Remember when Christmas was simple? When it was about time with friends and family? When it was a time to relax and take in the moment?
It can be so easy to get wrapped up in the commercialism of Christmas. The television is full of advertisements for cars with gigantic red bows, stores are open for long hours with slashed prices, and the lines for photos with Santa Claus seem to get longer and longer.
If you find yourself craving the Christmas of years past, Christmas in Newport has you covered. Now celebrating its 52nd year, the goal of the non-profit organization is to celebrate the non-commercial traditions of Christmas. Each year, 1500+ volunteers light up downtown Newport with clear lights to simulate candles. They also plan activities to occur nearly every day during the month of December. Each event is either free or is for the benefit of a non-profit institution or charity. You can have fun, enjoy the lights, and feel good about rekindling the true spirit of Christmas in us all. Here is a sampling of the events on the Christmas in Newport calendar:
Where To See the Lights and Decorations
- The International Tennis Hall of Fame puts on a light display every evening until January 6, 2023. The free event on the historic Horseshoe court begins at 4pm each day.
- The entire property of The Breakers will be transformed into a winter wonderland. Timed tickets for Sparkling Lights at the Breakers are available Thursday-Sunday evenings until December 23 and then daily from December 26, 2022 until January 1, 2023. Fire pits along the pathways will help everyone stay warm and cozy.
- The whole town joins the spirit by decorating their doors for the holidays. Wander through town and find your favorite. The judging contest will be held on December 9, 2022.
Events With Music
- Meditative music played on the organ and/or strings will grace the halls of Saint Mary’s Church on December 7, 14, and 21. The church will be open for all from 6pm-7pm each of those Wednesday evenings.
- Sip wine or beer as you listen to live music at Newport Vineyards on December 9. The Holiday Extravaganza will also feature festive food stations, an ugly sweater contest, and a marketplace. Bring a toy for the MLK Community Center.
- Sing along with your favorite carols at Emmanuel Church on December 10, 2022. The family-friendly collaborative performance is followed by a joyous reception.
- Celtic holiday music and caroling by the Ancient Order of Hibernians Men Singers will boost your holiday spirit at the Irish Museum Christmas Open House. The December 10 event will also feature eggnog and cookies. Purchase a celtic-inspired bracelet or lapel pin to benefit the museum.
- December is a time for many holidays, don’t forget about Hanukkah. The Touro Band will perform on December 12. This free event also includes a reading of the Story of Hanukkah.
- WADK hosts an annual holiday concert with music from Larry Brown’s Swinglane Orchestra and the Jamestown Community Chorus. The concert on December 14 is free but attendees are encouraged to bring a non-perishable food item for the Martin Luther King Community Center.
Places to Give Back
- The Newport Marriott Hotel hosts the largest Gingerbread House in town. The 7-foot house and 16-foot working lighthouse is on display in the lobby until December 31, 2022. Bring a non-perishable food item to place in the sleighs to benefit the Martin Luther King Center.
- Bring an outdoor-friendly ornament to the Community Tree Lighting and Decorating. The Thompson Middle School PTO is excited to host this first annual event that will spruce up 55 Broadway. Everyone can be part of the fun with four trees to decorate.
Where to Get Crafty
- The Newport Public Library is hosting many programs for children and teens during the month of December. Make a Family Snow Globe on December 10, use a 3D printer to create holiday decor on December 12, transform a terracotta pot into a wintery scene on December 13, or create a personalized stocking on December 17 or 20.
Where To Shop
- Support Newport Mental Health while picking up items for everyone on your shopping list. Local boutiques and designers are featured at the Sip and Shop on December 8, 2022. A $5 suggested donation is collected at the door.
- Stop in to the Elks Lodge on December 11 for a Holiday Craft Fair. It is a great way to support local artisans while finding gifts for friends, family, or yourself.