This weekend kicks off a whole host of exciting tours and events in our fair city. There is something for every one of our visitors and guests to explore and enjoy. Check out all the listings below for the places and times for the Holiday Lantern Tours, seal and Rose Island Lighthouse tours, Trinity’s Silver Tea event, the Holiday Evening at the Breakers., and so many more.
Please share these events with our visitors and try to experience them for yourself as well.
May this week continue to be a time to reflect and be thankful for all your many blessings.
Smile and share the joy of this Christmas and holiday season with everyone you meet.
TOUR GUIDES TIP OF THE WEEK: BE KINDER THAN NECESSARY
I am reminded at this time of year how sensitive and melancholy many people become as they reflect on seasons past and recall family gatherings, celebrations, holiday parties, and reunions with distant family and friends who have come to celebrate Christmas and the holidays together. For most, these were memorable, exciting, joyous times. Like us, their memories are rich with the colors, the food, the aromas, and the music of those wonderful days.
But gradually things begin to change: we get older, people move away, the family home is sold; people get married, have children, get divorced, get remarried, and people retire; grandparents, parents, and siblings pass on; soon there are gaping holes in the fabric of the family unit that are irreplaceable. Upon reflection, people may experience sadness and an emptiness. What was once is no more. This season of family and joy and celebration may further compound their gloom. And yet, here they are, arriving at your museum or mansion or art gallery or walking tour or historic site.
So, please remember that each person you see during this season of the year comes to us with their own unique present life and their own memorable past. They arrive here to relax, enjoy, refresh, and often, to relive some important past memory of a time gone by. And we can help.
Be kind to each one.
They have thrived and survived a lifetime of experiences and activities that you or I can never fully know.
In this season of joy, let us make each one feel truly welcomed, appreciated, cared about, and loved.
Welcome them so they feel at home in our City by the Sea.
There are still a very few seasonal openings for work at the city’s historic attractions, including tour guides, cashiers, security personnel, and ticket sellers. Busy days (and nights) are just ahead for the December and Christmas holiday season, right through the first week of January 2019. There will be many school groups, college students, bus tours, and visitors.
NOTICE: This is the best time to research jobs, start making connections, and seeking employment for next year. Most of the city’s largest tour and cruise businesses accept job applications year-round. Get a jump on the next year’s seasonal job-seeking crowd and apply now for 2019 work on harbor cruises, walking tour guides, trolley driver/guides, and cruise ship bus step-on guide work.
Here is contact information for the city’s biggest employers of tour guides and greeters.
- Preservation Society of Newport County. This is the largest owner and operator of historic mansions in Newport. Open year-round. They hire tour guides, housekeepers, and security guards. Check out their web site for current job openings. Info: newportmansions.org
- Newport Historical Society. This organization offers the largest variety and greatest number of walking tours in the city. Tours offered year-round. Info: newporthistory.org
- Newport Restoration Society. This non-profit operates Rough Point mansion (680 Bellevue Avenue, Newport). Seasonal. Info: newportrestoration.org
For continuous and updated job listings, please go to www.whatsupnewp.com.
NEW LISTINGS AND EVENTS: For more information to prepare you to be the best tour guide & greeter ever, read and learn about the following updated listings and previews of the busy season ahead for residents and visitors alike.
SPEAKERS & SPECIAL EVENTS THIS WEEK
Check out the wide selection of lectures, exhibits, talks, classes, tours, and workshops to add to your knowledge and increase your understanding of the people and history of greater Newport.
NOW THROUGH THE END OF NOVEMBER — HAUNTED BRISTOL WALKING TOURS – BRISTOL, RI
Join this lantern-led walk in historic Bristol’s shadowy Lanes. Discover Legends, native Indian fables, court trials and scandalous stories. Tours depart every Friday and Saturday night at 7:30 at Bristol Commons State House, 240 High Street. Tours run between 60 and 80 minutes. And reservations MUST be made. Tickets are $15 and reservations are made through 401/286-1209. Cash and credit cards are accepted. Tours will be running every Friday and Saturday night till the end of November.
