November 13, 2019
There are many magical months in Rhode Island but we think December is the most spirited. After Thanksgiving, the white lights, evergreen wreaths, and red ribbons are rolled out. And we can’t overlook the decked-out Christmas trees and Hanukkah menorahs lighting up our neighborhood windows. It may be colder outside, but this month is exceptionally warm and inviting with all of our indoor decorations and celebrations. There’s a lot of shopping, eating, celebrating, and enjoying to be done in December. The events in our December round-up will only add more joy and fun to your holiday season. Plus, we’ve included many opportunities to get your holiday shopping done by shopping locally and supporting New England’s makers and artisans.
We all know that Christmas is the focus of December. But there are also many other holidays to keep in mind. Giving Tuesday, an international day of giving, is December 3. In a month so focusing on consuming, it’s important to remember to give to your favorite charities and non-profits. Here is a list of Rhode Island nonprofits and charities – find the cause that is most meaningful to you and donate this Giving Tuesday.
Don’t forget about those who don’t celebrate Christmas. Hanukkah is December 22 – 30 and Kwanzaa is December 26 – January 1. There are also more minor, food-themed holidays to celebrate this month, including National Cookie Day, National Brownie Day, Roast Chestnuts Day, National Chocolate Covered Anything Day, and National Roast Suckling Pig Day.
At the end of this month comes a new start and a new year. New Year’s Eve is big in Lil Rhody. We’ve included some big and small ways to celebrate with your friends and family.
Here in Rhode Island, we have so many festivities to enjoy, celebrate and support all month long. We have great shopping events to make shopping locally easy and fun. And don’t forget – we have gift certificates ready for gifting right here at Rhode Island Red Food Tours.
Foodie alert: we’re launching a new food tour this month! Flicks and Fare on Washington Square kick off on Saturday, December 7. Every Saturday this winter, running from December through March, join us for an international “linner” (lunch+dinner.) Enjoy a Mexican snack, Italian entree, French dessert, and cocktails. “Linner” will be followed by a movie, documentary or art film at Jane Pickens Theater & Event Center. Learn more and book your winter foodie experience!
Christmas at the Newport Mansions
Daily tours throughout December
Music, tours, and spectacular decorations highlight the celebration of Christmas at the Newport Mansions. The Breakers, The Elms and Marble House are decked out for Christmas. Each mansion is filled with thousands of poinsettias, fresh flowers, evergreens, and wreaths. Thirty Christmas trees are impeccably decorated to reflect each individual room’s decor and history. Christmas at the Newport Mansions is a magical experience for all ages. Take in the lights and decorations as well as the history of the mansions.
All three houses are open for daily tours from Saturday, November 23 – Wednesday, January 1. In addition, Rosecliff will be open daily from December 8 – January 1. We highly recommend purchasing a Winter Passport ticket, which provides admission to all houses open during the winter season for $35 for adults and $10 for children 6-17. Passports are available for purchase here.
The Polar Express Train Ride
Historic Blackstone Valley Train Depot
Weekends from Saturday, December 1 – Sunday, December 22
It doesn’t get more magical than a ride on the Polar Express during Christmastime. The Polar Express Train Ride is a three-hour immersive experience for the whole family to enjoy. Hop aboard a real-life train to enjoy readings of classic children’s Christmas stories, sing-alongs, hot chocolate served in souvenir mugs, cookies, games, and a special visit from Santa. During his visit, Santa will personally deliver a gift to each child. At the end of your trip, stay for a photo with Santa and his crew of helpers.
Tickets start at $52 and there are several experiences available. But hurry up – tickets sell quickly! Buy your tickets here.
The Historic Blackstone Valley Train Depot is located at One Depot Square in Woonsocket, Rhode Island.
Cooking Sessions: Reimagined Jewish Classics
Sunday, December 1 from 3 pm – 7 pm
Learn how to braise, cure, smoke, prep fresh dough and clarify stock. By end of class, you’ll have a good grasp of Jewish culinary basics and have the confidence to apply these skills in your home kitchen! Gracie’s Prov Chefs Josh Berman and Jordan Fleischer will be leading this immersive class. Work hand-in-hand with Chefs Berman and Fleischer to plan and execute a 3-course dinner and passed appetizers, which will later be enjoyed in Gracie’s dining room. In true Gracie’s fashion, each course will be accompanied by a wine pairing expertly chosen by Gracie’s Wine Cellar Master.
