Looking for ways to celebrate the Christmas season in Rhode Island? We have so many excellent options to choose from. You wouldn’t expect any less from the smallest, but one of the most charming states, right? Explore some of my favorite ways to get in the holiday spirit in Rhode Island.
- 1 Visit the Newport Mansions while they are decorated for the holidays.
- 2 Watch the Nutcracker in a most unique setting.
- 3 Cheer for your favorite boat at the Newport Boat Parade.
- 4 Go to a Tree Lighting Ceremony.
- 5 Cut down your own Christmas Tree.
- 6 Take afternoon tea at the elaborately decorated Blithewold Mansion.
- 7 Celebrate Christmas Eve like a real Rhode Island Italian and partake in the Feast of the Seven Fish.
Visit the Newport Mansions while they are decorated for the holidays.
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 most 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.
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 a great night will be had by all.
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.
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 ahead, 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.
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.
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 huge 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 cod fish) and linguine in clam sauce. This is an Italian-American tradition of unknown origins and it 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.