SUNDAYS ONLY – NOW THROUGH DECEMBER 31 – TOURO SYNAGOGUE TOUR – 11:00 AM – 1:30 PM
Touro Synagogue (85 Touro Street, Newport) is the oldest synagogue in the United States. It was designed by Peter Harrison and dedicated in 1763. It was designated a National Historic Site in 1946. Tours begin at the Loeb Visitors Center (54 Spring Street, Newport). The Center opens a half hour before the start of the tour and closes ½ hour after the tour ends. Info: 401/847-4794; tourosynagogue.org
NOW THROUGH JANUARY 1, 2019 – FORT ADAMS GUIDED TOURS – DAILY – HOURS VARY
This is a must-see Newport attraction. Fort Adams is the largest coastal fortress in the United States. From pre-revolutionary earthen cannon emplacements through the WWII command center, learn more about the history of the fortress once called “The Rock on Which the Storm Shall Beat”. Guided one-hour tours are offered weekdays at Noon and 2:00 PM; and hourly on weekends from 10:00 AM – 3:00 PM. Located at Fort Adams State Park (entrance off Ocean Drive, Newport). Admission: $12 (adults); $6 (ages 6-17). Info: 401/841-0707; fortadams.org
NOW THROUGH JANUARY 1, 2019 — CHRISTMAS AT THE NEWPORT MANSIONS
Christmas Season begins in November at the four big houses of the Preservation Society. Christmas flowers and special decorations will fill The Breakers, The Elms, and Marble House. Special holiday evenings are scheduled at the Breakers on November 24, December 1, 8, 22, and 29th from 6-8 pm. The Elms and Marble House Duet holiday evening is scheduled for December 15th from 6-9 pm. Info: newportmansions.org
NOW THROUGH FEBRUARY 3, 2019 — PORSCHE THEN & NOW – AUDRAIN AUTOMOBILE MUSEUM
The Porsche is one of the most amazing automobile stories of the 20th & 21st centuries. Check out this exhibit and learn about the history and current leadership of this brand. Open daily, 10 am – 4 pm. 222 Bellevue Avenue, Newport. Info: 401/856-4420. Audrainautomuseum.org
FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 30 – ROGUES & SCOUNDRELS WALKING TOUR – 10:30 AM
Every tour guide should experience one or more of the great walking tours organized by the Newport Historical Society. This tour about some of the city’s more colorful residents – pirates, criminals, and more — leaves at 10:30 am from the Museum of Newport History, 127 Thames Street (Newport). Info and reservations at: newporthistorytours.org
FRIDAYS & SATURDAYS — NOVEMBER 30 – DECEMBER 29 – HOLIDAY LANTERN TOURS — 4:00 PM
One of those most interesting and inspiring Newport walking tours! Guests hear the history of early American holiday traditions on this memorable evening walk. Learn how Newporters did, or did not, observe the holidays.
Tour departs from The Museum of Newport History and Shop (127 Thames Street, Newport). Tickets: $15. Members: $10. Active Duty Military with ID: $10. Reservations recommended. Info: 401/841-8770; newporthistorytours.org
SATURDAY, DECEMBER 1 – DISCOVER COLONIAL NEWPORT WALKING TOUR – 10:30 AM
Every tour guide should experience one or more of the great walking tours organized by the Newport Historical Society. This tour offers stories of entrepreneurship, African American heritage and religious diversity during Newport’s colonial period. Tickets: Adults: $15; Children: $5. 10:30 AM – 11:45 AM. Tour leaves from the Museum of Newport History, 127 Thames Street (Newport). Info and Reservations at: newporthistorytours.org
SATURDAY, DECEMBER 1 – SAVE THE BAY SEAL/LIGHTHOUSE TOUR – 11 AM – 1 PM
Two-hour tour to view seals on Citing Rock and tour Rose Island Lighthouse with experts from Save The Bay. Tour leaves from Bowen’s Ferry Landing, 18 Market Square. 11 AM – 1 PM. Tickets: $37-$47. Register at: savebay.org/seals.
