Newport Tour Guides & Greeters News #97: Harvest Festival at Greenvale Vineyards, Newport Restaurant Week continues

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The 20thAnnual Harvest Festival at Greenvale Vineyards kicks off at 1 pm on Saturday, November 9th at 582 Wapping Road in Portsmouth, RI. This eighth-generation family vineyard brings its passion, quality, and spirit to this annual event. This family fun festival will feature music, tractor rides, face painting, games, delicious wines and small food samplings from 1:00 – 4:00 PM. Greenvale is located right along the Sakonnet River, just five miles north of Newport. Info at 401/847-3777; greenvale.com

Newport Restaurant Week continues. As always, participating restaurants will be offering prix fixe lunches for $20 and prix fixe dinners for $35 or $50.  Check out more detailed information and a full list of participating restaurants at: discovernewportrestaurantweek.org 

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REMIND YOUR GUESTS ABOUT THESE UPCOMING EVENTS

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▪ WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 13 –CENTENNIAL ANNUAL MEETING – SEAMEN’S CHURCH INSTITUTE – 6:00 PM

▪ SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 23 – WEDNESDAY, JANUARY 1, 2020 – CHRISTMAS AT THE NEWPORT MANSIONS

▪ WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 27 — THE NEWPORT NUTCRACKER AT ROSECLIFF

▪ FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 29 – BOWEN’S WHARF BLOCK PARTY – 4-8 PM

▪ DECEMBER 1-31—CHRISTMAS IN NEWPORT – LOCATIONS THROUGHOUT NEWPORT

▪ JANUARY 18-25 –NEWPORT WELLNESS WEEK + WELLNESS MARKETPLACE (JAN 19 AT NEWPORT MARRIOTT)

Tickets, fees, and addresses are detailed in the following listings for the above events.

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OPERATING SCHEDULES UPDATE

Newport Visitors Center (23 America’s Cup Avenue, Newport) – New Daily Hours: 9 am – 4 pm.

Rough Point – Guided Tours – Daily: 11:00 am & 2:00 pm 

Preservation Society of Newport County updated tour times:  The Breakers opens at 9 am, last tour admission at 4 pm. All other properties open at 10 am; last tour admission at 4 pm. All properties close one hour after last tour admission. This schedule will be in effect through March 27, 2020.

Roam Around Rough Point – Wednesdays – 5-7 pm – After-hours access to the house, special exhibitions, and the grounds. Newport County residents are free.

New Tour Times for Beneath The Breakers & Servant Life Tour: Four tours now offered daily at 10:30 am, 12 noon, 2:00 pm, and 3:30 pm. Reservations can be made online or at any PSNC ticket booth.

Rosecliff will be closed now through December 7. 

Marble House will close for a deep cleaning from January 2 – February 13, 2020.

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 wonderful City by the Sea

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NOTABLE & QUOTABLE

On Preservation

God loves his work and therefore wills to preserve it. 

Creation and preservation are 

two aspects of the one activity of God.


Dietrich Bonhoeffer

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JOBS & VOLUNTEER OPPORTUNITIES 

TOUR GUIDES · GREETERS · HARBOR CRUISE GUIDES · SUPPORT STAFF

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 2020. 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 2020 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

VOLUNTEER TOUR GUIDE OPPORTUNITIES

  • Newport Car Museum’s family of volunteer docents share their passion for and knowledge of cars with interesting visitors from around the world. If you love cars and the people who love cars, call Vincent Moretti to learn more about the volunteer opportunities: 401/848-CARS (2277)
  • Preservation Society of Newport County. This organization is always looking for volunteers. There are a variety of positions available, including work in the mansions and in the gardens of the Society. They recruit year-round.  Check their web site on a regular basis for current opportunities. www.newportmansions.org.

For continuous and updated job listings, please go to www.whatsupnewp.com.

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WINTER SCHEDULE FOR NEWPORT’S BEST BEHIND-THE-SCENES TOURS!

