Thursdays – Sundays, December 2017 4 Days/3 Nights
Welcome to Newport, Rhode Island where Christmas spirits meet the Gilded Ages and foster the historic traditions of the holiday. Living Magazine named Newport one of the 10 Best American Beach Towns for Christmas. The halls are “decked with boughs of holly” at the mansions and the carolers are ready to welcome you. “It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas,” everywhere you go!
Newport, Rhode Island
Arrive in Newport, Rhode Island, the sailing capital of the world and home to the famed Gilded Age mansions. Enjoy lunch on your own and time to explore the boutique shops that line Thames Street, the center of all the action in Newport!
Visit Thames Glass, where skilled glassblowers shape molten glass into hand blown vases, ornaments, snowmen, paperweights, perfume bottles and other original designs. Your visit includes a hands-on glassblowing session led by a skilled glassblower where you will create your own glass ornament!
Historic Downtown Newport
Your accommodations will be at a waterfront hotel located in historic downtown Newport. Fragrant evergreens, poinsettias and holiday lights, welcome you to the holiday spirit the minute you walk through the door. Gather for a welcome reception and enjoy the beautiful harbor views. Dinner on the first night will be served at a family-owned and operated restaurant. After dinner, return to the hotel for an evening of holiday cheer. Sing your favorite Christmas carols along with the Very Merry Dickens Carolers.
Tour of Rhode Island
Connect with local guide, dressed in costume as Mrs. Caroline Astor, the Grande Dame of Newport and New York Society. On this tour you'll travel back to the Gilded Age and beyond to 1920. Learn of the region’s rich history and witness historic landmarks. Witness the decorated front doors of these historic homes, as they participate in the Annual Newport Door Decorating Contest.
Stroll along the cobblestone streets of Bannister’s Wharf. Store windows, lavishly decorated for the holiday season, will inspire your spirit. Shop for that special holiday gift at one of the many boutiques that line the streets. Have lunch on your own at one of the charming local eateries.
The former summer home of Philadelphia coal magnate, Edward Berwind. Thousands of poinsettias, spectacular evergreens, fragrant trees, decorated wreaths, fresh flowers and 19th century style ornaments turn the house and its grounds into a Christmas wonderland.
The Van Wickle family built this stunning 45-room English-style manor mansion in the early 1900’s on 33 acres with sweeping views of Narragansett Bay. Every year during the holidays, the mansion transforms into a dazzling display where each room is filled with elaborate holiday decorations. Embark on a self-guided tour of the mansion and then gather in the formal dining room for High Tea.
Cookie Decorating Contest
"Put your Betty on.” Gather for a Gilded Age Cookie Decorating Contest. From silver sprinkles to gold sanding sugar do your best to make your cookie shine as the Chef picks the best. The winner receives a white chef’s apron!
Don you your holiday best. Begin with a savory dinner elegantly served in a private room at the hotel. After dinner, participate in a re-creation of a traditional Cotillion, popular in the 18th-century. Learn the basic steps of the Waltz, Circle Dance and Line Dance then join hands with your partner and dance to music of the era.
Hearth Designer Wreath Sale
Shop for beautiful holiday wreaths and tabletop decorations created by local designers, artists, gardeners and florists. Sales benefit Lucy's Hearth, the only local shelter for homeless women and children in Middletown.
The “Summer Cottage” of Mrs. Alva Vanderbilt. The minute you walk in, the glitter of gold and the sparkle of silver will dazzle you. Dining tables set with period silver and china, Christmas trees reflecting the individual room décor, fresh flowers and thousands of poinsettias will transport you back to a bygone era!
“It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas,” when you visit Bowen’s Wharf. With its brick walkways, granite quays and 18th century commercial wharf buildings, Bowen’s Wharf is one of the finest natural harbors in New England and is the anchor of Newport. Explore the unique shops all decked out for the holidays, and have lunch on your own.
Seamen’s Church Institute
Founded in 1919, this institute’s mission is to provide men and women of the sea and people of the community a safe haven in which they may find comfort, recreation and benefit. It is here, during each holiday season, the locals come to write Christmas cards to the men and women serving our country overseas who cannot come home for the holidays. Join them and send a card filled with holiday joy!
Embark on a guided tour of the oldest Episcopal parish in the State. Trinity Church is a National Historic Landmark and was built in 1726. It is the only church in America today with a center-aisle, freestanding, triple-decker pulpit.
Holiday Lantern Tour
Late afternoon, join a local guide and embark on a walking Holiday Lantern Tour. Hear the history of early American holiday traditions as you visit the exquisitely preserved neighborhoods of Newport’s Historic Hill.
The White Horse Tavern
Savor the flavors of New England fare served in a warm, elegant and charming historic building. The White Horse Tavern, is the oldest continually operating tavern in the nation. Originally constructed in 1652, businessmen in the distilling industry would meet for meals and drinks while conducting trade negotiations.
The grandest of Newport’s summer “cottages.” This mansion is a symbol of the Vanderbilt family’s social and financial preeminence in turn of the century America. Enjoy the music of the live symphony as you stroll through this magnificent house, decorated for the holiday season.
St. Mary’s Church
Visit St. Mary’s Church, Rhode Island’s oldest Roman Catholic parish. This Gothic Revival Church featuring magnificent stained glass windows that were craft in Austria, is recognized as one of the most beautiful churches in New England. It is also where President John F. Kennedy and Jacqueline Bouvier were wed.