Santa Claus is Coming to These 8 Spots

From Garden City Center to Wickford and Newport, Santa will arrive in style by boat, fire truck and horsedrawn carriage.

Santa arrives by fire truck for the Warren Holiday Festival.

This time of year, it’s hard to miss Santa’s jolly laughter and ho-ho-hos at most holiday events, like tree lightings, winter festivals and craft fairs. Mr. Claus is officially coming to town with his list (checked twice) in hand. Here are some of the best places where you can pay him a visit to kick off the holiday season with the kids, who have hopefully been good, for goodness sake.

1. Westerly: Fri., Nov. 24: Santa Claus is headed to downtown Westerly to greet any children before he heads back to the North Pole. Ring in the holiday season as Santa, “Winter Lady” and other holiday characters make their debut on firetrucks. Free coloring books and lollipops will be given to all children in attendance. Come to this family-friendly event to visit with Santa and his friends from 6–7 p.m. and get into the holiday spirit with the kids. Dixon Square, Downtown Westerly, 4 High St., Westerly, 401-596-7761,

2. Warren: Fri., Nov. 24 and Sat., Nov. 25: The twenty-eighth annual Warren Holiday Festival will take place over the course of two days, and will include a parade, visits with Santa, music, dancing, a tree lighting and Mt. Hope High School’s marching band to top off the evening. Santa will arrive atop a fire truck at 5 p.m. on Friday, but returns on Saturday at noon via the same transportation. Shop around town for deals, treats and merriment in honor of Small Business Saturday. To view the schedule of both days’ events, click here. Downtown Warren, 401-245-1972,

3. Cranston: Sat., Nov. 25: Santa will be arriving via a horse drawn carriage to Garden City Center in Cranston and will convert the gazebo into his very own magical cabin. Visits are free and professional photos are available for purchase. There will also be face painting, crafts and treats at the event.  Santa’s Arrival will be held from 11 a.m. –1 p.m., rain, snow or shine. Garden City Center, 100 Midway Rd., Cranston, 401-942-2800,

4. Providence: Sat., Nov. 25: Celebrate Small Business Saturday with InDowncity and usher in the holiday season with Santa for cheerful post-Thanksgiving festivities. Spend the afternoon listening to holiday music and savoring delicious local foods while getting a start on your shopping for the season. Cherished Westminster businesses will be participating in promotions. Santa will be greeting children at Grant’s Block from noon– 4 p.m. and handing out Shop Small tote bags with prizes from local businesses. Get a complimentary Polaroid photo with Santa for a memory that your kids will remember forever. 260 Westminster St., Providence,

5. Wickford: Thurs., Nov. 30 through Sun., Dec. 3: The thirty-second annual Festival of Lights in Wickford will have Santa arriving in style: he’ll be coming to town aboard the Sea Princess boat led by kayaks all weekend. On Nov. 30, there will be a tree lighting and visits from Santa to kick off the festivities. Take a hayride throughout Wickford Village with Santa for $3 per person. Each day of the festival will have unique events, including an Elf Parade, live nativity, an ice sculpting demonstration and Christmas at the Castle. There will be musical entertainment, shopping and plenty of opportunities to greet Santa. For a full schedule, click hereHistoric Wickford Village, Wickford, 1-877-295-7200,

6. Providence: Sat., Dec. 2: Celebrate the holiday season at Roger Williams Park Zoo by visiting with Santa, marveling at ice carving demonstrations, nibbling on holiday treats and an opportunity to hop on the Carousel Express train or ride the historic Carousel. During the evening portion of the event, from 4–8 p.m., family and friends alike can take a horse drawn hayride through the park, see a stunning display of lights, enjoy a variety of food carts, sip on hot cocoa and of course spend time with the bearded man in the red suit. Admission is free to enter the winter festival; however, there are minimum fees for the various activities.  For more information on schedule hours and prices, click here. Roger Williams Park Zoo, 1000 Elmwood Ave., Providence, 401-785-3510,

7. Newport: Sat. Dec. 2: Bowen Wharf’s forty-seventh annual Christmas Tree Lighting will dazzle you, and not just with lights. Frosty the Snowman will be arriving at 4:30 p.m. for a Christmas carol sing-along at 5 p.m. Santa Claus and Mrs. Claus will be sailing into the evening by boat immediately following the tree lighting at 6 p.m. The magical event on the waterfront of historic Bowen’s Wharf will conclude when every child has had a chance to whisper their Christmas wishes to Santa. Music will continue throughout the night and shops will be open beforehand, and until 8 p.m. For more information, click here. Bowen’s Wharf, 13 Bowens Wharf, Newport, 401-849-2243,

8. Providence: Sun., Dec. 3: Hope Street in Providence is gearing up for the Fire and Ice Holiday Stroll from noon to 6 p.m. Hope Street will be closed to traffic so people can freely walk about and enjoy eats from food trucks, live performances, crafts for kids, ice sculpting demos and more. Local shops are offering specials, treats and promotions, Santa and his elves will be on site, and there will be performances by Circus Dynamics, Big Nazo, Extraordinary Marching Band and more. Food trucks include O’Crepe, Citizen Wing, Poco Loco Tacos, GottaQ SmokeHouse BBQ, Noble Knots, Sarcastic Sweets, New Harvest Coffee Roasters and Incredabowl Food Truck, and Hope Street restaurants Hope Street Pizza, Ivy Tavern, Kitchen Bar and Wara Wara will serve specials all day long. The Hard-Pressed Cider Company will also be selling their famous cider doughnuts. Dress warmly and get ready to ring in the holiday season. Hope Street between 5th and Rochambeau, Providence, 401-432-7995,


Riding the Polar Express and Train Rides with Santa

Boat Rides with Santa

Nineteenth Annual Photos with Santa


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