Christmas & Holiday Events

Nubble Light at Christmas New England’s lively cities, snug towns, and snow-swept mountains are a perfect backdrop for Christmas and holiday celebrations and traditions. Come and enjoy classic favorites, like performances of “The Messiah” or “The Nutcracker, and local traditions, like the festive lighting of the Nubble Lighthouse in York, Maine. Lodgings offer plenty of ways to combine a holiday getaway with pastimes like skiing, shopping, or theater-hopping.

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All Ages

Christmas at the Newport Mansions - Newport, RI

Nov 22, 2014 - Jan 4, 2015 The Breakers, The Elms and Marble House Newport, RI
Christmas at the Newport MansionsThree of Newport’s magnificent mansions -- The Breakers, The Elms and Marble House -- are open for Christmas revelry each year, offering music, tours, and breath taking poinsettias, fresh flowers, evergreens and wreaths. Local pastry chefs will create gingerbread replicas of many of the Newport Mansions, which will be on display in the kitchen of The Breakers. New this year will be a working garden scale model of the Vanderbilt family's New York Central Railroad, which will be on display in the second floor loggia of The Breakers.
All three houses will be open for daily tours. The Breakers opens daily at 9 a.m., The Elms and Marble House open at 10 a.m. The last tour admission is at 4 p.m., and the houses close at 5 p.m. Houses are closed on Thanksgiving and Christmas Day.
Holiday Evenings at the Newport Mansions offer live holiday music and light refreshments as you visit the rooms. Holiday Evenings at The Breakers are November 29, December 6, 13 & 27, 6 to 8 p.m. A Holiday Evening Duet is performed at The Elms & Marble House December 20, 6 to 9 p.m.
Time: 9 a.m.-5 p.m.
Admission: Passport to 3 houses is $28 for adults, $9 for children 6-17. Regular tickets to single houses available
Telephone: 401-847-1000

Christmas at Blithewold - Bristol, RI

Nov 28, 2014 - Jan 4, 2015 Blithewold, 101 Ferry Road Bristol, RI
Blithewold's Christmas theme for 2014 celebrates the Van Wickle family's love of entertaining. Each room of the mansion will interpret a festive occasion at Blithewold in the early 1900s, like a tea party, games evening, garden party, or sailing party. Come and enjoy the elaborate decorations, informal afternoon teas, the Santa sing-alongs, the musical performances, and the workshops for both children and adults! Sparkle, on Friday nights, is an evening of carol singing and strolling through the Enclosed Garden and Greenhouse. See Blithewold website for a complete list of activities.
Time: Times vary; consult event website
Admission: consult event website
Telephone: 401-253-2707

Bowen’s Wharf Christmas Tree Lighting - Newport, RI

Dec 6, 2014 - Dec 6, 2014 Bowen’s Wharf Newport, RI
Frosty the Snowman will arrive at 4:30 p.m., followed by the Christmas Carol Sing-a-long at 5 p.m. A Newport city official lights the 30-foot tree promptly at 6 p.m. immediately followed by the cheerful arrival of Santa and Mrs. Claus by boat, weather permitting, or by magic! Music will continue until every child has had a chance to whisper their Christmas wishes to Santa at the North Pole. Join a magical evening of charm, fun, and good cheer on the waterfront at historic Bowen’s Wharf.
Time: 4:30 to 6 p.m.

Children & Families

Blackstone Valley Polar Express - Woonsocket, RI

Nov 22, 2014 - Dec 21, 2014 Woonsocket Station, One Depot Square Woonsocket, RI
Welcome aboard a 90-minute magical train journey from Woonsocket to the North Pole! Children will enjoy the reading of the book “The Polar Express,” a visit from Santa and Mrs. Clause, a holiday sing-a-long, and a special Holiday remembrance while enjoying hot chocolate and cookies. Dates: November 22-23, 28-30; December 5-7, 12-14, 19-21.
Time: 1 and 4 p.m.
Telephone: 401-724-2200

Santa Arrives in Westerly - Westerly, RI

Nov 28, 2014 - Nov 28, 2014 Downtown Westerly Westerly, RI 02886
The Winter Lady and other holiday characters will be escorting Santa Claus into Dixon Square in Downtown Westerly at 6 pm via fire trucks. Santa’s helpers will distribute holiday candy and coloring books. If the weather is bad, the event will take place at the Westerly Armory.
Time: 6 p.m.
Telephone: 401-596-7761

