups.
Since this Korean Alice in Wonderland theme park was abandoned, the next best option for Alice fans in Asia is to head to Tokyo for an Alice in Wonderland eating tour. Alice is so popular in Japan that there’s not just one Alice-themed restaurant, but at least five. There’s Alice in a Labyrinth with toadstool wallpaper and teacups dangling from the ceiling; Alice in Magical Land with booths made out of hedges; Alice in a Dancing Land, which has a merry-go-round feel; Alice’s Fantasy Restaurant with Queen of Hearts décor; and Alice in an Old Castle, which lives up to its name.