Soak Up the Christmas Spirit with Holiday Activities in These Rhode Island Towns

Celebrate the holidays safely with these reimagined holiday activities in Rhode Island that keep the Christmas spirit alive.
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Santa in his workshop in Bristol. Photo from Bristol Christmas Festival’s Facebook page.

The holidays are a bit different this year, but these small Rhode Island towns and cities know how to keep the Christmas spirit alive in safe and creative ways. Look into Santa’s workshop, walk through some dazzling lights, watch a virtual Christmas tree lighting from home, voyage to the North Pole via boat and more.


Santa’s Workshop at the corner of Hope and State streets is a cheerful spot, with a special visitor inside. Peek inside the decorated storefront where Santa himself pays a visit to Bristol visitors and residents excited to spread Christmas cheer. Take a photo with him, too, courtesy of Nat Squatrito Photography. Make sure to bring your letter to Santa with your address on the envelope. The dates and times are December 11 from 5–9 p.m., December 12 from 2–6 p.m., December 19 from 3–7 p.m. and December 20 from 4–8 p.m.

The Details: Through December 20. Free. Corner of Hope St. and State St., Downtown Bristol. Be sure to check for schedules updates.

Christmas at Blithewold

A couple of events will be happening at Blithewold Mansion in celebration of Christmas. Learn how to make a unique holiday wreath or a festive fairy terrarium during one of the Holiday E-Workshops at noon (through December 18), stroll through the elegantly-lit paths with hot non-alcoholic drinks from RI Cruisin’ Cocktails during Night Lights (Lights are on Tuesdays to Sundays through January 3; RI Cruisin’ Cocktails is there Wed., Fri. and Sat from 4-8 p.m.), and plenty more to get you ready for the upcoming holiday. Check the Programs and Events for more information, events and updates.

The Details: Through January 3. Prices vary depending on the event. Night Lights is free for members and $10 for adults and $5 for children. 101 Ferry Rd., Bristol. 401-253-2707.

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The holiday decor at Blithewold. Photo from Blithewold’s Facebook page.


Bowen’s Wharf is hosting its fiftieth annual Christmas tree lighting, with safety precautions set in place. The small celebration at the new Christmas Village will be full of holiday cheer. Look in awe at the decorated shops, restaurants and the thirty-foot Norway spruce Christmas tree, straight from Pachet Brook Tree Farm in Tiverton. A live streaming of the event via Instagram and Facebook will be offered at 6 p.m. in case people choose to watch the event from the comfort of their home.

The Details: December 6. Free. 5:30 p.m. 1 Bowen’s Landing, Newport. 401-849-2243.


This historic New England town knows how to do Christmas décor right. Join the socially-distanced community and walk around Wickford to check out the magical festive lights; maybe shop for some Christmas presents for the family (and yourself, of course!).

The Details: Historic Wickford Village, 1 Main St., North Kingstown.,,

Central Falls

Explore the North Pole during a scavenger hunt for Santa Claus and other Christmas characters during the Search For Santa boating event. Board the Explorer for a twenty-minute, open-air, socially-distanced boat ride, which will provide treats, activity sheets and crayons, and a reading of ‘Twas The Night Before Christmas. Once Santa is found, he will hand out a gift to every child! Select a day and time and purchase your ticket here.

The Details: Through December 18. Tickets available online only for $29. Times range from 4-6 p.m. Central Falls Landing, 15 Madeira Ave., Central Falls.



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