Sing-A-Long With Santa - Bristol, RI

Dec 4, 2014 - Dec 11, 2014 101 Ferry Road Bristol, RI
Bring the whole family to Blithewold for this special holiday musical performance. After a holiday sing-along, Santa Claus himself will make a special appearance to visit and to read "The Night Before Christmas," followed by cookies and hot cocoa. Registration is required since seating in the Living Room is limited. Offered December 4 and 11.
Time: 6-8 p.m.
Admission: $15 Adult Members $17 Adult Non-members $8 Member Children $10 Non-member ChildrenChildren who are sma
Telephone: 401-253-2707

American Girl Doll Christmas - Lincoln, RI

Dec 7, 2014 - Dec 7, 2014 Hearthside House, 677 Great Road Lincoln, RI
Girls ages 4-10 are invited to bring their moms and their American Girl Dolls for Christmas at a historic mansion. Reservations required.
Time: Two limited seatings: 12:30 p.m. and 2:30 p.m.
Telephone: 401-726-0597


Victorian Christmas at Lippitt House - Providence, RI

Dec 5, 2014 - Dec 7, 2014 Henry Lippitt House Museum, 199 Hope Street Providence, RI
D 5 - 7 Lippitt House Museum’s first floor will be richly festooned with seasonal decorations for these Christmas events.
An Evening of Good Cheer!, a holiday soirée, December 5 from 6 to 8 p.m., The Very Merry Dickens Carolers will provide roving performances. Wine, beer, and light refreshments will be available. Admission: $15
Family Holiday Funday, December 6 from 3 to 5 p.m. Families with young children are invited to attend this afternoon of holiday crafts, stories and treats. Advance registration required. Register at Free.
Merry Matinee, December 7, from 1 to 4 p.m. Enjoy period dancing, holiday decorations, and learn about Victorian Christmas traditions. Period dancing courtesy 14th Rhode Island Regiment Heavy Artillery, from 2 p.m. to 3 p.m. Light refreshments provided. Admission is $10, kids age 14 and younger, $5
Time: See details in description

Christmas at Smith Castle - North Kingstown, RI

Dec 6, 2014 - Dec 7, 2014 Smith's Castle, 55 Richard Smith Drive Wickford North Kingstown, RI 02886
The halls of Smith Castle are decked in period fashion for a celebration of Christmas past. Taste on home-baked treats, sip hot mulled cider, and enjoy live music from an earlier era.
Time: Noon-4 p.m.
Telephone: 401-294-3521


Getting Merry Like Christmas - Providence, RI

Dec 6, 2014 - Dec 6, 2014 RISD Museum, 20 North Main Street Providence, RI
A new jazz and gospel holiday tradition with the Rhode Island Black Heritage Society.
Time: 1:30 p.m.
Admission: General seating, $10; limited reserved seating, $25
Telephone: 401-421-0606

Four Ensembles present Holiday Musical Tour - Woonsocket, RI

Dec 6, 2014 - Dec 6, 2014 St. Ann Arts & Cultural Center, 84 Cumberland Street Woonsocket, RI
Audiences from Woonsocket to Warwick will be treated to a musical event featuring double orchestra and double chorus. The Warwick Symphony Orchestra, the West Bay Chorale, the University of Rhode Island Symphony Orchestra and Concert Choir join forces for a holiday series of concerts. The program includes “Magnificant” by Franz Schubert, excerpts from “Hodie “by Ralph Vaughn-Williams, “Fantasia on We Three Kings” by Brain Balmages, “The Twelve Days of Christmas,” “There’s Christmas in the Air,” “Christmas Eve/Sarajevo 12/24,” popularized by the Tran-Siberian Orchestra, and “Sleigh Ride” by Leroy Anderson.
Time: 7:30 p.m.
Admission: $10 per person.
Telephone: 401-356-0713

Holiday Pops Concert - Woonsocket, RI

Dec 19, 2014 - Dec 19, 2014 28 Monument Square Woonsocket, RI
At the historic Stadium Theatre, the Ocean State Summer Pops Orchestra presents a Holiday Pops Concert with special guests from the Providence Gay Men’s Chorus. Experience the music of winter through themed music from Frozen and Christmas on Broadway. Enjoy holiday cheer through Christmas classics like O Holy Night and White Christmas. 
Time: 8 p.m.
Admission: $21, $26, $31; children under age 12 admitted
Telephone: 401-578-3978

