Holiday Guide

Celebrate the Season South County Style

Don't let the Grinch steal your holiday spirit

Posted

Get Wild
For a refreshing take on a holiday classic that’s a little less “God bless us every one” and a little more “God help us,” check out Mrs. Bob Cratchit’s Wild Christmas Binge. The show, on stage at Wakefield’s Contemporary Theater Company from December 5-21, is a parody of A Christmas Carol that has all of the familiar characters and none of the familiar plot line. In this musical reimagining, Mrs. Cratchit is a modern woman who drinks to escape the pressures of her hard-scrabble life in 1840s London and of raising her – count them – 21 children. Add Scrooge and The Ghost who can’t quite manage to get him through his life lessons because her magic is on the fritz and you’ve got one surprising holiday show. 327 Main Street, Wakefield. 218-0282. More info...

Bright Nights
Yes, WaterFire lights up the night in Providence... But it’s not the only event with glowing reviews in the state. The 18th annual Westerly Holiday Stroll and Luminaria illuminates downtown Westerly and the Pawcatuck River on December 3 from 5-8pm. Strolling carolers and twinkling lights set the scene for shopping and entertainment, while hayrides with Santa keep the kids happy. Downtown Westerly and Pawcatuck. 596-7761. More info...

Light It Up
If you think Narragansett shuts down for the season once the temperature drops below 70, think again. The Narragansett Festival of Lights, an all-day celebration that culminates with fireworks and a tree lighting, happens on December 7. Meet Santa at Pier Marketplace, participate in holiday crafts, a free staging of A Christmas Carol and festive entertainment. 782-0658. More info...

To Grandmother’s House
For some good old fashioned family morals, the Granite Theatre in Westerly presents Over the River and Through the Woods. Channeling the New England family theme from the original 1844 Thanksgiving poem, this holiday show focuses on a young man with two sets of wackily overbearing grandparents and one big life decision ahead of him. 1 Granite Street, Westerly. 596-2341. More info...

Ye Old Fashioned Christmas
For a taste of a Colonial christmas, travel back in time to Smith’s Castle in North Kingstown for Christmas at the Castle. From December 6-7, the 17th century living history museum brings old fashioned holidays to life. Think costumed historical interpreters, halls decked with old fashioned decorations, colonial treats, music from a bygone era and an exhibit on the history of Santa through the years. 55 Richard Smith Drive, North Kingstown. 294-3521. More info...

Jingle All the Way
Channel your inner Rudolph to find the finish line of the Jingle Bell Run in Narragansett. On December 7, head to Narragansett Town Beach in your finest holiday running gear – if you’re not wearing light-up antlers, you’re doing it wrong – and raise money for The Arthritis Foundation. About 500 people participate in the 5k every year, so you’re in good, if chilly, company. Run, walk, tie bells to your shoes... whatever you do, jingle all the way to the finish and raise money for a good cause. Narragansett Town Beach North Beach Club, 79 Boston Neck Road, Narragansett. 739-3773. More info...

Historic Holiday
Celebrate a historic holiday at the Whitehall Museum House in Middletown. Whitehall, built in 1729, sits on the remnants of an 18th century farm and is a remarkably well preserved example of colonial life. On December 7, head to the museum for Christmas festivities including caroling, seasonal music and plenty of holiday cheer (including wassail, which is a real beverage you can actually drink – who knew?). You might even spot the Ghost of Christmas Past. 311 Berkeley Avenue, Middletown. 846-3116. More info...

Santa by Boat
Wickford is gorgeous at any time of year, but never moreso than during the annual Wickford Festival of Lights. What’s arguably Rhode Island’s most picturesque Main Street turns into a winter wonderland from December 4-7, illuminated with thousands of twinkling white lights and made merry with roving bands of carolers. Seriously, is there anything more “holidays in the Ocean State” than Santa arriving by boat to the town dock? Festivities kick off with a tree lighting in Updike Park, and continue throughout the weekend, with most shops in Wickford VIllage staying open late to encourage the most possible shopping local. More info...

