Holiday Guide

Holiday Fun Calendar

From meetings with Santa to the heavy metal stylings of Trans-Siberian Orchestra, here's how to do the holidays right in RI.

Posted

November 2-January 14: Searching for that one-of-a-kind gift for that one-of-a-kind guy or gal? Swing by the Conanicut Island Art Association’s Annual Holiday Art Exhibition at the Town Hall Gallery, Art is a Gift, with works selling “off the wall” just in time for the giving season. Be sure to not miss the opening reception, featuring catered holiday refreshments and music by Dennis Costa, as well as Bin – Works Deals & Steals. Opening reception November 19. 5-7pm. 93 Narragansett Avenue, Jamestown. www.conanicutislandartassociation.com

November 18: Let the hustle and bustle of the season fall away, and replenish your spirit with the elegant sounds of Faure Quartett, presented by Rhode Island Chamber Concerts. As one of the world’s premier piano quartets, this performance is sure to be dynamic, with their innovative composition and repertoire enticing classical music enthusiasts and neophytes alike. 7:30pm. Saplinsey Hall, 600 Mount Pleasant Avenue, Providence. 401-456-8144, www.ric.edu/nazariancenter

December 4-6, 11-13 & 18-20: Does someone on your gift list have a thing for bling? Do they twirl for pearls? If so, be sure not to miss Imperial Pearl’s Holiday Warehouse Sale, open for three weekends only this season. America’s leading importer and designer of fine pearl jewelry opens the doors of their global headquarters for a historic sale with steep discounts of up to 70% off their to-die-for inventory. Friday-Sunday, 10am-4pm. 793 Waterman Avenue, East Providence. 401-434-2597, www.imperialpearl.com

December 5: For quality arts and crafts this season, look no further than the 2015 Holiday Craft & Little Pictures Show, hosted by the Conanicut Island Art Association. With the creative stylings of the local art community available for all your gifting needs – and music and merriment, to boot – it’s sure to be a delightful celebration of the season. 9am-4pm. Lawn School gymnasium, Lawn Avenue, Jamestown. www.conanicutislandartassociation.com

December 6: Join Ocean House for the height of their holiday season, as they host Brunch with Santa and toast The Big Guy in high style. With full Sunday brunch fare – including unlimited sparkling wine for the grownups – it’s sure to be a magical morning with Santa swinging by for a festive Rudolph singalong. Whether naughty or nice, enjoy this merry morning steeped in holiday spirit. 8am-2:30pm. 1 Bluff Avenue, Watch Hill. 401-584-7000, www.oceanhouseri.com

December 6-7: Join Corey Farms for a wonderful weekend of holiday shopping, sweet treats and warm cider at Past & Presents: Unique Antiques & Gifts for Your Home & All Occasions. This holiday open house will offer gifts, home decor and holiday treasures from local artisans, as well as exclusive Scandinavian and German products that are sure to leave you sich gut fuhlen. Saturday 10am-6pm, Sunday 11am-5pm. 3124 East Main Road, Portsmouth. 401-683-3124, www.coryfarmsri.com

December 12-13: Treat yourself to a more thoughtful, memorable and sustainable holiday this year by gifting a one-of-a-kind handcrafted treasure uncovered at the Tiverton Four Corners Arts & Artisans Winter Festival. Enjoy the festivities of this annual celebration as you stroll the wares of the region’s best artists and artisans. 10am-4pm. Tiverton Four Corners, Main Road, Tiverton. www.tivertonfourcorners.com

Through December 31: Sail away with Save the Bay on a Westerly Nature Cruise this season. Bundle up and enjoy a scenic ride down the Pawcatuck River to Little Narragansett Bay, and take in the breathtaking vistas as fall transforms to winter. Expert tour guides will lead the way as you ride down the river and delight in the playful nature of our harbor seal friends. $17-$22. Viking Marina, 19 Margin Street, Westerly. 401-203-7325, www.savebay.org/seals

Through December 31: Come see Trinity Repertory Company’s annual production of A Christmas Carol and embrace the holiday spirit as embodied by this local tradition. Bring the whole family along to this holiday classic, following the trials of grumpy Ebenezer Scrooge as his bleak outlook is pared away by the magical power of Christmas spirit. $25-$39. 201 Washington Street, Providence. 401-351-4242, www.trinityrep.com

November 20-December 20: All aboard! The Polar Express Train Ride will have you feeling merry from the moment you enter the station until the moment you leave. Sit back and enjoy the ride with some hot cocoa and cookies, and snuggle up for a reading of this well-loved childhood tale, complete with some coveted face time with Santa himself. $42-$63. Times vary. Woonsocket Train Depot, 1 Depot Square, Woonsocket. www.blackstonevalleypolarexpress.com

