Santa Claus is Coming to These 8 Spots in Rhode Island

From Blackstone Valley to Newport, Santa will arrive in style by boat, fire truck and horsedrawn carriage.
Pictures Of Vintage Real Santa Claus Carrying Gift Sack

Via Getty

Editor’s Note: This story was updated from a previous version.

This time of year, it’s hard to miss Santa’s jolly laughter and ho-ho-hos at most holiday events, including 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.

SOUTH COUNTY

Westerly

Fri., Nov. 25: Santa Claus is headed to downtown Westerly to greet 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 fire trucks. Free coloring books, crayons 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. In case of inclement weather, the event will take place at Christ Church Parish Hall on Elm Street in Westerly. Don’t miss the tree lighting ceremony and dinner with Santa the next day. Dixon Square, Downtown Westerly, 4 High St., Westerly, 401-596-7761, oceanchamber.org.

Wickford

Thurs., Dec. 1 through Sun., Dec. 4: The thirty-seventh annual Festival of Lights in Wickford will have Santa arriving in style: he’ll be coming to town aboard a Safe Sea boat! On Thursday, Dec. 1, there will be a tree lighting ceremony at 6 p.m. in Updike Park with a visit from Santa to kick off the festivities. From there, each day of the festival will have fun events, including an Elf Parade, performances by Morris-style dance and musical group the ladies of the Rolling Pin, winter concerts, Christmas at the Castle and more. There will also be shopping opportunities and plenty of chances to greet and take photos with Santa. For a full schedule, click here. Historic Wickford Village, Wickford, 1-877-295-7200, wickfordvillage.org.

 

PROVIDENCE

Select Thursdays in December: Celebrate the holiday season at Roger Williams Park Zoo by heading to its second annual Holiday Lights Spectacular on nights with Santa! Visits are free with pre-purchased Holiday Lights tickets for the 5 and 6 p.m. slots, and families should bring their own cameras to snap photos. Read more about the event here. Roger Williams Park Zoo, 1000 Elmwood Ave., Providence, 401-785-3510, rwpzoo.org.

 

EAST BAY

Warren

Fri., Nov. 25 and Sat., Nov. 26: The thirty-fourth annual Warren Holiday Festival will take place over the course of two days, and will include musical processions, visits with Santa, Circus Dynamics, dancing, carolers, a street lighting and performances by Mt. Hope High School’s marching band. Santa will arrive atop a fire truck at 5 p.m. on Friday, but returns on Saturday at noon to lead a fun scavenger hunt about town. 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, warrenholidayfestival.com.

Bristol

Sat., Dec. 3 and Sat.–Sun., Dec. 10–11: It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas in Bristol. Head to the waterside town during its annual Grand Illumination on Saturday, Dec. 3, which features a grand entrance by Santa and Mrs. Claus. Watch the two light the downtown decorations and town tree. In the event of inclement weather, the event will take place on Sunday, Dec. 4. On Dec. 10 and 11, visitors can spend Festival Weekend watching performances and demonstrations and browsing a quaint European holiday market in front of the Burnside Building at 400 Hope Street. Inside, there will be crafts projects available for kids as well as visits with Santa. The Bristol Santa House is also a short walk away and offers a unique place for children of all ages and abilities to share holiday wishes, drop off a letter to Santa, or even visit with the head elf himself. 400 Hope St., Bristol, christmasbristolri.com.

 

WEST BAY

Cranston

Sat., Nov. 26 through Sat. Dec. 24: On Saturday, Nov. 26, Santa arrives via a horse drawn carriage to Garden City Center in Cranston, where his magical cabin will be set up next to the gazebo. 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 9:30 a.m. –1 p.m. (Santa will make his grand entarnce around 10 a.m.), and hayrides are available for a $5 donation to the Tomorrow Fund. Visits with Santa in Garden City continue daily until Christmas Eve — view Santa’s Cabin hours hereGarden City Center, 100 Midway Rd., Cranston, 401-942-2800, gardencitycenter.com.

 

BLACKSTONE VALLEY

Scituate

Fri., Dec. 9 through Sun., Dec. 11: Head to the Hope Village Green for Christmas in the Village – Festival of Trees. The new town tradition will include visits with Santa, Rudolph and Frosty; a Festival of Trees lighting ceremony; wreath making workshops; a fire truck parade; live music; holiday shopping and more, plus goodies like hot cocoa and popcorn.  Hope Village Green, 88 Main St., Hope, sba-ri.com/event/christmas-in-the-village.

 

NEWPORT/BRISTOL COUNTY

Newport

Sat., Dec. 3: Bowen Wharf’s fifty-second annual Christmas Tree Lighting will dazzle you — and not just with lights. The festivities begin around 12:30 p.m. with a visit from Santa followed by an afternoon full of joyous performances from local musicians and choruses. Santa Claus and Mrs. Claus will later sail into the evening by boat immediately following the tree lighting at 6 p.m. Local shops will be open both before and after the event with in-store deals to check off you holiday shopping list. For more information, click here. Bowen’s Wharf, 13 Bowens Wharf, Newport, 401-849-2243, bowenswharf.com.

 

 

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