In Newport, the most wonderful time of the year brings out the beauty and arguably the best out of our city’s historic buildings, streets, events, restaurants and people.

From Christmas at the Newport Mansions to Illuminated Boat Parade, Newport is packed full of authentic holiday traditions, old and new in 2016.

We’ve got the top 10 highlights of Newport’s most magical season right here.

In chronological order

1 – Christmas At The Newport Mansions

November 19, 2016 – January 2, 2017

Photo Credit: Preservation Society of Newport County        

Beginning November 19, 2016 and running through January 2, 2017, guests are invited to join The Preservation Society of Newport County at The Breakers (1895), The Elms (1901) and Marble House (1892) to create holiday memories as they enjoy music, tours,  visits from Santa Claus, model trains, antique toys and shopping at three of America’s most outstanding historic houses.

2 – Annual Newport Harbor Illuminated Boat Parade

November 25, 2016

After Black Friday shopping is done, the fun doesn’t stop in Newport! The City Of Newport’s Annual Newport Harbor Illuminated Boat Parade will see dozens of boats parade through the harbor starting at 6:15 p.m. Boats congregate at the causeway Newport Shipyard, then travel south into the channel past Bowen’s Wharf and the other wharves. They’ll turn west around Ann St. Pier near Ida Lewis then north up the east side of Goat Island and either go to Newport Yacht Club or back to their own moorings.

The waterfront at Bowen’s Wharf, which will be hosting a Block Party,  live music and special offers, offers exceptional views of the parade!

3 – Shop Small in Newport Throughout The Holiday Season

Photo Credit: Bowen’s Wharf

Did you hear? Newport is New England’s Premier Holiday Shopping Destination! Whether it’s on Black Friday, Small Business Saturday or on Christmas Eve, Newport has the one-of-a-kind gifts that you’re looking for! Find hand-crafted and local artisan made gifts at hundreds of shops open all season long, many serving refreshments as well as special offers and discounts!

4 – Newport Holiday Lantern Tour

November 25 & 26 and December 2, 3; 9, 10; 16, 17; 23; 30, 2016

Photo Credit: Newport Historical Society

Hear the history of early American holiday traditions on an evening walk and learn how colonial Newporters recognized the holidays. Departs from the Brick Market: Museum & Shop, 127 Thames Street, Newport, RI, and costs $15 per person. The $25 ticket includes a historic-style hurricane lantern with a flameless candle to use during the tour. Reservations encouraged, space is limited. 401-841-8770.

5 – The Newport Nutcracker at Rosecliff

November 25 – 27 & November 29 – December 2

Photo Credit: Island Moving Company

Join Island Moving Company this holiday season for the one-of-a-kind performance of The Newport Nutcracker at Rosecliff. Set within salons and ballroom and the iconic staircase of Rosecliff Mansion, this one-of-a-kind ballet is perfect for your whole family!

6 – 46th Annual Christmas In Newport

December 1 – 31, 2016

Photo Credit: Bowen’s Wharf

Founded in 1971, Christmas in Newport began as a two-week festival that celebrated the noncommercial traditions of the holiday season. Now in its 46th year, the annual program boasts multiple activities for nearly each day of the December calendar.

Christmas In Newport, a city-wide celebration fostering the historic traditions of the holiday season, kicks off at 6 p.m. on Thursday, December 1st at Washington Square with a proclamation from the Mayor, tree lighting, Newport Artillery cannon salute and live entertainment.

7 – Bowen’s Wharf 46th Annual Christmas Tree Lighting

December 3, 2016

Bowen’s Wharf invites you to bring the whole family to see Frosty the Snowman, Santa, and Mrs. Claus for an evening of Christmas cheer! Make a day of it and check off that holiday gift list at our retail shops open 10-8 Fridays and Saturdays with in-store promotions, gift wrapping and other perks!

Festivities begin at 4:30 with Frosty the Snowman! The Christmas Carol Sing-a-long begins at 5 pm, the Mayor lights the tree at 6 pm immediately followed by Santa and Mrs. Claus arriving by boat (weather permitting).  Restaurants & shops are open before and after the event.

8 – UnDecked Halls at Doris Duke’s Rough Point

December 3, 10, 17 & 27

Enjoy an authentic view inside a Newport mansion in winter. Heiress Doris Duke spent Christmas in sunny Hawaii far away from Rough Point, her Newport estate. Experience the quiet house, see the decorated staff wing, and hear about Miss Duke’s tropical holiday. Learn how Rough Point’s winter caretaking traditions have remained the same for the past half century. Tour the first floor and enjoy refreshments in the staff dining room, not normally open to the public. Tours offered every 1/2 hour.

9 – Newport Holiday Stroll

December 3, 4, 10 and 11, 2016

Make your holidays merry and bright in Newport this festive season by joining us for the Newport Holiday Stroll on December 3rd, 4th, 10th and 11th!The 2016 Newport Holiday Stroll will feature free parking, complimentary gift wrapping, sip & shops, 15% discount at select restaurants with proof of retail purchase, Random Acts of Holiday Cheer and much more!

10 – Ice Skating at the Newport Skating Center

Reopens December 9, 2016

Photo Credit: Newport Skating Center

The Newport Skating Center is the perfect complement to a seasonal day spent exploring this cozy waterfront town. Whether you stop by to enjoy a family skate, share a romantic evening gliding under the stars, or participate in our many special events while warming up with a cup of hot chocolate, our outdoor rink offers the perfect place to embrace winter cheer.

The Winter Wonderland and ice skating returns to Downtown Newport on Friday, December 9th with the Newport Skating Center’s Annual Re-Opening and Christmas Tree Lighting!

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Ryan Belmore is the Owner & Publisher of What's Up Newp, LLC. Belmore has led What's Up Newp since December 2012. Belmore also serves as the Sr. Editor - North America for Mountain News - publisher of OnTheSnow. In his spare time, Belmore serves as the Vice President for the Board of Directors at Fort Adams Trust and serves on the Board of Directors at Lucy's Hearth. Belmore is also a member and supporter of Local Independent Online News (LION) Publishers. Send questions, tips, and story ideas to