Newport, Rhode Island is home to many historic mansions that have been converted into museums. A visit to these magnificent homes is amazing any time of year, however, everything becomes a bit more sparkly and special during the winter holidays. Make this the year that you add a visit to the Newport Mansions to your holiday schedule. We must warn you though, you may have such a fantastic time that this becomes a yearly tradition.
1. You can see your fill of holiday lights in one stop.
The entire property of The Breakers is decked out with thousands of lights. Friendly gnomes guide visitors as they walk through tunnels of light and stroll past snowmen and reindeer. Instead of driving all around town looking for the best light display, you can park your car once and see everything in one evening.
2. A taste of your childhood adds a special nostalgia to the trip.
S’mores kits are available for purchase at Sparkling Lights at The Breakers. Grab a stick and roast your marshmallow over a fire pit at the Welcome Center. The marshmallow, chocolate, and graham cracker combination is sure to bring a smile to your lips. You may think s’mores are just for kids but that first bite will remind you otherwise.
3. You will be toasty warm even when you are outside.
New England is known for cold and snowy winters. The Breakers is prepared for that with fire pits along the path of their winter wonderland. Stop for a moment to warm your hands as you gaze around looking for the next perfect picture spot.
4. All of the decorations make for beautiful backdrops for family photographs (and you don’t have to do the decorating yourself).
Each room of The Breakers, Marble House, and The Elms is ornately decorated. The theme for each room is designed to complement the decor of that room. A 15-foot-tall tree made from 150 poinsettia plants is always a favorite picture spot. You can take photos in different rooms and send out a holiday card that showcases multiple family photos. Consider doing a serious pose, a silly pose, and an artistic pose. There is even a Van”deer”bilt selfie station in the Children’s Cottage.
5. The creativity of young people is on display through a special partnership.
120 fourth graders from Pell Elementary School decorated ornaments for the four trees in the kitchen of The Breakers. The children were given the instructions of creating an ornament to fit the theme of ‘Tis the SEA-son. Make sure to stop by to admire their handiwork.
6. The winter holidays can be a hectic time but holiday brunch will give you a chance to slow down for a bit.
The Chinese Tea House on the grounds of the Marble House hosts a three-course holiday brunch. The food is curated by Stoneacre Brasserie so you are sure to make your taste buds happy. The view from the Tea House is unmatched as it sits above the famous Cliff Walk.
7. You can explore history and the holidays in one trip.
The Breakers, Marble House, and The Elms all have self-guided audio tours available through a free app. The audio tour is an easy way to explore the mansions at your own pace. Linger in rooms that really catch your eye or take the fast path to see everything quickly. Plus when you tour on your own, you do not have to wait for everyone in the group to take a photo of a room before moving on. Guests are encouraged to download the Newport Mansions audio tour app before arriving and to bring their own headphones.
8. Gilded Age fashion is on display.
The Breakers is excited to announce a new display this year. The Music Room will be filled with mannequins dressed in the finest Gilded Age fashions. Which elegant dress do you like best?
The Breakers, Marble House, and The Elms are all open daily from 10am until late afternoon. The Sparkling Lights at the Breakers is open Thursday through Sunday evenings until December 23 and then daily from December 26 through January 1. The Sparkling Lights are not included in regular house tour tickets; make sure to purchase a timed admission ticket to see the lights. The Chinese Tea House brunch is available December 17-18 and 26-31. All locations are closed on Christmas Day. See the full schedule and more information on the Newport Mansions website.