East Bay Holiday Events Guide 2022

Your guide to festivals, Santa sightings, merry markets, and so much more across the region

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One of the loveliest things about December is that whether or not you celebrate Christmas, one can’t help but be charmed by the festivities surrounding the holiday, and hopefully, the corresponding goodwill and merry vibes. The fact that sunset occurs before 5pm gives an early start to the magical glow from light displays and decorated store windows. With miles of coastline, charming commercial districts, mansions, and more, the East Bay has everything you need to create memories – and selfies – with friends and family. Our editorial elves and mensches have compiled a list (and yes, we’ve checked it twice!) to make sure our valued readers have no FOMO all month long. From December 1 to New Year’s Eve, we got you. Happy holidays from all of us at The Bay.

December 1

Holiday Open House: A special Christmas preview of the 1739 Colony House. Browse for holiday gifts in the Museum of Newport History’s pop-up shop and grab your tickets for the popular Holiday Lantern Tour. NewportHistory.org

December 2 

Holiday Bright Night: Tiverton Four Corners is aglow for a festive night of shopping and strolling through lit galleries and retailers. TivertonFourCorners.com

Holiday Art Market: This fundraiser for Newport Pride features a pop-up market of queer and queer-supporting local artists, makers, and entrepreneurs at The Huddle. NewportPrideRI.org

Through December 2

Newport Nutcracker: The Island Moving Company takes you through the ballroom, salon, and staircase of historic Rosecliff mansion during this unique, experiential production of the classic ballet. IslandMovingCo.org

December 2-4

Holiday Pop-Up: Join Blanc & Bleu for this festive pop-up at their studio and shop, featuring vintage finds, goods from France, made-over furniture, and more. Bristol, BlancAndBleuHome.com

December 2-10

Winter Foodies Stroll: On select Friday and Saturday evenings, enjoy a three-course meal and wine pairings at three of Newport’s exquisite restaurants. NewportFoodiesStroll.com

December 2-16

Annual Re-Tree Exhibition: The Tiverton Farmers Market sponsors this outdoor showcase of locally crafted trees made from recycled materials. Vote for your favorite and don’t miss the closing event and awards ceremony on the final night. TivertonFourCorners.com

December 3

Annual Lucy's Hearth Designer Wreath Sale: Peruse gorgeous holiday greenery put together by the pros – or take a stab at making your own – during this annual event benefiting the children and families supported by Lucy's Hearth. Middletown, LucysHearth.org

Bowen’s Wharf 52nd 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 

Christmas Bazaar and Greek Food Fair: ‘Tis the season for tzatziki at this annual event that includes raffles, delicious Greek foods to eat in or take out, a cash bar and more at St. Spyridon’s Hellenic Hall on Thames Street. Facebook: St. Spyridon Greek Orthodox Church, Newport 

Christmas in Song: The Newport Navy Choristers remind us of the reason for the season with a special holiday performance benefiting local nonprofits and civic organizations. Fall River, NewportNavyChoristers.org

Franklin Street Holiday Stroll: Kick off the season with a visit to Franklin Street for charming holiday decorations, treats, and refreshments. Newport, DiscoverNewport.org

Grand Illumination and Parade: The East Bay’s long-standing yuletide tradition returns for an iconic Christmas tree lighting and parade. See it for yourself in person or enjoy the livestream on Facebook. Bristol, ChristmasBristolRI.com

Makers’s Workshop: Enjoy a crafternoon of making mistletoe-themed decorations while sipping cider and listening to festive tunes. Newport, TheHuddleRI.com

December 4

Christmas Tea: Enjoy a holiday high tea tradition at St. Columba’s Chapel. Middletown, StColumbasChapel.org

Holiday Wreath Making Workshop: Using locally grown and foraged foliage and flowers, craft your one-of-a-kind wreath with step-by-step instructions and seasonal refreshments. Bristol, BlancAndBleuHome.com

Messiah at the Mansion: Surrounded by the splendor of the Rosecliff Mansion, Newport Classical presents Handel’s iconic Messiah, featuring the singers of Ensemble Altera and The Choir School of Newport County. NewportClassical.org

Whitehall Museum House Christmas Open House: Wassail, anyone? Enjoy a Colonial Christmas afternoon at the home of the 18th century philosopher George Berkeley. Admission is free, donations gratefully accepted. Middletown, WhiteHallMuseumHouse.org 

