Rhode Island

10 Best Things to Do in Rhode Island This Holiday Season

From magical mansions to classic Christmas theater, here are some of our favorite holiday things to do in Rhode Island this year!

By Yankee Editors

Nov 08 2021


Christmas at the Newport Mansions | Favorite Newport, RI, Events

Photo Credit : Discover Newport

Whether you’re an out-of-stater planning a visit or a local looking to add a new tradition, here’s a sampling of the best holiday events in Rhode Island, inspired by Yankee’s 2021 feature“The New England Holiday Bucket List.” How many have you experienced?

Holiday opulence at Rhode Island’s Newport Mansions.
Photo Credit : Discover Newport

10 Best Things to Do in Rhode Island This Holiday Season

November 4 – January 2A Christmas CarolTrinity Repertory Company | Providence Running from November into the new year, Trinity Rep’s 44th annual production of A Christmas Carol provides a holiday boost all season long. And with this return to in-person shows, director Joe Wilson Jr. is out to deliver “lots and lots of music, singing, and joy.” November 20 – January 9Christmas at The Breakers The Breakers | Newport  Last year it took 780 volunteer hours to deck the halls at this 138,000-square-foot oceanfront estate, an Italian Renaissance–style palazzo built for a shipping and railroad tycoon in 1895 (hence, tiny trains can be seen among the home’s 12 themed Christmas trees). Outside the home—which, like its similarly lavish c. 1901 neighbor, will be open for holiday tours—visitors will find a landscape awash in countless colored lights, including 28 twinkling spruce trees. (Marble House and The Elms are decorated for the holidays, too.) November 21 – December 19Field of ArtisansSouth Kingstown and PawtucketFrom its wide-ranging lineup of 500 New England makers, Field of Artisans curates holiday pop-ups that are eclectic and fun, with handmade gifts for the hard-to-please at all price points. South Kingstown shows are at Whalers Brewing, and Pawtucket shows are at The Guild, so you can sip a pint as you browse. Sundays 11/21–12/19, South Kingstown; 12/4–12/5, Pawtucket. November 24 – December 3Newport Nutcracker Rosecliff Mansion | Newport After last year’s leap to film with Through Her Eyes: A Newport Nutcracker Reimagined, Island Moving Company returns its Newport Nutcracker to the lavishly decorated rooms and halls of Rosecliff Mansion. Select Nights, November 26 – January 2Holiday Lights Spectacular at Roger Williams Park ZooProvidenceDinosaurs, reindeer, and smiling snowmen—oh my! These are just a few of the luminous wonders sure to get you into the spirit this season. Don’t want to leave the car? The Rhode Island Holiday Light Show in Richmond is a one-mile drive-through experience that lets you crank up the radio and sing along to the synced light show. November 26 – January 9Christmas at BlithewoldBristol  This c. 1907 coastal estate puts on quite a seasonal show inside, including a two-story Christmas tree in the front hall and decorations throughout many of its 45 authentically furnished rooms. But where it really shines is outdoors, where the masterfully landscaped grounds transform into a magical display of lights and handcrafted ornaments. November 27WaterFire Arts Center Indoor Holiday ArtMartProvidenceSpend Small Business Saturday at this arts bazaar, where the array of handcrafted offerings is testament to the capital city’s love and support for all things creative. The WaterFire Store is open, too, for souvenirs celebrating Providence’s signature art installation: Proceeds help keep the fires burning.

DecemberChristmas in NewportNewport, RI

All December long, expect the holiday spirit to be turned up to 11 in this storied seaport—amid seasonal shopping, dining, and strolling—as Christmas in Newport comes back after a muted 50th anniversary in 2020.

December 4Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer: The Musical The VETS| ProvidenceThe glow of nostalgia lights up the national touring show Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer: The Musical, based on the iconic 1964 stop-motion TV special. Get your fill of kitschy fun! For details on other New England shows, go to rudolphthemusical.comDecember 17-19, 22-24The NutcrackerThe VETS | Providence Looking at its old Nutcracker costume, Festival Ballet Providence decided: Off with his head! Visual artists from Big Nazo Lab, the city’s creators of extraordinary creatures, were called on to craft a replacement, which together with a new venue and all-new sets help make The Nutcracker familiar yet delightfully fresh.What would you add to the list of the best holiday events in Rhode Island? Let us know in the comments below! And see more festive things to do in Rhode Island (and beyond) in “The New England Holiday Bucket List.” Don’t miss our top 10 holiday events in all six New England states! Check out Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, and Vermont.