Rhode Island Christmas Guide 2021

The holidays are here! ‘Tis the season for magic, wonder, and quality family time. In Rhode Island, there are lots of opportunities to experience the festivities with kids of all ages. Read on for family-friendly holiday activities in Rhode Island. 

Family-Friendly Holiday Activities in Rhode Island

51st Annual Bowen’s Wharf Christmas Tree Lighting at Newport

December 4, 2021

It’s time to light the most amazing Christmas tree on historic Bowen’s Wharf! The enormous tree will be lit at 6:00 p.m., but arrive early for festivities beginning by 4:30 p.m. Local music with a caroling sing-a-long, Santa and Mrs. Claus arriving by boat into Bowen’s Basin, restaurants and shops open along the wharf for holiday meals and sweet treats. 

All ages; FREE

A Christmas Carol at Chace Theater

In-Person: November 4, 2021 – January 2, 2022

Streaming: December 6 – January 16, 2022

Rhode Island’s family holiday tradition returns! Reimagined anew every year, this glorious telling of the classic story evokes the magic and hope of the season and its contemporary relevance. Guided by Jacob Marley and the ghosts of Christmas Past, Present, and Future, and ultimately inspired by his community, Ebenezer Scrooge embarks on a heartwarming journey toward redemption.

This year, both in-person and streaming options are available. Purchase tickets online in advance. 

Tickets: $25 – $87

​​23rd Annual Pawtucket’s Winter Wonderland Festival

December 4, 2021 – December 12, 2021

Visit the largest Christmas display in all of Rhode Island, a 30 acre display located within Slater Park in Pawtucket. View 650 decorated Christmas trees, more than 100 light displays, 20 Victorian style houses, several 40’ LED mega trees, a read-along of “Night Before Christmas” display, visits with Mr. and Mrs. Claus, hay rides, miniature train rides, free face painting, local dance performances, and lots more!

Roads will be closed on December 4th, 5th, 11th, and 12th from 4:00-8:00 p.m. to allow amfilies to safely walk through the display, listen to Christmas music, take photographs and make memories. 

All ages; FREE

Children’s Christmas Party at the Ocean House at Westerly

December 18, 2021

11:30 AM to 1:30 PM            

Come and enjoy a festive celebration created just for children in the Ocean House Ballroom. Kids will delight in numerous arts & crafts stations, storytelling and photos with Santa himself. Light refreshments available. 

Adults: $35

Children: Free       

Ice Skating at Washington Trust Ice Rink in Westerly

Enjoy the fresh air at the Washington Trust Ice Rink in Westerly! Private rentals, skate rentals, group and private lessons, curling, and more available. Visit the website for schedule. 

Adults: $8 Non-Member / $7 YMCA Member

Child: $5 Non-Member / $4 YMCA Member

Senior: $5 Non-Member / $4 YMCA Member

Holidays at the Newport Mansions

November 20, 2021 – January 9, 2022

Holidays at the Newport Mansions will be more spectacular than ever this year! View a total of 28 Christmas trees, the 15-foot poinsettia tree in the Great Hall of The Breakers – made up of 150 poinsettia plants, and decorations abound around these Gilded Age mansions. Separate ticket required for Sparking Lights, an outdoor magical wonderland, Thursdays through Sundays, 5 p.m. to 7 p.m.

House Tickets:

Adults: $20

Youth: $8

Sparking Lights: 

Adults: $30

Youth: $10

Polar Express Train Ride at Woonsocket

The Magic Returns this holiday season for a three-hour experience at the Blackstone Valley Polar Express! Enjoy a 90-minute train ride to view the North Pole that’s filled with singing, games, a reading of the classic children’s story “The Polar Express”, and a visit from Santa! The Conductor will be there to punch your special golden ticket, and you’ll all enjoy hot chocolate and a cookie during your trip. Plus, every child will receive a silver bell – the first gift of Christmas!

Purchase tickets online in advance:

Adults: $54 – $97

Children (12 years and younger): $52 – $97

Lap children (0-12 months): $10