Tickets to the cooking session are $200 per person and are available for purchase here.
Gracie’s is located at 194 Washington Street in Providence, Rhode Island.
Follow Rhode Island Red Food Tours on social media to keep up with all of the fun happenings in Rhode Island this month (and every month!)
Tropical Depression: Exotic Cocktails at The Dean Bar
Every Wednesday, starting Wednesday, December 4
Eight Seas and The Dean Bar are partnering up for weekly exotic cocktails. Each week, they’ll be serving up to seven cocktails, some classic and some new, with one non-alcoholic option and monthly rotating specials. It’s a fun, tasty night out in Providence!
The Dean Bar is located behind North Restaurant, 122 Fountain Street in Providence, Rhode Island.
Making Spirits Bright: Cocktail + Truffle Making Class
Thursday, December 5 from 6 pm – 7:30 pm
Cocktails and chocolate truffles are an excellent pairing. Newport Vineyards’ Brix Restaurant Executive Chef Andy Teixeira and in-house Cocktail Expert Brenna Leveille will take you and your friends on a truffle-making and cocktail-creating journey. Between the cozy atmosphere, craft cocktails, delicious truffles, and great company, you are sure to have a festive evening!
Tickets are $42 and are available for purchase here. Spots are limited.
Newport Vineyards is located at 909 East Main Road in Middletown, Rhode Island.
We offer gift certificates, which can be used for any tour. Purchase yours today and get your holiday shopping checked off your December to-do list. Buy your Rhode Island Red Food Tours gift certificate today!
Witches’ Night Out Market – Winter Witchery
Friday, December 6 from 5 pm – 10 pm
The Witches’ Night Out Market started in Seattle and has now made its way to Little Rhody! The market is geared toward witches and the metaphysically minded. There will be an array of curated artists, mystical merchants, psychic readings, bodyworkers, free mini-lectures from local experts, community chat space and more. The event’s theme is Winter Witchery to honor the Winter Solstice and to focus on illuminating the darkness with the power of wisdom, fellowship, and good cheer.
General admission tickets start at $10 and are available for purchase here as well as at the door. Proceeds from the event will go to Society of the Evening Star, a non-profit organization focused on affecting change through outreach and ongoing education.
The Witches’ Night Out Market will be hosted at the WaterFire Arts Center, 475 Valley Street in Providence, Rhode Island.
Flashlight Candy Cane Hunt
Friday, December 6 and Friday, December 13 from 6:30 – 7:30 pm
Take a tour of Bristol’s historic Blithewold Mansion with the family and stay for the Flashlight Candy Cane Hunt! Kids of all ages are invited to search the Great Lawn by flashlights for candy canes. After the hunt, stroll through their illuminated gardens and greenhouse, sing with other carolers, drink hot cocoa and roast s’mores around a roaring fire.
Pre-registration is required and can be done here. While you’re on their website, be sure to check out their other “Sparkle Night” events this month!
Blithewold Mansion is located at 101 Ferry Road in Bristol, Rhode Island.
2019 Newport Holiday Stroll
Friday, December 6 – Sunday, December 8
Stroll through Newport to find unique events like the Nutcracker performed by Island Moving Company at Rosecliff, live entertainment throughout the city including busking and caroling, and fun for the whole family with the Bowen’s Wharf Annual Christmas Tree Lighting with Santa Claus, dozens of local restaurants serving up everything from apple cider and pumpkin spiced lattes to New England Clam Chowder to locally sourced sea-to-table cuisine, and of course, the opportunity to get all of your holiday shopping done in New England’s premier holiday shopping destination!
Check Newport Holiday Stroll’s Facebook page as the weekend gets closer for more information.
R&W Holiday Market with Knead Doughnuts, Long Live Beerworks & Far West!
Saturday, December 7 from 12 pm – 5 pm
The first weekend in December means holiday markets! The Room & Works Holiday Market already has a local dozen vendors, including Sir Milky Quartz and Above/Below Jewelry. More vendors will be added as the event approaches. Our Providence food tour partner, Knead Doughnuts, will be slinging doughnuts. If you haven’t tried them yet, you must! Far West and Long Live Beerworks will be serving specialty drinks.