December 6

Fiddle N’ Fun: The Friends Room is the place to be for a fun, interactive music show featuring holiday songs with guitar, singing, fiddlesticks, and more. NewportLibrary.org

Holiday Terrariums: Join Blithewold horticulturists for step-by-step instruction in creating your own themed terrarium. Bristol, Blithewold.org

December 8

Fairy Ornaments: Join Audubon for an evening of holiday crafting. All materials are provided to create an enchanting fairy scene inside a globe ornament perfect for hanging on the tree, all while sipping seasonal refreshments. Bristol, ASRI.org

December 9

Create a Tabletop Boxwood Tree: Blithewold horticulturists lead this holiday centerpiece workshop. Bristol, Blithewold.org

December 9, 11

Tenor, Michael DiMucci’s Fireside Christmas Concerts: The carriage house-style ballroom provides the setting for concerts with pianist and singer, Michael DiMucci; part of Linden Place Mansion’s month-long holiday celebration. Pro-tip: visit the museum store for unique gifts. Bristol, LindenPlace.org

December 10

Classical Christmas at Emmanuel: A collaborative performance celebrates the holiday season, featuring piano, organ, trumpet, and choir, along with sing-along carols led by church parishioners. NewportClassical.org

Irish Museum Christmas Open House: View exhibits while enjoying Celtic holiday music, eggnog, and cookies. Hear caroling by the Ancient Order of Hibernians Men’s Singers and peruse Celtic-inspired bracelets and lapel pins available for sale with proceeds to benefit the museum. NewportIrishHistory.org

December 10-11

Festival Weekend: Enjoy a European-style Christmas market complete with wreath-making workshops, specialty themed huts, unique photo ops, and traditional fare like mulled wine and apple cakes. Plus, discover holiday happenings at participating locales like the Bristol Maritime Center and Linden Place Mansion. Bristol, ChristmasBristolRI.com 

Hot Glue Heroes Exclusive Holiday Pop-Up: Get your one-of-a-kind kitschy creations including diorama ornaments, Pine Cone Cuties, Tiny Bits of Joy vignettes, and art by Tom Butts at this studio pop-up. East Providence, Facebook: Hot Glue Heros RI

DIY Holiday Herbal Gift Making: Create up to 10 herbal gifts – from teas and elderberry syrup to bath soaks and smudge sticks – for friends and family at The Huddle. Newport, TheHuddleRI.com

December 13

Holiday Mingle & Jingle Celebration: Things get jolly at the Lobster Pot for their annual holiday extravaganza and raffle, complete with a delicious dinner and a cash bar. Bristol, EastBayChamberRI.org

December 14

Christmas & Holiday Market: Find everything on your holiday shopping list at Hope & Main’s special indoor market, featuring over 20 vendors, live music, hot food, cocktails, and mocktails. Warren, MakeFoodYourBusiness.org 

December 16

Christmas Story Time: Gather the whole family to listen to a special live broadcast featuring members of the Bristol fire and police departments (as well as a few surprise guests!) reading their favorite Christmas classics. Bristol, ChristmasBristolRI.com 

December 17

Kwanzaa Celebration: Sankofa Community Connection invites all to a celebration of Black community and culture at Innovate Newport, featuring storytelling, music, family-friendly activities, and food. Newport, SankofaNewportRI.org

Eileen Ivers: A Joyful Christmas: An American fiddler with Irish roots, Eileen and her ensemble put on a spirited show full of song and storytelling at the JPT Film & Event Center. Newport, JanePickens.com   

Holiday Market at Mount Hope Farm: The year-round farmers market hosts an especially merry market on the south pasture, with no shortage of vendors and holiday fun housed under a heated tent. Bristol, MountHopeFarm.org

Holiday Dinner Dance: This annual black-tie event channels Great Gatsby vibes with a cocktail hour, three-course seated dinner, and dancing throughout the decorated rooms of The Breakers. NewportMansions.org 

The Little Naturalist's Holiday Party: Bring your young nature enthusiast (ages of 4-10) to the Norman Bird Sanctuary for an afternoon exploring the forest for signs of wildlife and tracks in the snow, with crafts, games, and a nature movie over pizza and popcorn after. Middletown, NormanBirdSanctuary.org

December 18

Snowflake Raffle: After earning tickets all season-long by shopping at participating businesses, gather at the bottom of State Street to watch Santa Claus and Jack Frost draw the lucky winners. Bristol, ChristmasBristolRI.com

