Join together ‘neath the mistletoe By the holy oak whereon it grows Seven druids dance in seven time Sing the song the bells call loudly chiming
- – Jethro Tull, “Ring Out, Solstice Bells”
Christmas at the Newport Mansions
Monday, November 19 to Tuesday, January 1, 2019
Bellevue Avenue, Newport, RI
The Preservation Society of Newport County cordially invites you to tour The Breakers, The Elms and Marble House, each decked out in Yuletide finery. Highlights of this celebration include music, tours, and spectacular decorations. For the full schedule of events, visit newportmansions.org.
Huntington Harbor Parade of Lights
Friday, November 23
The Huntington Lighthouse Preservation Society presents this annual FUNdraiser for the historic light’s restoration and maintenance, and all vessels, homes and businesses are welcome to participate. The parade starts at 6pm, and prizes will be awarded. For more information, contact co-chairs Pam Setchell at email@example.com or Leigh Sterflinger at firstname.lastname@example.org, or log onto huntingtonlighthouse.org.
Holiday Harbor Lights Illuminated Boat Parade
Friday, November 23
Various venues in Newport, RI
A visual treat for participants and spectators alike, this tour of the harbor starts at 6:15 pm. There’s prime viewing from Bowen’s Wharf and Bannister’s Wharf, and Newport Yacht Club (on Long Wharf) is open to the public that evening. Prizes for Best Decorated Sailboat (recreational & commercial), Best Decorated Powerboat (recreational & commercial), Best Decorated Fishing Boat, Best Decorated Porch or Dock, and Most Team Spirit will be awarded. For more details, contact Newport Harbormaster Tim Mills at 401-845-5815 or email@example.com.
Lantern Light Tours: Finding Our Place
November 23 & 24 and 30, December 1, 7 & 8, 14 & 15, and 21 – 23
Mystic Seaport Museum, Mystic, CT
Written by esteemed playwright and dramaturg Kato McNickle,
Finding Our Place is set on Christmas Eve in the year 1876. The show includes five scenes of seasonal delight, featuring a winter fantasia, a spirited circle dance, and perhaps a visit with old St. Nick! Each performance is an approximately 90-minute tour that covers roughly half a mile of uneven terrain including cobblestone, wood planking, grass, gravel, and stairs. Audience members walk or stand for the majority of the show. Because performances occur in all weather conditions, wear seasonal outerwear and appropriate shoes. This event is not recommended for kids under age 4. Tickets are available online at mysticseaport.org/lanternlighttours. For information about cancellations due to inclement weather, call 860-572-0711.
Santa Arrives by Tugboat & 18th Annual Mystic Holiday Lighted Boat Parade
Saturday, November 24
Various venues in Mystic, CT
Santa will arrive at Mystic River Park at 2 pm on the tugboat John Paul, and there’s a tree lighting in the park at 6 pm. Then decorated vessels will parade down the Mystic River. Boats of all types and sizes are welcome, and prizes will be awarded for Most Charismatic Crew, Innovative Vessel, Best Dressed Vessel, and Miss Mystic Vessel of Grandeur. Boats of all types and sizes are welcome, and entrance requires only a toy or coat donation to the Pawcatuck Neighborhood Center. To learn more, log onto mysticchamber.org.
Trees in the Rigging Community Carol Sing & Boat Parade
Sunday, November 25
Connecticut River Museum and other locations in Essex, CT
Presented by the Connecticut River Museum, the Essex Board of Trade and the Essex Historical Society, this popular event include a lantern-lit stroll down Main Street with the Sailing Masters of 1812 Fife and Drum Corps, an antique car parade, a parade of holiday-themed boats, and a visit from Santa. Festivities begin at 4:30 pm and admission is free. To register your boat for the parade, contact Allie Kyff at firstname.lastname@example.org. Visit ctrivermuseum.org for more information.
