Celebrating the Holidays in Rhode Island

Things to do in Rhode Island for the holidays

Looking for ways to celebrate the Christmas season in Rhode Island? There are so many excellent options to choose from in Rhode Island. You wouldn’t expect any less from the smallest, but one of the most charming states, right? Explore some of my favorite things to do in Rhode Island in December.

Visit the Newport Mansions Decorated for the Holidays

things to do in Rhode Island in winter
The Breakers Mansion in Newport always has an enormous poinsettia tree.

The Newport Mansions were the vacation homes of the United States elite in the Gilded Age of the 1920s. Three of the mansions, The Breakers, The Elms and Marble House are open for decorated tours during the holiday season. If you visit during the evening, live music will fill your ears as you nibble on Christmas snacks. Get all the details here.

Watch the Nutcracker in a Unique Setting

Most of us adults have a Christmas memory of watching this ballet on a stage. Can you imagine following it around the rooms of a gorgeous mansion? Buy tickets here.

Cheer for your Favorite Boat at the Newport Boat Parade

Christmas events in Newport Rhode Island

Heavily decorated boats parade in front of the backdrop of the Newport Bridge. It is best seen from Bowen’s wharf, which runs this event. This year’s parade takes place at 6:15 pm on Friday, November 24th. It gets pretty crowded, so show up early to get a good spot. The stores and restaurants are all open so that all will have a great night.

Go to a Tree Lighting Ceremony

Join together with your neighbors to welcome in the season with an official tree lighting at Rhode Island’s capital, Providence, or in your home town.

Cut Down your own Christmas Tree

Cutting down Christmas trees in New England.
Some peaceful family bonding time while cutting down our tree at Hartikka Tree Farms in Voluntown, Connecticut.

Growing up in California, we got our trees from a tired old lot in a strip mall. In New England, we get our trees by bundling up and walking through a forest of trees looking for the exact tree that will make our homes perfect for the holidays. Definitely a wonderful family tradition! If you are the sort of family who plans early, you can tag your tree around Thanksgiving. Find a cut-your-own tree farm near you.

Take Afternoon Tea at the Elaborately Decorated Blithewold Mansion

things to do in Rhode Island in December
This nook on the stairwell has always been one of my favorite spots in the mansion. I can imagine curling up with a book here.

Nothing is more charming to me than an afternoon tea! Have your holiday tea at this mansion set on the shores of Narragansett Bay in the elaborately decorated dining room. Read about the full experience with lots of pictures.

Celebrate Christmas Eve like a real Rhode Island Italian and Partake in the Feast of the Seven Fish

How Rhode Island does Christmas. thedailyadventuresofme.com
Photo of a family Feast of the Seven Fishes table by Austin Kleon on Flickr.

Almost 50 percent of Rhode Islanders claim Italian heritage, my family included. So it makes sense that most of the state celebrates La Vigilia, or the Vigil,  otherwise known as the Feast of the Seven Fishes, on Christmas Eve. Also not surprising is that this large family meal includes at least seven different types of seafood, often more, such as snail salad (scungilli), stuffed quahogs (a Rhode Island clam species), bacallá (salted codfish) and linguine in clam sauce. This feast is an Italian-American tradition of unknown origins and is often followed by attendance at a midnight mass.

Are there any other Rhode Island Christmas happenings I have missed? Let me know in the comments.

Continue your celebration by jumping a train and visiting one of the world’s best Christmas cities, New York City! New England is a perfect place to be in winter- read on to find out why.

Read on to help plan all the charming, historic or just downright Rhode Island experiences to enhance your holiday season. #Christmas #RhodeIsland #TBIN #Holidays #newengland #themidlifeperspective

If you liked it, please share it. Thank you!

7 thoughts on “Celebrating the Holidays in Rhode Island”

  1. Ah, ah, there’s always a reason to celebrate in Rhode Island ! I grew up in a town where we would go to a special Christmas tree farm and cut our own tree down. We loved it because we knew that we could get the one we wanted and the ones not cut would not end up in the Trash 🙂

  2. So many fun things on this list! You are right about the Nutcracker… it would be really fun to experience it in a new way moving around the mansion. We also have a lighted boat parade in Chattanooga and I love those. Haven’t ever cut my own Christmas tree but that’s something on my list for one day. And afternoon tea…yum!! There are so few places in the states I’ve found that do a really good afternoon tea. This is a great list!

  3. That is such a detailed post! Thank you for outlining all the best spots in Rhode Island, And that Nutcracker show looks really interesting. Thanks!

  4. OMG I would love to visit the Newport Mansions, especially during the holiday season! That’s been on my bucketlist for a long time!!!!


Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

By continuing to use the site, you agree to the use of cookies. more information

The cookie settings on this website are set to "allow cookies" to give you the best browsing experience possible. If you continue to use this website without changing your cookie settings or you click "Accept" below then you are consenting to this.