25+ Ways to Get Your Jingle on in Providence

The Creative Capital pulls out all the stops for special activities all month long


City sidewalks, busy sidewalks, dressed in holiday style,” goes the song “Silver Bells,” which aptly describes the many commercial streets of Providence. Every corner of the Creative Capital shines during December, whether you’re shopping beneath the strands of lights on Westminster, being tempted by the aromas of Federal Hill restaurants beckoning you inside for a bite, strolling specialty shops amidst East Side streets’ historic charms, reveling in the cool vibes of the West End, or popping into bakeries around Elmhurst and Mount Pleasant, among many other destinations. Wreaths on lampposts, colorful displays, candles in windows, and illuminated greens give us all excuses to stop and savor the most magical time of year. We’ve done all the research to provide dozens of things to do, along with all you need to follow Santa around the state all month long. So, get out your calendars, make some plans, and enjoy!


December 1

City of Providence Holiday Tree Lighting Ceremony: 25 Dorrance Street is the place to be for festivities capping off with the lighting of the tree. ProvidenceRI.gov


December 1-3

Three Nights of Lights: Last year’s stellar festival returns, complete with five-foot glowing snowflakes, tree lightings, video projection, a partial waterfire, and special holiday storefronts. GoProvidence.com


December 2

Benefit Street Stroll: Don’t miss a walk down the charming East Side street known as the “Mile of History” for its collection of 18th and 19th century architecture, festooned in holiday cheer by volunteers and homeowners. MileOfHistory.org

Tree Lighting at Narragansett Brewery: Raise your pint glass and toast the holiday lights, or join in with carolers singing timeless melodies at this tree lighting event. Facebook: Narragansett Beer

Outdoor Marketplace: Federal Hill retailers and restaurants offer shopping and tastings al fresco style, all to the tune of caroling, holiday performances, and a lighting extravaganza. FederalHillProv.com


December 2-3

Fine Furnishings Shows Winter Market: This exceptional weekend shopping event features holiday decor and vendors galore. WaterFire Arts Center, FineFurnishingsShows.com


December 3

Handel’s Messiah Open Sing: All are welcome to sing along with the Rhode Island Civic Chorale & Orchestra performing the Christmas portion of Handel’s celebratory work at the Church of St. Sebastian. RICCO.org


December 8

Krampusnacht at Narragansett Brewery: It’s a nightmare before Christmas in this delightfully frightful event filled with thrilling costumes, live music, and dark brews. Facebook: Narragansett Beer


December 8-9

La Cuesta Mágica (The Magic Hill): Five lost brothers embark on an extraordinary adventure in this magical holiday musical with songs and dances from Latin America, performed in Spanish, with English translations simulcast. TeatroEcas.org


December 9

Field of Artisans at Narragansett Brewery: The one-of-a-kind artisan market sets up shop in the iconic brewery’s Fox Point tasting room. FieldOfArtisans.com


December 10

Handel’s Messiah: RI Philharmonic and Providence Singers bring the beloved holiday concert to life. TheVetsRI.com

Girl Gang Craft Holiday Fair: Celebrate the women in your life with this fem-craft fair. Over 100 women-owned businesses and makers come together to show off their goods. WaterFire.org


December 12

Shine Your Light - A Hanukkah Celebration: Everybody loves games around the holidays! Come share your skills at the talent show and take part in the festivities on this special night with the Temple Emanu-El community. JewishRhody.com


December 13

Ugly Sweater Party: Homemade, thrifted, gifted, or bought – break out those chunky sweaters for a friendly ugly sweater competition and a night of holiday-inspired flights. Providence, Facebook: Narragansett Beer


December 14

Lindsey Stirling: Snow Waltz Tour: Classic jingles get recharged with Lindsey Stirling’s electric violin and acrobatic performances of favorite carols and original holiday tunes. Providence Performing Arts Center, PPACRI.org


December 15 & 17

Providence Bruins WinterFest: Catch two hockey games of fun and fundraising to celebrate the winter season. Amica Mutual Pavilion, ProvidenceBruins.com


December 15-24

The Nutcracker: Don’t miss Ballet RI’s fresh take on the enchanting classic, featuring a 38-foot tree, Nutcracker by Big Nazo Lab, and creative choreography by Yury Yanowsky. The VETS, PPACRI.org


December 16

Holiday Pops: “Unwrap the Magic” with The Boston Pops, featuring classic songs and new takes on seasonal favorites in a celebration of New England’s very own wintry wonderland. Providence Performing Arts Center, PPACRI.org


December 16-17

Providence Artisans Markets: Kick off the shopping season with 80 local artists exhibiting handmade works, including paintings, ceramics, jewelry, photography, clothing, accessories, mixed media, and more, along with food trucks. WaterFire Arts Center, Facebook: Providence Artisans Market 


