Photo via Preservation Society of Newport County

There’s Christmas In Newport, Holidays By The Sea and dozens of other events happening throughout Newport to celebrate the holidays this December.

What’sUpNewp has gone throughout countless websites, Facebook, press releases and combined multiple calendars to curate the most thorough and complete Christmas and Holiday Calendar you can find. You can find that here – Calendar: The Best Things To See and Do in Newport County This Holiday Season

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Here are our 20 favorite things happening in and around Newport this December;

1 – Saying Goodbye To Some Long-Time Newport Long-Time Landmarks

Newport will say goodbye to some very long-time Newport establishments in December, make your way to Cafe Zelda (last day December 11), Atlantic Beach Club (last day January 1), Thames Street Kitchen (last day January 1), Erika Zap Collection (last day January 1) and Down Under Jewelry (last day January 1).

2 – Christmas at Newport Mansions (Dec. 1 – 31)

The glitter of gold and the sparkle of silver will dazzle you as you tour three magnificent mansions decked out in Yuletide finery. Music, tours, and spectacular decorations highlight the celebration of Christmas at the Newport Mansions. The Preservation Society of Newport County invites you to make holiday memories with your family by visiting The Breakers, The Elms and Marble House this holiday season – November 21, 2015 to January 3, 2016.

3 – Newport Nutcracker at Rosecliff (Dec. 1 – 4)

Join IMC this holiday season for a one-of-a-kind performance of The Newport Nutcracker at Rosecliff. Set within the romantic rooms of Rosecliff mansion, you dont want to miss this ballet. The secret of A Newport Nutcracker at Rosecliff is in its sense of scale, proportion, musicality and good stage manners. As you follow the action from room to room here, you’re so close to the performers that you’re involved in a new way. More Info

4 – Opening of Christmas In Newport (Dec. 1)

The Official Opening of Christmas in Newport will take place at 6:00 p.m. in Washington Square with the Annual Christmas Tree Lighting, live music and more. For A Full Calendar Of Christmas In Newport Events, Visit HERE

5 – 8th Annual Singing for Shelter Acoustic Christmas Concert (Dec. 3)

7-9:30 p.m., Channing Church, 135 Pelham St. For the benefit of Lucy’s Hearth and The McKinney Shelter. $15 (children with an adult are free). Tickets call 849-4250 or

6 – 45th Annual Bowen’s Wharf Tree Lighting and Open House (Dec. 5)

5:45 p.m. Frosty the Snowman and caroling starting at 4:30p.m. City official lights the tree, Santa and Mrs. Claus arrive by boat (weather permitting) at 5:45p.m. Live Music. Free. 849-2120.

7 – Tis The Season: A Traditional Christmas (Dec. 5)

Swanhurst Chorus, Newport County’s standing choral ensemble for over 86 years, will offer Tis the Season: A Traditional Christmas under the direction of conductor Jonathan Babbitt. The evening will feature delightful arrangements of carols old & new by Rutter, Willcocks, Vittoria, Des Pres, and others. Tickets are $20 in advance, $23 at the door, and $10 for full-time students. For tickets or more information, call 401-682-1630 or visit

8 – Santacon (Dec. 5)

5th annual Santacon Newport kicks off on Saturday, December 5th at noon in front of the courthouse in Newport (Thames and Broadway). Join for a day of fun and shenanigans, including drink specials and appetizer buffet, dance party, and our 4th annual Fred Horowitz Memorial Santa Sack Race – all while raising money for Finnz Fundz and Toys for Tots. Bring a gift card or unwrapped toy and cash for our raffle with lots of great prizes to win and a 50/50 (last year’s winner took home more than $500!) – and all money raised goes to our charities of choice. for more info.

9 – UnDecked Halls at Doris Duke’s Rough Point (Dec. 5, 12, 19 & 29)

What went on while the owner was gone? UnDecked Halls offers an authentic look at winter holiday and caretaking traditions at Rough Point, the Newport mansion of heiress, philanthropist, art collector and world traveler Doris Duke. Tour the first floor before enjoying refreshments in the decorated staff dining room, not normally open to the public.

10 – Brick Alley Pub’s 35th Birthday – Nacho Day (Dec. 9)

To celebrate their 35th Birthday, Brick Alley Pub will serve their world famous Nacho Platters  on December 9th at their 1980’s price of $3.95. More Info

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11 – OceanCliff Holiday Sip’n Shop (Dec. 10)

Head to OceanCliff for a Holiday Sip’n Shop featuring a selection of fabulous local vendors including: Pink Pineapple, Island Outfitters, Chace ‘n Lulu, Groovy Gator, Chateau & Bungalow, Harrison & Pike, Sea Star Couture, Haarstick Jewelry, Heidi Brueggeman Jewelry, Wag Nation, Re-Sails, Fjall Cashmere and more! Passed hors d’oeuvre & champagne and a cash bar. This event is open to the public and free to attend.