November 21-22: The title of “princess “has no age limit. If you love the Disney variety, be sure not to miss Disney Live! Three Classic Fairy Tales at The Veterans Memorial Auditorium, as Mickey and the gang bring to life the timeless fairytales of Cinderella, Beauty and the Beast and Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs. The wondrous set design, costumes and music are poised to be pure magic, and are sure to leave you feeling downright regal. $23-83. 1pm & 4pm Showtimes. 1 Ave of the Arts, Providence. 401-421-2787, www.vmari.com

November 21-December 18: Watch the magic be revealed as the classic children’s book comes to life aboard The Polar Express Train Ride at the Montaup Country Club. Enjoy tummy warming hot chocolate and delicious cookies, doled out by a cast of fun and magical characters along the way. Most importantly is the dress code: don’t forget to wear your jammies! Newport and Narragansett Bay Railroad. Greene Lane, Middletown. 401-295-1203, www.discovernewport.org

November 21–January 3: Allow yourself to be transported back to the Gilded Age as you tour three historical mansions fully festooned with magnificent Christmas decor. Christmas at the Newport Mansions gives you the opportunity to stroll through The Breakers, The Elms and Marble House surrounded by fresh poinsettias, wreaths, over 24 individually decorated trees, intricate gingerbread houses, elegant table settings and much more. Winter Passport for all three mansions $24.49 for adults, $9 for children 6-17, free for children under 6. Newport. 401-847-1000, www.newportmansions.org

November 27-December 4: Get the family into the holiday spirit in high style at the 14th annual run of The Newport Nutcracker at Rosecliff. Taking place in the mansion’s radiant ballrooms, brace yourself to be floored by the iconic artwork, dazzling holiday decorations and stunningly elaborate costumes and finery. 548 Bellevue Avenue, Newport. 401-847-4470, www.islandmovingco.org

November 27-December 31: Experience the crystalline and wintry wonders of nature at Christmas at Blithewold Mansion in Bristol. Stroll through the English-style manor and take in the intricately crafted decorations curated for the mansion’s 2015 theme, “A Garden for All Seasons,” marrying the beauty and look of the Blithewold Garden Estate with the décor of the interior of the mansion. Along with mindful gawking at the sight of the exquisite decorations, relax and sip some tea, or take in the Santa sing-alongs, musical performances and workshops for both children and adults. $4-26. Mansion Stroll; 11am-4pm. 101 Ferry Road, Bristol. 401-253-2707, www.blithewold.org

November 28: Treat yourself this holiday season to the inspiring splendor of Handel’s Messiah presented by Rhode Island Civic Chorale and Orchestra at the Cathedral of Saints Peter & Paul. As the only full-length performance of this classic presented in Rhode Island, the marvelous arias and exquisite choruses will leave the audience breathless, ensuring it to be a holiday experience you won’t want to miss. $10-$30. 7:30pm. 30 Fenner Street, Providence. 401-331-2434, www.ricco.org

November 28-29 & December 5-6: Start the holiday season in wild style and Visit with Santa at Roger Williams Park Zoo. Meet jolly old Saint Nick and indulge in tasty treats and fun activities for all ages. In the spirit of the giving season, pass along some holiday cheer to children in need by donating new, unwrapped toys to the Toys for Tots collection box. Good will and community abound at this event for the whole family. $5-$10 in addition to zoo admission. 10am-12pm & 1-3pm. 1000 Elmwood Avenue, Providence. 401-785-3510, www.rwpzoo.org

December 1-December 31: Indulge in some good ol’ fashioned yuletide revelry with festive music, caroling and dancing at the Grand Illumination Festivities in Bristol. Enlivened with the unshakable spirit of participation and community of this newfound Bay tradition, enjoy the community of schools and choirs from around Rhode Island coming together to celebrate the holiday season. 515 Hope Street, Bristol. www.facebook.com/BristolChristmasFestival

December 2: Bundle up to spend a winter’s eve outdoors at the 19th Annual Holiday Stroll & Luminaria in downtown Westerly, and stroll along the sidewalks festooned with luminaria – ambient paper lanterns and candlelight. Enjoy a hayride with Santa Claus and warm up with a complimentary cup of hot chocolate and a cookie. If the frosty weather gets a bit too nippy, step into the local stores downtown and tackle your holiday shopping list. Free. 5pm-9pm. Downtown Westerly. 401-596-7761, www.public.westerlychamber.org

December 3: If you’re looking for a memorable and inspiring evening this holiday season, look no further than The Magic of Christmas starring The New York Tenors as they perform at The Veterans Memorial Auditorium. Experience singers Andy Cooney, Daniel Rodriguez and Christopher Macchio with special guest, actor and comedian Jim Labriola, as they bring the joyful sights and sounds of New York at Christmas to Providence. $45-$65. 7:30pm. 1 Avenue of the Arts, Providence. 401-421-2787, www.vmari.com