There will be many holiday markets in Rhode Island this month. Remember to shop local and support Lil Rhody’s small business owners!
Room & Works is located at 55 Cromwell Street in Providence, Rhode Island.
Deck the Trunks with Food Truck Follies
Saturday, December 7 from 9 am – 5 pm
Frerichs Farm is partnering up with PVD Food Truck Events to host this very festive event. Deck the Trunks with Food Truck Follies (we dare you to say that five times fast) is hosting the Holiday Trunk Trimming Contest. Participants will decorate the trunks of their cars or the back of the trucks with holiday lights and decorations. Fifty or more cars will be on display and viewing is free and open to the public. If you want to participate in the Holiday Trunk Trimming Contest, there is a $10 registration fee and you must be registered in advance. In addition to the contest, there will be food trucks, fresh trees, and greenery for sale, and a curated selection of gifts in the Holiday House.
Learn more about the Holiday Trunk Trimming Contest and register here. There is no admission charge to the farm, food trucks or Holiday Trunk Trimming display.
Frerichs Farm is located at 43 Kinnicutt Ave in Warren, Rhode Island.
A Very RUSTY Christmas with SantaCon Newport + Toys for Tots RI!
Saturday, December 7 from 4 pm – 8 pm
Local band, RUSTY, is hosting their ninth-annual Toys for Tots event! This year, SantaCon Newport will be in attendance, bringing the party and Christmas spirit. There is no cover charge for this event, but they do ask that attendees bring a new, unwrapped toy to help fill their Toys for Tots boxes.
A Very RUSTY Christmas will be hosted at One Pelham East, located at 270 Thames Street in Newport, Rhode Island.
Hope Street Winter Stroll
Sunday, December 8 from 11 am – 5 pm
We can’t get enough of the holiday street celebrations in Providence! Head to the East Side of Providence to the Hope Street Winter Stroll. Hope Street is home to a number of fantastic local shops, including Frog & Toad and Stock Culinary Goods. Get some holiday shopping under your belt and then head over to the food trucks for a bite to eat. Santa will be making an appearance for the kiddos and there will be entertainment for the whole family to enjoy.
You can find the Hope Street Winter Stroll on the corner of Rochambeau Ave and Hope Street in Providence, Rhode Island.
Tiverton Four Corners Bright Night
Friday, December 13 from 4 pm – 8 pm
A quaint often underlooked area of Rhode Island, the Tiverton Four Corners has fantastic antique shops, art galleries and plenty of cute storefronts. During the Tiverton Four Corners Bright Night, stroll through the neighborhood of brightly lit shops and galleries as they host special events and workshops. And you can, of course, get some of your holiday shopping done.
Learn more and check out the shops at Tiverton Four Corners here.
7th Annual Whiskey Wonderland Holiday Bazaar
Friday, December 13 from 5 pm – 10 pm and Saturday, December 14 from 1 pm – 10 pm
This holiday bazaar has it all – local vendors, craft drinks, live music, and food. Sons of Liberty will be serving their award-winning whiskeys and craft beer, as well as cocktails made from their spirits. As a bonus, there will also be some limited-release whiskeys and spirits available for purchase (perfect for a special holiday gift!) Details about their vendor and food truck lineup will be released soon, so be sure to check back here as the event gets closer.
Sons of Liberty Beer & Spirits Co. is located at 1425 Kingstown Road in South Kingstown, Rhode Island.
Holiday Farmers Market
Saturday, December 14 from 9 am – 12:30 pm
This is a special holiday edition of the Mount Hope Farmers Market. In addition to their regular market vendors, there will be local artisans and plenty of festive features. Whether you’re shopping for local groceries and foods or looking to get in some holiday shopping, you can find it at the Mount Hope Holiday Farmers Market.
Mount Hope Farm is located at 250 Metacom Avenue in Bristol, Rhode Island.
Arcade Farmers & Artisans Market
Saturday, December 15 from 11 am – 3 pm
Did you know that the Arcade in Providence is the country’s oldest indoor mall? So cool! Vendors for the Arcade Farmers & Artisans Market will be announced soon but will include vintage, curiosities, art, locally made goods, apothecary products, and more. Trust us – it’s a great market for holiday and personal shopping. Plus there are so many great businesses and restaurants to check out nearby!