BENEATH THE BREAKERS TOUR – WINTER SCHEDULE

The Breakers tour, “Beneath the Breakers,” is offered four times daily.  Tours are scheduled at 10:30 am, 12 noon, 2:00 pm, and 3:30 pm. Tour is one hour. Info: newportmansions.org 

SERVANT LIFE TOUR AT THE ELMS: NEW WINTER SCHEDULE

Considered by many to be the best tour in Newport, the world-famous 1-hour guided “Servant Life Tour” at The Elms is better than ever.  Tours are offered daily at 10:30 am, 12:00 noon, 2:00 pm, and 3:30 pm. Info and updates: newportmansions.org

PRINT & DIGITAL RESOURCES

PRACTICAL HANDBOOK FOR 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 [Buy direct from 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.  Handbook includes greetings in 18 of the most frequently spoken languages heard in Newport. 

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CONTINUING PROGRAMS & EXHIBITS

NOW THROUGH NOVEMBER 17 – HAUNTED BRISTOL WALKING TOURS – NIGHTLY – 8:30 PM

Haunted Bristol walking tours start at 8:30 every night in front of the State and Courthouse, 240 High Street, Bristol, Rhode Island. This is a lantern-led 1-hour tour about the History, Native Indian Fables, Court Trials and Haunted Tales. Led by local historian Joan Quinn. $15/per person. Reservations required: 401/286-1209.

NOW THROUGH NOVEMBER 17 – BEYOND FORTUNE: THE LIFE & LEGACY OF DORIS DUKE

This exhibit at Doris Duke’s amazing seaside mansion, Rough Point (680 Bellevue Avenue, Newport) features photographs and historical documents from the extraordinary life of Doris Duke. Open daily from 10 am – 5 pm, except Wednesdays, from 10 am – 7 pm. Closed Mondays. Admission: Adults, $20; Children 12 and under, Free. Info and Tickets: 401/847-8344; newportrestoration.org

NOW THROUGH CHRISTMAS – NEWPORT TOWER MUSEUM – WEEKENDS – 11 AM – 1 PM

The huge “Old Stone Mill” in Touro Park has fascinated people for hundreds of years. This is the oldest structure in Newport. Yet, the mysteries of who built it, why it was built, when it was built, and what it was used, have puzzled scientists, academicians, locals, and tourists for as long as can be remembered here. Now, the mystery has been solved. The answers to all the questions people have been asking about this monument on the green of Touro Park can be found at the Newport Tower Museum (152 Mill Street, Newport). Museum founder and prolific author, Jim Egan, greets guests and shares his unique journey researching and finally discovering who [and why] the Newport Tower, located in Touro Park, was built. A visit to the tower is followed by a tour of his museum. The museum displays and images demonstrate several ideas and principles that will astound and delight. The Newport Tower Museum is a must-see for all tour guides, greeters, and all those who love learning about our history. Admission is free, but donations are accepted. Museum founder Egan has written numerous books about his research on the Newport Tower. His most comprehensive book, ELIZABETHAN AMERICA: The John Dee Tower of 1583 (2011), is a tome every history-loving Newport resident and tour guide should read and own. Open weekends 11:00 am to 2:00 pm, and by appointment. Info: 401/447-6757; newporttowermuseum.com  

NOW THROUGH DECEMBER 29 – LOEB VISITORS CENTER & TOURO SYNAGOGUE TOURS 

Rhode Island residents: In honor of the 10th anniversary of the Loeb Visitors Center (52 Spring Street, Newport), Rhode Island residents will be allowed free entry to the Loeb Visitors Center and Touro Synagogue during regular tour hours from Sunday, September 29 through Sunday, December 29. Now through November 1: Tours offered Sunday – Friday. Synagogue tours 10:00 am – 1:30 pm. The tour is a half-hour seated presentation in the Synagogue. Tours run every half hour and the last tour of the day begins at 1:30 pm. November 3 – December 29: Sunday Only. Synagogue tours 11:00 am – 1:30 pm. The Loeb Visitors Center opens a half-hour before the start of the first tour and closes a half-hour after the last tour has ended. Info: tours@tourosynagogue.org or call (401) 847-4794 x207

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NOVEMBER 2019 TOURS ▪ SPEAKERS ▪ SPECIAL EVENTS

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.

THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 7 – FOOD IN THE AMERICAN GILDED AGE – ROSECLIFF – 6:00 PM

The final lecture in a 3-part series at Rosecliff presents Dr. Helen Zoe Veit to share her research into how the American dinner table changed during this period through the food contributions of immigrants, the growth of American agriculture, and the improvement of food distribution owing to the railroads. Dr. Veit is the author of Modern Food, Moral Food: Self-Control, Science, and the Rise of Modern American Eating in the Early Twentieth Century. Tickets & Info: 401/847-1000; newportmansions.org 

THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 7 NEWPORT RUN & CHUG – 6:30 PM

This is a running group that does a 5K run every week (3.1 miles). Run is led by firefighter Eddie Valen. Meet at the Fastnet Pub (1 Broadway, Newport) at 6:30 pm. Run is followed by a meet-up (and Chug) at the Fastnet Pub. Info: 401/845-9311. 

