Five Can’t-Miss Events: Dec. 14–20

Take a ride on the Polar Express, watch sugar plums dance in the Nutcracker, hear Celtic Christmas music and more fun things to do.

1. Blackstone Valley Polar Express

From Blackstone Valley Polar Express Facebook.

Make-believe comes to life during this ninety-minute holiday train trip and reading of Chris Van Allsburg’s modern classic: The Polar Express. Enjoy hot chocolate and cookies, get your ticket punched by the conductor, hear the engineer call “all aboard!” and chat with Santa and Mrs. Claus. Children will also receive a Blackstone Valley Polar Express coloring book and a silver bell personally delivered by Santa.
The Details:  Select days in Nov. and Dec. Departure times vary. Adults $55.50–$82.50, children $52.50–$70.50. Station One Depot, 1 Depot Sq., Woonsocket,

2. A Christmas Celtic Sojourn

From A Celtic Sojourn Live Facebook.

Celebrating a decade and a half of holiday performances, the Christmas-time live version of WGBH’s popular “A Celtic Sojourn,” draws on Celtic, Pagan and Christian traditions to celebrate the music of the season. This performance presents the compelling and diverse offerings of the weekly national radio program in a live show format that features some of the world best performers.
The Details: Dec. 20. 7:30 p.m. $25–$85. Veterans Memorial Auditorium, 1 Avenue of the Arts, Providence,

3. Festival Ballet’s The Nutcracker

Photo by Thomas Nola-Rion.

Don’t miss the feel-good magical production by Festival Ballet of the classic holiday show, The Nutcracker. Join Clara and her nutcracker prince on their enchanting journey to the Land of Sweets, complete with beautiful sets, elegant choreography and world class dancers that combine for a dazzling display of artistry.
The Details: Dec. 15–17. Times vary. $23–$85. Providence Performing Arts Center, 220 Weybosset St., Providence,

4. Christmas in Newport

From Newport Preservation Society Facebook.

This annual citywide festival celebrates the noncommercial traditions of the holiday season. Stroll past the holiday adorned doorways of some Newport’s most beautiful houses, take part in the Rogues and Scoundrels walking tour, visit Santa Claus at the Elms and much more. A Christmas story hour, holiday ornament making for children and several winter choral concerts will also be performed throughout the season. On Saturday, help decorate the community tree at Seamen’s Church Institute and as dusk seeps in and the Christmas lights turn on, grab your coat and join the Newport Holiday Lantern walking tour.
The Details: Dec. 1­–31. Times, ticket prices and venues vary. Newport,

5. Artists’ Exchange Holiday Gala and Silent Auction

From Artists’ Exchange Facebook.

Enjoy delicious appetizers and dinner, live music, dancing, an open craft beer and wine bar and a VIP ticket to A Christmas Carol for a showing either before or after the gala. Outbid your family and friends in the silent auction for that perfect last-minute holiday gift. Proceeds support the Artists’ Exchange’s mission to create an atmosphere in which creativity, learning and discovery converge and individuality is celebrated.
The Details: Dec. 16. 5–8 p.m. $35 for gala, $20 in advance for A Christmas Carol. Artists’ Exchange, 50 Rolfe Sq., Cranston,

Want more fun things to do? Check out our calendar listings.

Reporting assistance by Grace Kelly. 

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