Decked Halls
You’ve seen how the other half lives, but have you seen how the other half celebrates? Christmas at the Newport Mansions shows the summer cottages of America’s royalty in a whole new light. The Breakers, The Elms and Marble House are decorated to the rafters with stunning holiday decorations, like the floor-to-ceiling tree made of poinsettias at The Breakers. Events like caroling, concerts and kid-friendly fun keep the party going all month long. The Nutracker performed by Island Moving Company at Rosecliff is a performance not to be missed – and unless you want some unhappy kids on Christmas morning, make sure to take them to meet Santa at The Breakers on December 7. One good thing about the short days this month is that there’s more time to see the gorgeous mansions lit up with holiday cheer. Bellevue Avenue, Newport. 847-1000. More info...

The Merriest
Nobody south of the North Pole celebrates the season quite like the City by the Sea. Newport throws down all of the holiday cheer you can handle this month. During Christmas in Newport, there is literally something fun happening every single day in December – and usually more than one thing. The celebration kicks off on December 1 with a tree lighting ceremony (one of three happening in Newport this month) complete with a cannon salute and live entertainment. Throughout the month, check out events ranging from the boozy (a Decorate the Brewery event at Coastal Extreme) to the literary (Living Literature Presents: Owen Meany’s Christmas Pageant), from the educational (Holiday Histories Walking Tour) to the black tie (the 38th annual Governor’s Ball at Salve Regina). Christmas concerts happen all over the city all month long, and thanks to some holiday decorating contests, there’s plenty of eye candy to take in while you’re on your way. At the Bellevue Avenue Stroll on December 4, stores will have treats and carolers to entertain you as you shop. You can even take a moment to appreciate what Christmas is really about at a living nativity on December 11, or at the 103rd annual Medieval Christmas Pageant at St. George’s School. We could keep going and going... or you could just go check it out for yourself. More info...

Stroll and Shop
Main Street East Greenwich is already a pleasant place to stroll and shop, even with the temperature steadily falling. This month, local merchants are hosting three fun events to get you in the holiday spirit. December 7, enjoy the Snowflake Raffle Stroll, where local shops are having raffles for holiday gifts. On December 14, the Sweet Treat Stroll will give away candy and cookies to shoppers. On December 21, get festive with the Holiday Hat Stroll. Wear your jauntiest cap, enjoy carolers and take free trolley rides between stores to stay warm. More info...

An Island Holiday
Head to Jamestown on the weekend of December 4-6 for their Jamestown Holiday Weekend, featuring a Christmas tree lighting, holiday stroll with shopping discounts and a visit from Jolly Old Saint Nick. More info...

Craft Your Own Christmas
Lots of garden centers shut down once the growing season is over, but not The Farmer’s Daughter in South Kingstown. Not only do they have pick-your-own trees and fresh boughs just waiting to be decked, they also have festive happenings all month, like Make Your Own Wreath and Holiday Centerpiece workshops. There’s a Ladies’ Night on December 2, and Santa himself visits on December 6 and 7. 716 Moorsefield Road, South Kingstown. 792-1340. More info...

Get All Warm and Fuzzy
In Wickford Village, Beauty and the Bath’s annual Pajama Party is a beloved tradition. On December 3, head to the shop after hours in your finest loungewear (if you choose) and get 20% off all your purchases, free gift wrapping, nibbles and cocktails – including their famous adult hot chocolate – and product demos. Bring new children’s pajamas or books and get a goody bag, plus be entered to win prizes. 11 West Main Street, Wickford. 294-3576. More info...

The North Pole in South County
Head to South County Commons on December 6 to celebrate their Merry, Merry Christmas Event. Have breakfast with Santa, shop with the Holiday Puzzle Pass- port to win prizes, decorate gingerbread men, sing carols, get your face painted and take in all the holiday cheer you can handle. 50 South County Commons Way, South Kingstown. More info...