SATURDAY, DECEMBER 1 – TRINITY’S ANNUAL SILVER TEA – TRINITY CHURCH — 1:00 – 4:00 PM
Trinity’s Annual Silver Tea will be held in the Honyman Hall Building (next to the historic church). This long-standing Christmas in Newport event features classic afternoon tea, sandwiches, and sweets, holiday music featuring Trinity’s music director and organist, Dr. Giles Brightwell. There will also be designer wreaths, holiday arrangements, handmade gifts, crafts, and assorted goodies for sale. Cost: $12.00 per person. Info: 401/846-0660; trinitychurch.org
SATURDAY, DECEMBER 1 – HOLIDAY OPEN HOUSE — 3:00- 5:00 PM
Newport Historical Society’s annual Holiday Open House takes place at the 1739 Colony House on Washington Square. Costumed interpreters will sing hymns that were sung in colonial Newport. Guests are encouraged to sing along. Lyric sheets will be provided. Christmas in Newport’s official Opening Ceremony and tree lighting will take place in Washington Square following the Open House. Admission: Free. Donations welcome. Info: 401/841-8770; newporthistory.org
SATURDAY, DECEMBER 1 — BOWEN’S WHARF 48TH ANNUAL CHRISTMAS TREE LIGHTING –– 4:00 PM
It’s not Christmas in Newport without the official lighting of the Bowen’s Wharf Christmas Tree. Come and join the community for fun, music, shopping, and more. Bowen’s Wharf. Info: 401/849-2243; bowenswharf.com
DECEMBER 1, 8, 15 & 27 — A ROUGH POINT HOLIDAY – DORIS DUKE’S ROUGH POINT
Rooms of the museum will be spruced up for the Christmas holiday while others will be cloaked in their winter coverings. Together, these spaces tell the story of Doris’s holiday traditions and the off-season routines of one of Newport’s most famous summer cottages. Hours: 10 am – 4 pm. Admission: $10, adults; Children 12 and under, free. Rough Point (680 Bellevue Avenue, Newport). Info: 401/847-8344; newportrestoration.org/events
SUNDAY, DECEMBER 2 – GOLDEN TO GILDED WALKING TOUR – 10:30 AM
Every tour guide should experience one or more of the great walking tours organized by the Newport Historical Society. On this tour you’ll get the inside skinny on the transformation of Newport and its people from its colonial Golden Age to Gilded Age summer colony. This tour leaves at 10:30 am from the Museum of Newport History, 127 Thames Street (Newport). Info and reservations at: newporthistorytours.org
SUNDAY, DECEMBER 2 – SAVE THE BAY SEAL/LIGHTHOUSE TOUR – 11 AM – 1 PM
Two-hour tour to view seals on Citing Rock and tour of Rose Island Lighthouse with experts from Save The Bay. Tour leaves from Bowen’s Ferry Landing, 18 Market Square. 11 AM – 1 PM. Tickets: $37-$47. Register at: savebay.org/seals.
SUNDAY, DECEMBER 2 — NEW EXHIBIT OPENS AT ROSECLIFF – BILL CUNNINGHAM: FACADES
This new exhibit arrives at Rosecliff, December 2, 2018 through March 1, 2019. Celebrating the creative intersection of fashion and architecture through the lens of a visionary photographer, this exhibition explores Cunningham’s project documenting the architectural riches and fashion history of Newport York City. Info: newportmansions.org
SUNDAY, DECEMBER 2 – ANNUAL TREE LIGHTING – HOTEL VIKING – 6:00 PM
The annual tree lighting at the Hotel Viking takes place at the hotel (1 Bellevue Avenue, Newport) at 6:00 pm. A fun evening is planned with cookies, carolers & Charlie Brown’s Christmas featured at this year’s tree lighting. The public is cordially invited to attend. Info: 401/847-3300; hotelviking.com
MONDAY, DECEMBER 3 – ROAD TO INDEPENDENCE – 10:30 AM
This tour features riots and rebellion, enemies and allies! Learn about Newport in the years surrounding the American Revolution. This tour leaves at 10:30 am from the Museum of Newport History, 127 Thames Street (Newport). Info and reservations at: newporthistorytours.org
SATURDAY, DECEMBER 8 – REDWOOD LIBRARY HOLIDAY OPEN HOUSE – 11 AM – 1:00 PM
The Redwood Library (50 Bellevue Avenue, Newport) will open its doors on Saturday, December 8 from 11:00 am – 1:00 pm for the Holiday Open House. The Open House will feature Christmas carols performed by the Chariho High School choir, a pop-up exhibition of select treasures from our vault, Christmas book display, scavenger hunt, children’s craft and refreshments. All visitors will have a chance at winning raffle prizes. This Open House is a great opportunity for members and the public to learn more about the Library’s history, its collections, and vibrant programming. Free and all are welcome. Info: 401/847-0292 redwoodlibrary.org
SATURDAY, DECEMBER 8 – SAVE THE BAY SEAL TOUR – 1:00 PM
One-hour tour to view seals on Citing Rock with experts from Save The Bay. Tour leaves from Bowen’s Ferry Landing, 18 Market Square. 11 AM – 1 PM. Tickets: $17-$22. Register at: savebay.org/seals.
