Although Rhode Island may be quaint in size, it’s massive in Christmas cheer, and makes for an idyllic vacation destination for the holidays. From the largest cities, including Providence and Warwick, to the smallest, such as Smithfield and Lincoln, Rhode Island is perfect for hosting your family Christmas. Choose a Rhode Island vacation rental along the coast in the picture-perfect town of Narragansett, or opt for a condo in the center of downtown Providence, so you’re within walking distance of shopping centers for last-minute gifts. Enjoy the sounds of Victorian carolers at Blithewold Mansion, or take part in the festivities in North Kingstown. With its New England charm and fun festivities, Rhode Island is a must-visit state during the winter. When deciding on a town to visit, consider these top seven Christmas getaways in Rhode Island.
1. Wickford Village
See almost everything the downtown area of Wickford Village has to offer during the holidays with a Christmas hayride in a horse-drawn carriage. In early December, watch in awe as the town lights the Christmas tree, and let the kids join in the Elf Parade around the town square. Santa Claus rides with kids on their own hayrides while they tell him what they want for Christmas. You can celebrate Christmas at the Castle at Smith’s Castle, and enjoy hot apple cider, carol sing-a-longs, and another chance to visit with the man in red. Check the town schedule for a variety of choir and musical programs throughout the village.
As the capital city of Rhode Island, Providence is a hive of activity and celebrations during the holiday season. Visit the local mall or walk through the downtown area to check out the awesome Christmas-themed window displays and pick up those last-minute gifts you didn’t know you needed. See a production of “Twas the Night Before Christmas” at the Nazarian Center for the Performing Arts, or opt for a horse-drawn carriage ride with warm blankets and hot cocoa. Little ones love the ‘Tis The Day After Christmas Children’s Tea, where they get to dress up in their finest and sit down for tea and cakes.
Enjoy a small town Christmas with a vacation rental in Westerly, where you can walk down the streets in the evening gazing at the stunning Christmas lights dangling from light posts. Hop in the car and wind your way through the neighborhoods to check out the holiday decorations. Gets your toes tapping with an evening at the Chorus of Westerly, which puts on several Christmas Pops concerts during the month of December that include the local orchestra and all your favorite seasonal melodies. In December, the local Chamber of Commerce offers a guided tour of the local coastline with information about the ecosystem and conservation efforts.
Choose to spend your holiday vacation in Newport, and enjoy a tour of the Breakers for the Christmas at the Newport Mansions. The Breakers is one of three mansions included in the event. The other mansions include The Elms and Marble House. The decorations glitter with golds and silvers, while a tour of the home includes a background of Christmas music and the chance to see the massive central Christmas tree and decorations throughout the home. Each Sunday, the kids can meet Santa and share their wish lists. Drive by in the evenings to see the mansion awash in Christmas lights. Stop by for live music and a variety of light refreshments. The town businesses also splash out for the holidays with stunning window displays to spread holiday cheer.
Feel like you stepped into a Victorian Christmas with a holiday break in the town of Bristol. See carolers dressed in Victorian costumes singing Christmas classics at the Blithewold Mansion. From Thanksgiving through the new year, the Blithewold Mansion has something festive everyday, from guided tours, where you find every room decorated to the nines with trees, lights, and wreaths, to a Market Place, where local vendors sell handmade items, perfect for gifts. There are live music concerts in the living room of the mansion and a fire pit in the gardens to heat marshmallows for your own s’mores. Take a horse-drawn carriage ride around the estate, or opt for the Sing Along With Santa event.
Christmas at the Mansion continues in the second largest city in Rhode Island: Warwick. At Aldrich Mansion, see expertly decorated rooms awash in Christmas colors, lights, decorations, trees, and wreaths. Early in the month, the mansion hosts an open house that includes hot cocoa and cookies for all of the visitors. Kids finish up their Christmas wish lists before the mansion’s yearly Breakfast with St. Nicholas that lasts for three hours and includes a full breakfast at the mansion’s restaurant. Get in the holiday spirit with a Christmas Concert in the Chapel sung by the local chorus.
The small town of Coventry comes alive during the holidays with lights around every corner. Many of the locals encourage community spirit by using Christmas light displays to ask for canned food donations and build a sense of the importance of giving back on behalf of the Coventry Community Food Bank. Drive through the neighborhoods in the evening to check out the festive decorations, and bring along dry goods or other donations to show your kids the importance of giving during the holidays.
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