December 3: Shop, stroll and smile ‘til your cheeks hurt at the annual Hope Street Holiday Stroll, one of the largest and most exciting East Side community events of the year. The streets and sidewalks will be packed with live music, food trucks, Christmas and Hanukkah events for kids, and so much more. Bring your gift list – and the whole family, to boot – and enjoy the merriment of the giving season alongside neighbors, friends and family. Free. 4-8pm. Hope Street between Rochambeau and Fifth Street. www.hopestreetprov.com

December 3-December 6: Come celebrate the 30th anniversary of the Festival of Lights in Wickford this holiday season, and imbibe in the charm of this historic colonial village reimagined as a winter wonderland with thousands of beautiful white lights twinkling like stars. North Kingstown. 401-295-5566, www.wickfordvillage.org

December 3, 4-6, & 11-13: ‘Tis the season for shopping with funky flair at the annual Foundry Holiday Show, a seven day holiday art and artisanal craft sale spanning two weekends at the Pawtucket Armory. Indulge in the dazzling array of high-caliber fine art and crafts, like glassware, ceramics, handcrafted jewelry, millinery, apparel and even artisanal beauty products. Free. Opening reception December 3, 5-9pm; Friday hours Noon-8pm; Saturday & Sunday hours 10am-6pm. 172 Exchange Street, Pawtucket. www.foundryshow.com

December 4: Get into the swing of things this holiday season with FirstWorks as they present Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra with Wynton Marsalis & Big Band Holidays. America’s preeminent jazz orchestra are sure to get your toes tappin’ and fingers snappin’ as they perform your holiday favorites. $28-$100. 7:30pm. 1 Avenue of the Arts, Providence. 401-421-2787, www.vmari.com

December 5: Hard up for innovative gift ideas this season? If you’re on the hunt for something special, the RISD Alumni + Student Holiday Art Sale at the Rhode Island Convention Center is just the ticket. Featuring the work of over 200 RISD alumni and current student artists, the creative talent runs deep with works ranging from fine art, glass, ceramics, apparel and more. You’ll be hard pressed to leave empty-handed. $8; Free for RISD students and children under 14. 10am-5pm. 1 Sabin Street, Providence. 401-458-6000, www.risdalumnisales.com/holiday-art-sale

December 5: Slingshot into the Christmas spirit at the 45th Annual Christmas Tree Lighting at Bowen’s Wharf in Newport with Frosty, Mrs. Claus and Santa on hand all evening to meet the kids and help the mayor light the tree at 6pm. Festive fun for the whole family is sure to be the order of the evening. Free. 4:30pm. 13 Bowen’s Wharf, Newport. 401-849-2243, www.bowenswharf.com/events

December 5-6 & December 12-13: Ain’t it thrillin’? Ring in the season at the Pawtucket Winter Wonderland and visit the fantastically festive Holiday Village located inside Slater Memorial Park. Though your nose may get a chillin’, enjoy the family-friendly activities and create memories that will last a lifetime. 4-8pm. Slater Memorial Park, 449 Newport Avenue, Pawtucket. 401-726-3185, www.winterwonderlandpawtucket.com

December 6: Have yourself a merry little New England Christmas this year. Don’t miss the Boston Pops Esplanade Orchestra at the Providence Performing Arts Center, joined by the Metropolitan Chorale of Brookline, as they take you through your seasonal favorites with a special appearance by Old Saint Nick. $58-$130. 6pm. 220 Weybosset Street, Providence. www.ppacri.org

December 6: Bust out of your winter workout slump by dashing through the snow in the Downtown Jingle 5k. Lace up those sneakers, and get ready to pound the pavement in scenic downtown Providence, all to benefit Toys for Tots, Project Undercover and the Rhode Island Community Food Bank. Whether you’re a Dasher, Dancer or Prancer, get your fitness on in the spirit of the season at this annual fun run. $18-$35. Rhode Island Convention Center, 1 Sabin Street. www.downtownjingle5k.com

December 6 & 13: The ever-growing Providence Flea continues to shine brightly even in their off-season as they host the Providence Flea Holiday Market at Hope High School. Check out all your favorite flea vendors for holiday gifts, grab a nosh at a food truck (or two… or three) and enjoy the live music at this fun family-friendly affair. Free. 10am-4pm. 324 Hope Street, Providence. www.providenceflea.com

December 8-13: If you’re a fan of classic holiday movies, don’t miss the chance to see a stage adaptation of Irving Berlin’s White Christmas at the Providence Performing Arts Center. Featuring spectacular holiday costumes and magical, wintry sets, this live production of the well-loved holiday romantic comedy is sure to put a smile on your face. $46-$83. 7pm. 220 Weybosset Street, Providence. www.ppacri.org