TODAY THROUGH SUNDAY, NOVEMBER 10 – NEWPORT RESTAURANT WEEK

Newport Restaurant Week takes place every fall with more than 50 participating restaurants offering extraordinary two-course prix fixe lunches for $20, three-course prix fixe dinners for $35 and a three-course premier prix fixe dinner for $50. List of participating restaurants & Info: discovernewport.org/newport-restaurant-week/

FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 8 – 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 

FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 8 – SUNDAY, NOVEMBER 10 – BELCOURT RESTORATION TOUR – BELCOURT OF NEWPORT

Visit amazing Belcourt!  Carolyn Rafaelian, owner of Belcourt of Newport (657 Bellevue Avenue, Newport), is well along in the process of restoring this 1894 Gilded Age mansion to its original glory. Several one-hour Belcourt Restoration Tours will be offered this weekend. This home is truly something special. If you love behind-the-scenes tours, now is the time to check out the restoration-in-progress of this fabled mansion, before the permanent changes and upgrades are completed. Reservations are encouraged. Tours each day at: 11 am, 12 pm, 1 pm, 2 pm, and 3 pm. Check for additional hours and current availability. Tickets: Adults: $17.50; Children: $8.00.  Info & Online Ticket Purchase: belcourt.com 

FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 8 – NATIONAL MUSEUM OF AMERICAN ILLUSTRATION GUIDED TOUR – 3:00 PM

A beautiful tour of the National Museum of American Illustration (492 Bellevue Avenue, Newport) is offered year-round every Friday to guests at 3 pm. The National Museum of American Illustration (NMAI) is situated in Vernon Court, a Gilded Age mansion (1898). Vernon Court is on the National Register of Historic Places with interiors inspired by the palace at Versailles. The NMAI focuses on original illustration artworks created to be reproduced in books, periodicals, advertising and in other print media. Featured artists include Norman Rockwell, Maxfield Parrish, Howard Pyle, JC Leyendecker, Jessie Willcox Smith, NC Wyeth and 150 others. Free parking for museum visitors is available in the lot located on Victoria Avenue. Tour is included with admission. Info & Tickets: 401/851-8949; americanillustration.org

SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 9 – DISCOVER COLONIAL NEWPORT WALKING TOUR – 10:30 AM

This is one of several wonderful walking tours offered throughout the year by the Newport Historical Society. This tour features stories of entrepreneurship, African American heritage and religious diversity during Newport’s colonial period. Tickets $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 

SUNDAY, NOVEMBER 10 – GOLDEN TO GILDED WALKING TOUR – 10:30 AM

This tour ties together the city’s many exciting periods of its history. 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  

MONDAY, NOVEMBER 11 – ROAD TO INDEPENDENCE WALKING TOUR – 10:30 AM

One of several excellent walking tours of Newport offered by the Newport Historical Society. Riots and rebellions, enemies and allies! Learn about Newport’s role in 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

TUESDAY, NOVEMBER 12 – DISCOVER COLONIAL NEWPORT WALKING TOUR – 10:30 AM

This is one of several wonderful walking tours offered throughout the year by the Newport Historical Society. This tour features stories of entrepreneurship, African American heritage and religious diversity during Newport’s colonial period. Tickets $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 

TUESDAY, NOVEMBER 12 – FULL MOON BIKE RIDE – 62 BROADWAY, NEWPORT — 4:00 PM

This may be the ultimate Newport experience. You ride with Bike Newport around Newport and end the evening at a bar for a few beverages. They call it “Bike to Beer!” Meet at 4:00pm at Bike Newport (62 Broadway, Newport). Required equipment includes bike helmets, head light, water bottle, & weather-appropriate clothing. Info: 401/619-4900; bikenewportri.org/fullmoonbikerides

WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 13 – SEAMEN’S CHURCH INSTITUTE – CENTENNIAL ANNUAL MEETING – 6:00 PM

This seminal event will feature guest speaker Ruth Taylor, Executive Director of the Newport Historical Society. Meeting will be held at 6:00 pm, with a reception to follow at 7:00 pm.

WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 27 – THE NEWPORT NUTCRACKER AT ROSECLIFF

Additional shows on November 29, November 30, December 1, and December 3-6. Presented by Island Moving Company. Times vary. Call for tickets and additional info: 401/847-4470; islandmovingco.org

FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 29 – BOWEN’S WHARF BLOCK PARTY – 4-8 PM

This is a fun time in a great place.  Lots of food, shopping, friends, and fun. Info: 401/849-2243; bowenswharf.com 

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UPCOMING WINTER 2019 SPECIAL EVENTS

SUNDAY, DECEMBER 1 – OFFICIAL OPENING OF CHRISTMAS IN NEWPORT – WASHINGTON SQUARE – 5 PM

The season begins as always with a big event in Washington Square to kick off a full month of activities in the City-by-the-Sea. Get more info at: 401/849-6454; christmasinnewport.org.

FRIDAY, DECEMBER 6 & SATURDAY, DECEMBER 7 – NEWPORT MANSIONS STORE HOLIDAY WAREHOUSE SALE

This is the big sale of cool Newport Mansion gift items everyone waits for each year. You’ll want to go, too. Head over to the Newport Mansions warehouse (215 Third Street, Newport) from 9 am – 4 pm TO see the great selection of merchandise, all 50% off! Shop for books, jewelry, home accessories, lamps, artwork and more. Info: 401/847-1000; info@newportmansions.org

SATURDAY, DECEMBER 7 – A ROUGH POINT HOLIDAY – ROUGH POINT – 10:00 AM – 4:00 PM 

Every season at Rough Point offers a certain kind of magic. Rooms of the museum will be spruced up for the Christmas holiday, while other rooms 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 summer cottages.

Admission is $10 for adults (50% off the regular season price!) and includes the first floor only.  The museum will be open for roaming with guided tours offered throughout the day. Tickets ($10) for admission available at the door; no advance reservation necessary. Children 12 and under are free. Info: 401/847-8344; newportrestoration.org

SATURDAY, DECEMBER 14 – A ROUGH POINT HOLIDAY – ROUGH POINT – 10:00 AM – 4:00 PM 

Every season at Rough Point offers a certain kind of magic. Rooms of the museum will be spruced up for the Christmas holiday, while other rooms 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 summer cottages. Admission is $10 for adults (50% off the regular season price!) and includes the first floor only.  The museum will be open for roaming with guided tours offered throughout the day. Tickets ($10) for admission available at the door; no advance reservation necessary. Children 12 and under are free. Info: 401/847-8344; newportrestoration.org

SATURDAY, DECEMBER 14 –AN EVENING AT BELCOURT WITH G. LOVE & FOOD NETWORK CHEF KEV D

An evening of historical tours, music, and food at Belcourt of Newport (657 Bellevue Avenue, Newport). Tickets: $185. Purchase tickets online at belcourt.org

SATURDAY, DECEMBER 21 – A ROUGH POINT HOLIDAY – ROUGH POINT – 10:00 AM – 4:00 PM 

Every season at Rough Point offers a certain kind of magic. Rooms of the museum will be spruced up for the Christmas holiday, while other rooms 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 summer cottages. Admission is $10 for adults (50% off the regular season price!) and includes the first floor only.  The museum will be open for roaming with guided tours offered throughout the day. Tickets ($10) for admission available at the door; no advance reservation necessary. Children 12 and under are free. Info: 401/847-8344; newportrestoration.org

SATURDAY, DECEMBER 28 – A ROUGH POINT HOLIDAY – ROUGH POINT – 10:00 AM – 4:00 PM 

Every season at Rough Point offers a certain kind of magic. Rooms of the museum will be spruced up for the Christmas holiday, while other rooms 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 summer cottages. Admission is $10 for adults (50% off the regular season price!) and includes the first floor only.  The museum will be open for roaming with guided tours offered throughout the day. Tickets ($10) for admission available at the door; no advance reservation necessary. Children 12 and under are free. Info: 401/847-8344; newportrestoration.org

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KENNETH PROUDFOOT, a Newport Tour Escort and Guide, is a writer and author of The Official 2018 Newport Tour Guides & Greeters Handbook (Shoreline Press (RI), 2017).