December 27-31

Disney On Ice: Find Your Hero: The magic of the holidays (or Disney) continues in this performance featuring former and future Olympians, skating to favorite heroes from Encanto, Frozen, Moana, and more. AmicaMutualPavillion.com


December 31

NYE: GHospitality (which includes Sarto, Providence GPub, and other spots) offers a range of NYE events for all kinds of revelers. SartoProvidence.com




Through December 23

119th Little Pictures Show & Sale: You read that right – the Providence Art Club’s oldest and largest exhibit returns for another landmark year, featuring artwork all under 16 inches. ProvidenceArtClub.org


Through December 31

Holiday Lights Spectacular: This magical walk-through experience returns with 40 acres of dazzling light displays featuring over two million lights – now that’s what we call merry and bright! Roger Williams Park Zoo, RWPZoo.org

A Christmas Carol: The Rhode Island holiday tradition returns with Trinity Rep’s reimagined telling of Dickens’ classic. TrinityRep.com 

Craftland Holiday Extravaganza: The holiday season gets even jollier with the whimsical charm of Craftland, a landmark purveyor of handmade gifts celebrating its 20th year. You’re sure to find everything on your wish list – plus a little extra. Shop.CraftlandShop.com


Through January 3

Christmas on the Hill: Admire twinkling Italian lights criss-crossing Atwells Avenue and decorated trees while shopping and dining around Federal Hill throughout the season. FederalHillProv.com


Fridays & Sundays

PVD Flea Holiday Markets: Beginning on Black Friday, the Providence Flea hosts special shopping events leading up to the holidays, featuring your favorite regional small brands and makers. Farm Fresh RI, ProvidenceFlea.com 



The better you prepare for a day of bustling crowds, the jollier you’ll be. Here’s some tips for keeping merry:

  • Dress in layers. If possible, keep that bulky coat in the car.
  • Be the bigger person; hold the door open for others and smile.
  • Have cash, credit cards, or apps loaded and ready for purchases.
  • Bring tote bags for purchases.
  • Use passport parking through the PVD311 app.
  • Dine (then meander) at restaurants with valet parking.
  • Leave the car, take the RIPTA.


Extend the fun with a stay at the La Dolce Vita Holiday Suite – all decked out all month long, complete with a lit tree, decorating station, treats, and a wine flight from Bellini Providence. As a bonus, guests also have exclusive access to Bellini Rooftop, a private members club, to soak in twinkling city views from above. TheBeatrice.com


Santa Tracker

Catch a glimpse of the jolly old elf (or “the people working for him” as Kevin McCallister says in Home Alone) around the entire state, no NoradSanta.org required.

  1. Through December 23: The Bristol Santa House is a free-of-charge holiday destination for children with special needs and their families, run by volunteers. Various dates, BristolSantaHouse.org
  2. December 1: Bowen’s Wharf 53rd Annual Christmas Tree Lighting: Newport’s historic waterfront is festooned in holiday lights and decorations for a special evening of music, caroling, tree lighting ceremony, and visit via boat from Santa and Mrs. Claus. Newport, BowensWharf.com
  3. December 2: All Lit Up Christmas Parade: Smithfield channels the holiday spirit with an annual parade packed with festive floats, walkers, music, and more. Facebook: Smithfield’s All Lit Up Christmas Parade
  4. December 2, 3, 9 & 10: Old-Fashioned Christmas Celebration: Travel back in time as you tour decorated rooms of the historic Hearthside House, complete with festive music and, of course, Santa. Lincoln, HearthsideHouse.org
  5. December 4 & 18: Sing Along with Santa: Bring the whole family for some good old-fashioned caroling with the beloved man in red, who will read The Night Before Christmas, followed by cookies and cocoa. Bristol, Blithewold.org
  6. December 7, 14 & 21: Candlelight Shopping: Explore historic Chepachet Village by the glow of antique street lights during this series of special evenings full of music, shopping, and entertainment. Glocester, CandlelightShopping.com
  7. December 8-23: Santa Checks In: Sleepy Santa is having a vacation from all that holiday madness, but before he goes to bed, children are welcome to visit him, take a photo, and receive their first gift of Christmas. Westerly, OceanHouseEvents.com
  8. December 9: Strolling Rolling Apponaug Winter Festival: Sip, stroll, walk, and roll to this fun Christmas festival and parade featuring Santa and Mrs. Claus, food trucks, vendors, arts and crafts, horse-drawn carriages, and more! Facebook: Warwick RI Tourist Department
  9. December 17: Meet and Greet with Santa Cruise & Holiday Bubbly Cruises: Mix, mingle, and get your jingle on aboard the Coastal Queen during this special cruise with Santa, hot chocolate, and candy canes, and a cruise with prosecco later in the afternoon. Newport, CoastalQueenCruises.com


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