Nearly 400 years of historic charm breeds the coziest of holiday seasons on The Classic Coast. Think cobblestone streets lined with the glow of white lights, the glitter and gold of Gilded Age mansions bedecked with dozens of Christmas trees and thousands of poinsettias, and warm, quaint shops with candlelit windows. Truth be told, enchanting doesn't quite begin to explain it.
We rounded up some of the most classic holiday events in and around Newport this season. Full of tradition and enchantment, here's everything you need to make the season merry and bright.
When you're ready, we can't wait to welcome you back to The Classic Coast! Rest assured, local restaurants, shops and business are doing everything they can to ensure the safety of all. This includes wearing mandatory face coverings, following guidelines put in place by health and government officials, and implementing stringent cleaning practices.
All we ask when you land on these shores is that you play your part in keeping everyone safe. Please be kind, wear a mask, wash your hands and maintain six feet of social distancing from others.
CHRISTMAS AT THE NEWPORT MANSIONS
NOVEMBER 21, 2020 - JANUARY 2021
The opulence of Newport's Gilded Age mansions meets the sparkle and magic of Christmas during the return of Christmas at the Newport Mansions on Saturday, November 21, 2020 through January 2021. Wander two mansions, the The Breakers and The Elms bedecked in ornamented evergreens, wreaths, fresh flowers, dining tables set with period silver and china, decorations on all mantelpieces and many other festive touches.
New this year: Wander the grounds at The Breakers to experience Sparkling Lights, an Outdoor Magical Wonderland. The Breakers facade, spruce trees, historic paths and shrubbery will be illuminated in holiday lights. The Children’s Cottage will also be outlined in lights and visitors will be able to peek through the windows at Santa’s Workshop inside as holiday music fills the air.
CHRISTMAS AT BLITHEWOLD MANSION
NOVEMBER 29, 2019 - JANUARY 1, 2020
Where: Blithewold Mansion, Gardens & Arboretum
Admission: Price of mansion admission
Each year, the historic estate transforms into a sparkling display of Christmas magic to celebrate the season. Wander the elaborately decorated rooms and enjoy a glimpse into the family's Christmas and New Years traditions. Your self-guided visit includes unlimited strolling through the Gardens and Grounds. Interpretive panels throughout the property tell the story of the Van Wickle family and the estate they loved.
New this year: Stroll the grounds at night to catch Blithewold's newest holiday display, Night Lights. Beautifully lit paths throughout the grounds will reveal stunning custom light displays, handmade bamboo ornaments, virtual-reality stops, “selfie” photo opportunities, and all the beauty that Blithewold’s gardens and arboretum have to offer.
Please note: Capacity this year will be limited to 25 people inside the mansion. Reservations are required.
THE BOWEN'S WHARF CHRISTMAS TREE LIGHTING REIMAGINED
DECEMBER 5, 6:00 PM
In light of COVID-19 restrictions on large gatherings and to ensure the safety of all, the 50th Annual Bowen's Wharf Christmas Tree Lighting will be reimagined this year. The ceremony and countdown will be live streamed on Bowen's Wharf social media channels for all to enjoy from the comforts of home. The program will be available to watch on the Bowen’s Wharf Facebook and Instagram, where a city official will light the tree at 6:00 PM to mark the official beginning of the holiday season at Bowen’s Wharf. The 30-foot Norway spruce will come from Pachet Brook Tree Farm in Tiverton and remain lit until early February.
A ROUGH POINT HOLIDAY
NOVEMBER 27 - JANUARY 3; DATES VARY
Experience the holiday traditions and winter caretaking practices at Rough Point. Every season at Rough Point offers a certain kind of magic — come experience Doris Duke’s Newport home during the darkest and merriest days of the year. Rooms of the museum will be spruced up for the Christmas holiday, while other rooms will be cloaked in their winter coverings. Together, these spaces tell the story of Doris’s holiday traditions and the off-season routines of one of Newport’s summer cottages.
BRISTOL'S TREE LIGHTING + GRAND ILLUMINATION
DECEMBER 5, 6:30 PM
Bristol’s Grand Illumination will take place on Saturday, December 5 at 6:30 PM. Due to COVID-19 and to ensure the safety of all, the event will be live streamed on the Bristol Christmas Festival's Facebook page. There will be no choruses or dance troupes performing this year, but all are invited to join the live Facebook viewing to catch this year's tree lighting and grand illumination.
MORE HOLIDAY EXPERIENCES
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