SUNDAY, DECEMBER 9 — THE BROADWAY HOLIDAY WALK-ABOUT – LOCAL BROADWAY DISTRICT
This annual shopping and strolling event will be held on Sunday, December 9th from 11 am – 4:30 pm on Broadway in Newport. Enjoy local restaurants and merchants all along this vital district. Sponsored by the Broadway Business Association. Info: facebook.com/broadwaynewport/
SUNDAY, DECEMBER 9 – SAVE THE BAY SEAL TOUR – 1:00 PM
One-hour tour to view seals on Citing Rock with experts from Save The Bay. Tour leaves from Bowen’s Ferry Landing, 18 Market Square. 11 AM – 1 PM. Tickets: $17-$22. Register at: savebay.org/seals.
PREVIEW OF WINTER IN NEWPORT
JANUARY 6, 2018 – NEWPORT ART MUSEUM SCHOOL CLASSES BEGIN
The Newport Art Museum School’s courses and workshops for youth and adults begin January 6, 2019. Offerings for the winter term include a professional practices workshop for artists, monotype printing, painting, hand building in clay, and more. Newport Art Museum members receive a 15% discount on tuition. Registration closes one week before the class start date. All classes are held at The Newport Art Museum School located in the Coleman Center for Creative Studies (26 Liberty Street, Newport). More information on the full selection of classes and registration is available at newportartmuseum.org, or by phone at 401-619-7983.
JANUARY 19-25, 2019 – NEWPORT WELLNESS WEEK — NEWPORT MARRIOTT
Start the year off right by focusing on lifelong health and wellness solutions. Join us for this annual celebration of mind, body and spirit featuring a diverse array of events throughout the destination tailored to help you become the best version of yourself. This annual event will feature a Wellness Marketplace on Sunday, January 20th in the Atrium of the Newport Marriott. More info: https://www.discovernewport.org/newport-wellness-week/
FEBRUARY 15-24, 2019 — NEWPORT WINTER FESTIVAL
Check out the 31st Annual Newport Winter Festival, touted as “New England’s Largest Winter Extravaganza.” the annual Winter Festival will take place throughout Newport and Newport County. It features over 150 events and offers our guests and visitors a unique winter experience combining food, festivities, music, and fun for all ages. Highlighted events include the Family Fun Days, Chili Cook-Off, Mac & Cheese Smackdown, Princess Party and exciting, fun concerts by the Jimmy Buffett tribute band, Changes in Latitudes and more! Updates and more information: https://www.visitrhodeisland.com/event/newport-winter-festival/39329/
UPCOMING SPECIAL EVENTS IN 2019
OCTOBER 3-6, 2019 – AUDRAIN’S NEWPORT CONCOURS & MOTOR WEEK – INAUGURAL EVENT
The Audrain Automobile Museum presents the inaugural Audrain’s Newport Concours & Motor Week coming to Newport, Rhode Island on October 3 -6, 2019. Audrain’s Newport Concours & Motor Week 2019 will be the first of an annual event which aims to enliven the story of the automobile and its racing history in the northeast region of our country. With all this history, and help from their Event Chair, world renowned collecting, restoration, and culture expert, Jay Leno and their Concours Chair, Donald Osborne, noted classic car historian, consultant, writer and television personality, the Audrain Automobile Museum adds another chapter to Newport’s extensive book of automotive and sporting fascination.