December 12: Forget about all the crazed gift shopping or your endless holiday to-do list, and lend a hand to those in need this winter by supporting the Holiday Food Drive & Open House at the Rhode Island Community Food Bank. Every donation counts, so be sure to bring a non-perishable food item – and your family, too – and enjoy the music, good company and, of course, the spirit of community in action. 200 Niantic Avenue, Providence. 401-942-6325, www.rifoodbank.org

December 12 & 13: Don’t miss the beloved Castle Hill tradition, the Teddy Bear Tea, held amid the warm resplendence and quiet luxury of this 19th century seaside hotel. An elegant event for children and their favorite teddy bear friends, this afternoon includes a lovely tea service, complete with petit fours, and readings of classic holiday favorites for children and adults. In keeping with the reason for the season, families are encouraged to bring a new, unwrapped teddy bear to donate to Child & Family of Newport County. $25 for adults; free for children. 590 Ocean Drive, Newport. 401-849-3800, www.castlehillin.com

December 12-January 4: Keep your holiday season evergreen and eco-friendly at re-Tree – A Showcase of Trees Created with Recycled Materials, hosted by the Four Corners Arts Center in partnership with ecoRI News. All of these artful trees must be composed of 90% recycled, reclaimed or repurposed materials. $15 per tree submission; exhibit is free and open to the public. 3850 Main Road, Tiverton. 401-624-2600, www.fourcorners.org

December 13, 17 & 19: Interested in experiencing your favorite holiday tunes in grand fashion? The Warwick Symphony Orchestra’s Joyous Sounds of Christmas is a regional orchestra of volunteer musicians that delivers exciting and informative symphonic performances to audiences around the Ocean State. What better way to ring in the holidays than with booming kettledrums and jubilant French horns at one of their three performances this season? $10. 3pm. St. Kevin’s Church, 333 Sandy Lane, Warwick. 401-737-2638, www.wsori.org

December 14: Does gift shopping have your head spinning? Be sure to check out the New Urban Arts Cardboard Pancakes Holiday Art Sale where you’re sure to find the special something for friends or family. Feel free to shmooze with the local artists and artisans selling their most unique pieces, like ceramics, jewelry, clothing, prints and more. 10am-5pm. 705 Westminster Street, Providence. www.newurbanarts.org

December 16: Come rock around the Christmas tree with the Trans-Siberian Orchestra as they dole out classic holiday hits with modern flair for their first-ever The Ghosts Of Christmas Eve Tour at the Dunkin’ Donuts Center. From rockers in leathers pants to an extreme laser show, from shooting flames to cinematic set design, the Trans-Siberian Orchestra does Christmas unlike any other. 1 Lasalle Square, Providence. 401-272-7337, www.trans-siberian.com

December 18: Interested in checking out Rhody’s most profound and substantive writers in a program that’s neither profound nor substantive? Goat Hill Writers presents Writers Behaving Badly! Holiday Edition performed onstage at Aurora, featuring a panel of celebrity judges measuring the performance of local writers in three rounds of literary games and challenges to test their wit, as well as their shamelessness. The super serious set need not apply, because this is sure to be a laugh out loud riot. Free. 6-8pm. 276 Westminster Street, Providence. www.goathillwriters.com

December 18: Leave the chaos and stress of the holiday season at the mall and engage your elegant side at ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas at the Providence Ballet Theatre. Get lost in the scenes of dreamy sugarplums, magical reindeer and abundant holiday cheer that are sure to replenish your holiday spirit. 7:30pm. Roberts Hall, RIC. 600 Mount Pleasant Avenue. 401-456-8144, www.ric.edu

December 18-December 20: Whether a date night for the grownups or a night out with the whole family, Festival Ballet’s The Nutcracker is brought to life with radiant music, a spectacular stage setting and an overall quality of grace that’s sure to capture the hearts of the audience. $23-$85. Providence Performing Arts Center, 220 Weybosset Street, Providence. 401-421-2787, www.festivalballet.com

December 30-January 2: Embrace the art of bubbly and ring in 2016 at Castle Hill Inn’s Effervescent New Year’s Eve. Poppin’ corks from the get-go, your stay starts with a bottle of champagne in your room upon arrival. On the afternoon of NYE, imbibe and indulge in a premium champagne tasting, followed by a screening of the 1954 film classic Sabrina. After dining and dancing your way into the new year, enjoy the New Year’s Day Hangover Brunch, featuring an artisanal Bloody Mary bar, and set yourself up for success in 2016 with an inspirational goal-setting seminar. Overnight packages start at $720 per night. 590 Ocean Avenue, Newport. 888-466-1355, www.castlehillinn.com