The Arcade Providence is located at 65 Weybosset Street in Providence, Rhode Island.
Dr. Seuss’ How the Grinch Stole Christmas: The Musical
Tuesday, December 17 – Sunday, December 22
Broadway’s #1 Holiday Hit is coming to Providence! Dr. Seuss’ How the Grinch Stole Christmas: The Musical is a family-friendly classic. Its run at PPAC is sure popular, so be sure to get your books ahead of time. Tickets start at $30 and are available for purchase here.
The Providence Performing Arts Center is located at 220 Weybosset Street in Providence, Rhode Island.
We know this can be a stressful month. Just the holiday errands and gift shopping can be a full-time job. We want to make your gift shopping as easy as possible – the click of a button. Our food tour gift certificates are perfect for everyone on your list. It’s thoughtful gifting, made easy!
Queer December Party Featuring Ugly Sweaters
Saturday, December 21 from 8 pm – 12 am
Askew Providence and Womxn’s Night are hosting the Ugly Christmas Sweater Party of the season! There will be an abundance of holiday cheer, including holiday music and seasonal drink specials. The event will be collecting funds and contributing a portion of the door fee – $10 – to Youth Pride Inc., a local organization providing advocacy and support to LGBTQIA youth throughout Rhode Island.
Askew Providence is located at 150 Chestnut Street in Providence, Rhode Island.
PVD Artisans Holiday Show
Sunday, December 22 from 10 am – 4:45 pm
Another weekend, another holiday market in Rhode Island. The PVD Artisans Holiday Show will feature over 70 local artists selling handmade goods, just in time for buying last-minute gifts. In between shopping, enjoy food and refreshments, enter a giveaway and take a photo with Santa.
Hope Artiste Village is located at 1005 Main Street in Pawtucket, Rhode Island.
New Year’s Eve at Sarto
Tuesday, December 31 at 5 pm
Celebrate New Year’s Eve in style with our Providence food tour partner, Sarto! Starting at 5 pm, there will be a special 4-course menu with expert wine pairings. Guests with reservations after 9 pm will enjoy live entertainment, tasty treats and plenty of surprises, and can stay for the countdown to midnight. Dinner is $75 per person before 9 pm and $100 per person after 9 pm. Make your reservations now, we’re sure they will book up quickly! Reservations can be made here or on the OpenTable app.
NYE ONE Providence by Skyline at Waterplace
Tuesday, December 31 from 7 pm – 3 am
This is the big New Year’s Eve celebration in Providence. Enjoy complimentary outdoor entertainment, complete with a warming tent for families; a ticketed black-tie gala, and a celebration on the rooftop of the Skyline at Waterplace events venue. All outdoor activities are free and open to the public and gala tickets start at $175. The outdoor spectacular begins at 7 pm with a classic New Year’s Eve ball drop, entertainment, and spectacular close proximity fireworks show. Finance Way will be closed to traffic and will instead host some of Rhode Island’s legendary food trucks. Popular holiday beverages and souvenirs will also be sold throughout the night in the Basin. Also beginning at 7 pm, the black-tie gala event at Skyline will include passed hors d’oeuvres, dinner, desserts, valet, party favors, cash bar, a champagne toast at midnight, entertainment from multiple DJs, and special live performances by XS Band. At 9 pm, a tented rooftop celebration will begin and include light fare from Skyline, entertainment, and front row viewing of the ball drop and firework show. For more information and to purchase tickets, visit One Providence’s website here.
New Year’s Eve Folkstravaganza
Tuesday, December 31 from 9 pm – 12 am
Back by popular demand, Hope & Main’s New Year’s Eve Folkstravaganza is hosted by The Vox Hunters, a folk group from Providence. Expect an exciting evening of traditional tunes, pub singing, and square dancing that’s high on audience participation and holiday joy, all with help from their musician friends from across the country. Instead of watching the ball drop, you’ll be counting down to a hoedown! Grab your partner and get ready for a New Year’s Eve full of music and revelry. A selection of snacks, baked goods and beverages will be available from a concessions table. For those who prefer to carry in their own fare, this event will be BYOB & picnic. Tickets are $25 in advance and $28 at the door; they are available for purchase here. Hope & Main is located at 691 Main Street in Warren, Rhode Island.