The holiday season is now upon us, and this year, Rhode Islanders will have the opportunity to engage in an awesome array of local special events that will be filled with fun and exciting, holiday inspired experiences.
The light displays throughout our area will offer magical moments that truly add to the holiday season’s joy and merriment. Rhode Island is also aglow at this time of year, with enchanting celebrations in many cities and towns that will entertain and delight.
But there’s so much more! Throughout our state, Rhode Island gets its sparkle on in December, where you will find local vendors, from stores to restaurants, and town centers that will be bustling with holiday magic, and bringing holiday fun to your entire family. From visits with Santa and trips to the North Pole, to unforgettable performances of classic Christmas tales, tree lightings, and more, you will make countless priceless memories in the Ocean State that will fascinate and enchant those of all ages.
If you’re wondering where to look, your holiday wishes can be found from north to south and east to west, as the entire Ocean State becomes packed with everything Christmas.You won’t have to look far to do something special with the kids, share some grown-up time together, shop for unique gifts, or find a place to have your Christmas dinner (or brunch, lunch, or tea). Tour a charming Rhode Island village, all done up in its holiday best, or explore a Newport Mansion decked in spectacular Christmas splendor.
So, whether you’ve been naughty or nice, you’ll find something to excite the senses, delight your taste buds, and warm your heart, all at the same, right here in our neck of the woods!
Below are some of Little Rhody’s best displays of holiday cheer…
Venture out on an awe-inspiring Christmas adventure with a holiday visit to Bristol. This enchanting town hosts one of the most popular Christmas festivals in Rhode Island. The annual two-day Christmas Festival is held in early December, but even if you can’t make it to the festival, plan a Christmastime visit to do some shopping at the local stores and boutiques, indulge in a meal at one of the bedazzled restaurants, or stroll through town to fancy the twinkling lights and dazzling decorations.
Strolling along the quaint roads of Newport, you’ll feel like you’ve stepped into a Christmas Norman Rockwell painting. Newport, which may just be the Christmas capital of Rhode Island, features a full lineup of events, including Holidays at the Newport Mansions. The Marriott in Newport boasts the town’s largest gingerbread house, and even just a meander through Bowen’s Wharf is sure to get you in the Christmas spirit.
Pawtucket is the place to be for an especially abundant dose of holiday spirit. Slater Park transforms into a Winter Wonderland (and yes, that’s the name of the lights’ display) with its magical Christmas tree trail. Boasting more than 600 illuminated trees, Winter Wonderland offers a fun and memorable experience for the whole family.
Jam-packed with Christmastime activities, Providence belongs on every Rhode Islander’s holiday bucket list. Shimmering with Christmas lights, the bustling town boasts a jam-packed schedule with family-friendly activities, including holiday lights at Roger Williams Park Zoo, bumper cars on ice, and the Three Nights of Lights, an epic Christmas celebration.
If you are seeking charm during this holiday season, look no further than Warwick. The enchanting town of Warwick belongs on all of our Christmas bucket lists. Experience an old-fashioned, traditional Christmas in Rhode Island, with a visit to the Annual Festival of Lights in Wickford Village, a blissful launch to the Christmas season. Whether you’re just starting your holiday shopping or adding the finishing touches, you’ll uncover countless treasures in the village’s quaint shops.
Carve out a day on your Advent calendar for a visit to the charming Christmas town of Westerly. If you’re looking for one of the most exciting things to do at Christmas in Rhode Island, mark your calendar for the Annual Downtown Holiday Stroll and Luminaria, set for Dec. 6, 2023. Enveloped in Christmas lights, the town’s streets will be filled with holiday shoppers, while the stores offer special holiday deals. You can even grab a cookie and hot chocolate to help you stay warm, as you saunter from shop to shop.
Holiday Lights Spectacular at Roger Williams Park & Zoo
Thru December 31, 2023
Open nightly (closed Christmas Eve/Day) 5:00pm – 9:30pm, with last admission at 9:00pm. Tickets sold online only. Visit https://www.rwpzoo.org/holidaylights/ for additional information and to purchase tickets.
Each year, Roger Williams Park & Zoo creates a light display, and when you think it can’t get any more brilliant and impressive, it never fails at surpassing the previous year’s illumination show.
You will want to bring all of your family and friends to celebrate the annual Holiday Lights Spectacular at Roger Williams Park & Zoo–an extraordinary walk-through experience, just in time for the holidays. Featuring festive and larger-than-life splendidly sparkling displays, this year’s event is more dazzling than ever, as it will illuminate more than 3½ million lights that transform the Zoo into a magical winter wonderland!
Don’t miss out on this spectacular experience, as you ring in the holiday season, nightly, from November 24 through December 31. Bundle up yourself and the kiddies, and grab an adult beverage, hot chocolate, and maybe some roasted s’mores, while strolling through 40 acres of glowing illuminated pathways.
From radiant reindeer to sparkling snowmen, this is a must-see experience this holiday season. For the little ones, Santa will be at the Spectacular on select Thursday nights in December through Christmas. The visit is free to families who have a same-night ticket for the 5 or 6 pm timeslot only.
Holiday Lights Spectacular is open rain or shine. The experience runs from 5:00pm – 9:30pm. Tickets are timed-entry and available for purchase online only. NO REFUNDS OR RESCHEDULING. This program does not include animal exhibits.
Please note: the Holiday Lights Spectacular features flashing lights which may affect photosensitive visitors.
Wishing everyone a blessed, healthy, and safe holiday season!