Open House

Holiday Open House - Newport, RI

Dec 7, 2014 - Dec 7, 2014 Redwood Library, 50 Bellevue Avenue Newport, RI
Please come for holiday cookies, music, and friendship at the Redwood Library Holiday Open House. Mulled cider and cookies will be plentiful and a trio of musicians, on piano, bass, and flute, will treat guests to musical favorites.
Time: 1-4 p.m.
Admission: Free
Telephone: 401-847-0292

Outdoor Activities

Sparkle! An Outdoor Family Event - Bristol, RI

Nov 28, 2014 - Jan 2, 2015 101 Ferry Road Bristol, RI
Festive fun for the entire family! Come, stroll through Blithewold’s illuminated gardens and Greenhouse, breathe in that crisp Christmas air, or join our carolers as they spread holiday cheer. Come, enjoy music, cocoa, and roasted marshmallows around a roaring bonfire in Blithewold’s Enclosed Garden. Carol singing begins at 6:30 p.m. around the bonfire. 
Time: Fridays, 6-8 p.m.
Admission: Regular Mansion Admission
Telephone: 401-253-2707

Holiday Stroll and Luminaria - Downtown Westerly and Pawcatuck, RI

Dec 3, 2014 - Dec 3, 2014 Downtown Westerly and Pawcatuck, RI
Bundle up and start your holiday shopping at the wonderful boutiques and art galleries in Downtown Westerly. The streets will be lined with luminaria and caroling groups will fill the air with holiday music. Go on a horse-drawn hayride or stop for free hot chocolate and cookies.
Time: 5-9 p.m.
Admission: Free
Telephone: 401-596-7761

Pawtucket Winter Wonderland - Pawtucket, RI

Dec 6, 2014 - Dec 14, 2014 Slater Memorial Park, Newport Avenue and Armistice Blvd. Pawtucket, RI
See 400 decorated Christmas trees, 20 Victorian buildings, and a talking snowman, and enjoy free visits and photos with Santa, train rides, hay rides, carousel rides, food court, and entertainment. Dates: December 6-7 and 13-14.
Time: 4-8 p.m.
Admission: Free admission and parking.
Telephone: 401-728-0500

Parades & Fireworks

Santa's Arrival and Holiday Parade - Providence, RI

Nov 29, 2014 - Nov 29, 2014 Roger Williams Park Zoo, 1000 Elmwood Avenue Providence, RI 02886
See Santa arrive in grand style, then take part in a festive holiday parade through the zoo, see the animals receive some gift' of their own and enjoy a number of other activities that'll get the whole family glowing with holiday cheer.
Time: Begins at 9 a.m.
Telephone: 401-785-3510

Performing Arts, Theater, Dance

The Newport Nutcracker at Rosecliff - Newport, RI

Nov 28, 2014 - Dec 5, 2014 Rosecliff Mansion, 548 Bellevue Avenue Newport, RI
The Island Moving Co. presents the Newport Nutcracker at Rosecliff. Don't miss this one-of-a-kind ballet performance, a perfect holiday tradition for your family.
Time: Curtain times vary; see event website
Admission: $75, $95, $125
Telephone: 401-847-4470

A Christmas Celtic Sojourn in Providence - Providence, RI

Dec 19, 2014 - Dec 19, 2014 Providence Performing Arts Center Providence, RI
Music director Seamus Egan returns with his group, Solas. Other virtuosos in the show will be harpist Catriona McKay, fiddler Chris Stout, Winifred Horan on fiddle, and Natalie Haas on cello. Singer Alyth McCormack of the Chieftains will perform, as will Navan, with its unique four-part harmonies. The Chieftains’s Jon and Nathan Pilatzke, and Cara Butler will bring their unique approach to Irish dance, as will the young dancers from the Harney Academy of Irish Dance in Walpole. In Providence, hometown dancing sensation Kevin Doyle will join the cast.
Time: 7:30 p.m.

Shopping & Sales

Christmas in the Valley - Foster, RI

Nov 28, 2014 - Nov 30, 2014 Foster Country Club67 Johnson Rd Foster, RI 02825
Juried holiday show known for unique hand-crafted items and fine art. The three-day event also features live music, a Sunday visit from Santa and restaurant specials. Take a ride out to the country, stop for a holiday photo at RI's only covered bridge, then come to the Foster Country Club to shop, eat, drink and be entertained.
Time: November 28, 5-9 p.m.; November 29, 10 a.m.-6 p.m.; November 30, 10 a.m.-4 p.m.
Admission: Free admission and parking, handicapped accessible venue