Downtown Milford Lamplight Stroll
Friday, November 30
Various venues in Downtown Milford, CT
Presented by the Downtown Milford Business Association, this classic New England event includes a visit from Santa, horse & carriage rides around Milford Green, yuletide carolers, and performances by the Cornerstone Christian Adult & Youth Choirs. The town’s finest shops, spas and salons will enthusiastically greet visitors with refreshments, holiday cheer and a unique holiday shopping experience. 5 – 9 pm; Milford, CT; downtownmilfordct.com
Bowen’s Wharf 48th Annual Christmas Tree Lighting
Saturday, December 1
Bowen’s Wharf, Newport, RI
Bring the whole family for an evening of Christmas cheer! Festivities begin at 4:30 pm with Frosty the Snowman. The Christmas Carol Sing-a-Long with Bianca Sings starts at 5 and the Mayor lights the tree at 6, immediately followed by Santa & Mrs. Claus arriving by boat. Bowen’s Wharf restaurants and shops are open before and after the event, the latter offering in-store promotions, gift wrapping and more. This event takes place whether the weather’s clear, raining or snowing. Visit bowenswharf.com/events for more information.
45th Annual Nantucket Christmas Stroll Weekend
Friday, November 30 to Sunday, December 2
Various venues in Nantucket, MA
This is an enchanting, magical tribute to the wonderment of bygone Christmases. At noon on Saturday, the Jolly Man in Red arrives at the dock via Coast Guard vessel and is escorted up Straight Wharf by the Town Crier to board a vintage whaleboat. At the top of Main Street, the Magical Talking Tree entertains children of all ages, while Victorian carolers, festively decorated shop windows, and a lively scavenger hunt add to the scenic backdrop of an event that’s nautical and nice! For more details, visit nantucketchamber.org/nantucket-stroll.
The AHA! Partners Present Holiday Shop & Stroll in Downtown New Bedford
Friday, December 1 & Saturday, December 2
Various venues in New Bedford, MA
This event kicks off on Friday, 12/1 with the Jingle & Mingle Shopping Stroll from 4 t0 7 pm. Shop your way through downtown galleries & boutique stores, and enjoy food tastings, gift buying, live music & plenty of holiday cheer. The Jingle & Mingle Family Stroll is Saturday, 12/2 from 10 am to 4 pm, with Santa & Mrs. Claus arriving at Custom House Square in an antique fire truck, free photos with Santa, fire truck rides with the New Bedford Fire Museum, caroling with the Harpoon Harmonizers, music by the South Coast Brass Band, hot chocolate and games at the YMCA, and much more. ahanewbedford.org/holiday-stroll.html
37th Annual Christmas in Edgartown
Thursday, December 6 to Sunday, December 9
Various venues in Edgartown, MA
One of New England’s loveliest towns hosts a weekend full of holiday fun for the whole family. Come be a part of the holiday magic! For more information, log onto edgartownboardoftrade.com.
10th Annual Vineyard Artisans Holiday Fair
Saturday, December 15
Grange Hall, West Tisbury, MA
You won’t want to miss this very special event. Many unique holiday gifts are available, just right for that special someone who appreciates a true Island gift, and as always, hand-made one by one. The fair runs from 10 am to 4 pm. Visit vineyardartisans.com for details.
71st Annual Community Carol Sing
Sunday, December 16
Mystic Seaport Museum, Mystic, CT
Visitors from near and far return year after year to participate in this event, which starts with a holiday concert by the Mystic Seaport carolers in the Greenmanville Church at 2 pm. The carol sing, led by former Ledyard High School choral director Jamie Spillane and backed by the Museum carolers and a brass quartet, commences at McGraw Quadrangle at 3 pm. The Treworgy Planetarium presents a free program, “The Star of Bethlehem,” exploring the winter skies by merging science, mythology, religious observance, winter traditions and music. A holiday craft workshop will also be hosted in the Howell Classroom (lower level of the planetarium), and the museum’s 19th century seafaring village will be decorated for the holidays. Free admission will be given from 10 am to 4 pm with the donation of a canned food item. Visit mysticseaport.org for more information.
“Noon” Year’s Eve
Monday, December 31
The Maritime Aquarium at Norwalk, CT
End the year – including a countdown to 12 o’clock…12 o’clock noon – with special family fun. The Aquarium is planning fun midday activities for families with young children who want to celebrate the end of 2018 together, but not at the stroke of midnight. From 11 am to 2 pm, a disc jockey will provide the beat, as well as a countdown to 12 o’clock. Also on hand will be “bubble-ologist” Kim Winslow, strolling magician Greg Dubin, and strolling comedy/juggling by Peter Straus. Get all the details at maritimeaquarium.org.