With the support and assistance from the Preservation Society of Newport County, the International Tennis Hall of Fame, Salve Regina University, along with car enthusiasts, luxury car brands, venue partners, and supporters in Newport, Audrain plans to execute one of the highest quality events that the community has ever seen and raise money to increase the local economy. Info: 401/856-4420; audrainautomuseum.org
TWO CURRENT MANSION TOURS YOU SHOULD TAKE SOON
SERVANT LIFE TOUR AT THE ELMS: EXPANDED NUMBER OF TOURS!
Considered by many to be the best tour in Newport, The world-famous guided “Servant Life Tour” at The Elms has added two additional daily tour times to meet demand during this holiday season. Tours are now offered at 10:30 am, 11:30 am, 12:30 pm, 1:30 pm, 2:30 pm, and 3:30 pm. The tour is one hour. Info: newportmansions.org
BENEATH THE BREAKERS TOUR: EXPANDED NUMBER OF TOURS!
The Breakers tour, “Beneath the Breakers,” is scheduled daily. Tours are now offered at 10:30 am, 11:30 am, 12:30 pm, 1:30 pm, 2:30 pm, and 3:30 pm. Tour is one hour. Info: newportmansions.org
PRINT & DIGITAL RESOURCES
VISIT NEWPORT RHODE ISLAND — FREE DOWNLOADABLE APP
This free app, available from the Apple Store or Google play, offers good, if not detailed introductions to most of the key attractions in the City by the Sea. Might be handy for newcomers and initial learning about the Newport mansions, brief history facts, and an overview of the city’s variety of tours, museums, and other attractions. As you get more knowledgeable, you will abandon this app and dive deeper into other more comprehensive resources.
PREPARE FOR THE BILL CUNNINGHAM EXHIBITION AT ROSECLIFF WITH THESE 3 BOOKS
There are currently two new books, both published this year, you can read now to get an insight into the life and careers of multi-talented photographer and milliner (hat maker), Bill Cunningham. Check out the intriguing FASHION CLIMBING, by Bill Cunningham. Also, look for POLKA DOT PARADE: A BOOK ABOUT BILL CUNNINGHAM, by Deborah Blumenthal.
Another recent (2017) book to check out is KNOW-IT-ALL FASHION: The 50 Key Modes, Garments & Designers, Each Explained in Under a Minute, edited by Rebecca Arnold. It has a brief but wonderful 4-page illustrated article about street photography with a focus on Bill Cunningham. It’s succinct, but worth a look.
AND CHECK OUT THIS ONE, TOO
HANDBOOK FOR NEW TOUR GUIDES & GREETERS
If you’re new to Newport and/or new to this field, get your copy of THE OFFICIAL 2018 NEWPORT GUIDES & GREETERS HANDBOOK [amazon.com] to help you become a master hospitality ambassador for our city. It also lists many of the best tour companies and hospitality organizations hiring seasonal and year-round people here. Consider working in ticket sales or other support positions at one or more of these tour companies. It will give you some visitor services experience and make you aware of tour guide and greeter jobs as they become available during the season.
SUGGESTIONS & REVISIONS REQUESTED FOR THE 2019 EDITION OF THE
NEWPORT TOUR GUIDES & GREETERS HANDBOOK
I am now updating and editing changes and revisions to the content of The Official 2018 Newport Tour Guides & Greeters Handbook to prepare for publication of THE OFFICIAL 2019 NEWPORT TOUR GUIDES & GREETERS HANDBOOK.
If you or your organization has updated phone, numbers, web sites, social media pages, job opportunities, special events scheduled, or other information that would be helpful to the current and future corps of tour guides, greeters, and volunteers working in the Greater Newport County tourism and hospitality industries, please send them to me directly at firstname.lastname@example.org; or by mail to Kenneth Proudfoot, P.O. Box 231, Newport, RI 02840. Thank you!
KENNETH PROUDFOOT, a Newport Tour Escort and Guide, is the author of The Official 2018 Newport Tour Guides & Greeters Handbook (Shoreline Press (RI), 2017).