12 – Opening Of Newport Skating Center (Dec. 11)

Newport Waterfront Events is ready to light downtown Newport’s beacon of seasonal cheer at their annual Tree Lighting Ceremony and Grand Opening on Friday, December 11th at 5pm at the Newport Skating Center! Celebrate with good cheer, treats, the debut of the Haven Brothers Concessions Food Truck, carolers, visits with Santa and the elves, skating performances with the Island Skating Academy and of course, they’ll get you out on the ice for our first skate of the winter.

13 – The Dickens Christmas Feast (Dec. 11 & 12)

A Newport tradition, The Dickens Christmas Feast is an interactive evening of fine food, beautiful costumes, song, dance, storytelling, and plenty of Christmas cheer at Newport Art Museum. Celebrate the memories of the past, revel in the blessings of the present, and anticipate the gifts of the future. Centered around the theme of A Christmas Carol, guests will participate in retelling this classic tale in a unique way with Newport society members and domestics. 7pm-10pm. Reservation suggested.  More Info

14 – Jamestown Community Chorus Holiday Concert (Dec. 12 & 13)

The 55-member Jamestown Community Chorus (JCC) will present two holiday concerts entitled “Two Englands: Christmas Carols from Old England and New England ” on Saturday, December 12, at 7:30 p.m. and Sunday, December 13, at 3:00 p.m. at the Jamestown Recreation Center, 41 Conanicus Ave., Jamestown.

15 – Newport String Project Concert Series #2 – Mozart, Brahms and Deak (Dec. 12)

The Newport String Project returns to the Redwood Library in December with a vibrant program of works for strings and piano. Violinists EmmaLee Holmes-Hicks and Ealain McMullin will be joined by guest musicians Joe Bentley (bass), Marjorie Gere (violin) and Dan Sedgwick (piano) for an intimate afternoon of chamber music in the beautiful surrounds of the Harrison Room.  More Info

16 – Screening of ‘Elf’ (Dec. 13)

at Jane Pickens Theater On December 13th, the Memorial Funeral Home will sponsor a screening of Elf at Jane Pickens. This event will benefit the Martin Luther King Jr. Community Center. MORE INFO

17 – 29th Annual WADK 1540 Christmas Concert (Dec. 16)

7 p.m. Newport Marriot, America’s Cup Ave. Featuring Marley Bridges Theater choral ensemble and Larry Brown’s Swinglane Orchestra. Free Admission. Donations of non-perishable food items accepted for local charities.846-1540.

18 – Holiday Pop Up Shop at Top O’ The Brick (Dec. 20)

What’sUpNewp and Brick Alley Pub will once again team up to host their annual Holiday Pop-Up Shop at Brick Alley Pub on the Sunday before Christmas. This event features local artists, artisans, farmers and entrepreneurs. A great place to get that last-minute shopping done.

19 – Screening of ‘Home Alone’ (Dec. 22)

Jane Pickens Theater & Event Center will host a very special 25th Anniversary screening of the 1990 holiday classic Home Alone on Tuesday, December 22nd at 7pm. More Info

20 – New Year’s Eve Wine Dinner (Dec. 31)

Brick Alley Pub will host one of their very popular and legendary wine dinners on  New Year’s Eve, the event promises to offer an opportunity to ring in 2016 with great friends, great food and great drink. Tickets for their New Year’s Eve Wine Dinner are $79 per person and are available now either in person at Brick Alley Pub’s downstairs bar or via the telephone (401-849-6334). More Info

Ryan Belmore is the Owner and Publisher of What'sUpNewp. 
Belmore has been involved with What’sUpNewp since shortly after its launch in 2012, proudly leading it to be named Best Local News Blog in Rhode Island by Rhode Island Monthly readers in 2018, 2019, and 2020 and an honorable mention in the Common Good Awards in 2021.

Born and raised in Rhode Island, Belmore graduated from Coventry High School and the Community College of Rhode Island. In addition to living in Newport for 10 years, he has lived in Portsmouth, Coventry, Providence, Smithfield, Burrillville, and East Greenwich.

Belmore currently serves as Vice President of the Board Of Directors for Fort Adams Trust and on the Board of Directors for Potter League For Animals. He previously served on the Board of Lucy's Hearth and the Arts & Cultural Alliance for Newport County.

Belmore and his wife, Jen, currently live in Alexandria, Virginia, a move they made in 2021. Read more about that here -

Belmore visits Newport every couple of weeks to support the 12+ paid contributors What'sUpNewp has on the ground across Rhode Island, a place he called home for 39 years.

Belmore is a member of Local Independent Online News (LION) Publishers, Society of Professional Journalists, and the North American Snowsports Journalists Association.

In 2020, Belmore was named Member of the Year by LION and won the Arts & Cultural Alliance of Newport County's Dominque Award.
Belmore can be contacted at and 401-662-1653.