Meet & Greet with Santa Cruise: Mix, mingle, and get your jingle on aboard the Coastal Queen during this special cruise with Santa, hot chocolate, and candy canes. Newport, CoastalQueenCruises.com

Christmas Specialty Market: The Tiverton Farmers Market hosts a special holiday shopping event with over 40 artisan food vendors, artists, and makers. TivertonFarmersMarket.com

December 20 & 27

A Night with the Butler and Ladies’ Maid: Step back in time with a special self-guided holiday tour by candlelight, detailing the lives and duties of Blithewold’s historic household staff. Bristol, Blithewold.org

December 22

Brie Merry and Bright: Create a holiday-themed charcuterie board with the Perfect Parcel at Mount Hope Farm. Bring your family, friends, or co-workers – the beginner-level workshop welcomes all. Bristol, MountHopeFarm.org

December 31

New Years Eve Party with The TeleDynes: Ring in the New Year at the Galactic Theatre with the infectious energy of local rockabilly band The TeleDynes. Warren, GalacticTheatre.com

ONGOING

A Christmas for Carol: Holiday hijinks ensue in this world premiere farce, written and directed by Daniel Lee White, about office co-worker Carol, who goes over the top with holiday cheer. Through December 31,

NewportPlayhouse.com

A Rough Point Holiday: Wander through the decked-out halls of the Rough Point Museum. Through January 1, Newport, NewportRestoration.org

Cozy Autumn Fires and Tasty Treats: Spend an afternoon by the fire roasting marshmallows overlooking the Great Lawn at Blithewold. Chairs, s’mores kits, and a well-stocked fire pit are provided. Saturdays through December 17, Bristol, Blithewold.org

Holiday Lantern Tours: Learn about early American holiday traditions in Newport while exploring the city by lantern light during this special yuletide tour. Fridays and Saturdays November 18–December 30, NewportHistory.org

Holidays at the Newport Mansions: The magic returns to the mansions with twinkling lights, trimmed trees, decorated mantels, and a jaw-dropping display of poinsettias in the Great Hall of The Breakers. November 19-January 1, NewportMansions.org

Ice Rink & Igloos: Enjoy skating and/or dining inside a decorated igloo – with quintessential coastal views at Newport Harbor Island Resort (formerly known as Gurney’s). NewportHarborIsland.com

Music in the Living Room Series: Immerse yourself in the spirit of Christmas as live music fills historic Blithewold, festooned in its holiday finery. Through December 18, Bristol, Blithewold.org

Night Lights: Explore Blithewold’s storied grounds by way of lit paths, admiring illuminated displays and trees trimmed with handmade ornaments. Hot drinks from RI Cruisin’ Cocktails will keep you warm all evening long. Bristol, Blithewold.org

Small Works: Support local artists and shop affordable gifts at The Collaborative’s non-juried show of all variety of artworks under eight inches, from paintings to sculpture and ceramics. December 1-January 15, Warren, TheCollaborative02885.org

Sparkling Lights at The Breakers: The mansion’s grounds glitter with thousands of holiday lights, an illuminated tunnel, and no shortage of sparkling surprises. Plus, stop at any of the six fire pits for a s’mores kit, holiday treats, and even an adult bevvie. November 19-December 23, NewportMansions.org

CALL OUT

Even More Christmas Listings

Bristol and Newport have so many events planned, they’ve even created dedicated websites. Visit ChristmasBristolRI.com and DiscoverNewport.org for complete listings!

SIDEBAR 1

Ring in the New Year in Newport

Four dining options for the last night of 2023

The City by the Sea creates great memories for visitors every December 31. Here are four great restaurants perfect for ushering in 2023. Pro-tip: make reservations now.

Cara at The Chanler: This Forbes Five Star restaurant will have a full menu from chef Jacob Jasinski. The Cliff Walk mansion will have curated wine pairings along with a view of the Atlantic Ocean that can’t be beat. TheChanler.com

The Dining Room at Castle Hill offers a scenic spot to bid farewell to 2022. A four-course meal prepared by chef Louis Rossi along with a complimentary glass of champagne is on the menu.

CastleHillInn.com

Hotel Viking rings in the new year in true Gilded Age style with an exceptional menu from executive chef Patrick Popores and a champagne toast in the One Bellevue dining room. HotelViking.com

The Newport Harbor Hotel and Marina (formerly Gurney’s Newport) has a special evening planned that includes dinner at the Salt Water restaurant, a champagne toast, and additional festivities all night long. NewportHotel.com



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