Get into the Christmas Spirit
Each year, the Newport Mansions put on a festive celebration to usher in the holiday season. Christmas trees and lavish decorations festoon the mansions, once homes to prominent families of Newport, Rhode Island. You’ll find Nutcracker performances, dinner parties, and music events that lead right up to New Year’s Eve.
The Newport Mansions are worth a visit any time of the year just to imagine living such an opulent lifestyle. But we especially look forward to our annual tradition of visiting during the holidays; it gets us into the Christmas spirit in high-style!
Here are five festive events hosted by The Preservation Society of Newport County to help you celebrate the holidays at the Newport Mansions.
1. Holiday Tours of the Newport Mansions
Deck the halls, indeed! Three mansions dressed in holiday decor host winter tours that take place through New Year’s Eve. Guests can see all that glitters in the lives of the rich and famous with self-guided or audio narrated tours of The Breakers, The Elms, and Marble House. You’ll find festive decorations on a grand and miniature scale.
Expert Tip: We love to get Winter Passport tickets, which give entry to all the mansions open during the holidays at a more economical rate. Note that the last tour admission for all houses on Christmas Eve is 3 p.m.
Good News! The mansions are open through New Year’s Eve (Dec. 31) if you’re unable to fit all your holiday plans in before Christmas.
2. Newport Nutcracker at Rosecliff
One of my favorite festive events to celebrate the holidays at the Newport Mansions is the Newport Nutcracker ballet. This critically acclaimed performance lets the audience get closer than ever, following the ballet through the most romantic of the Newport mansions—Rosecliff. It’s an intimate performance by Island Moving Company in Newport’s largest private ballroom.
Good News! No nose-bleed seats here. You’re assured to have a great view of the show!
Expert Tip: This event is one of the earliest at the Newport Mansions, taking place during the last weekends of November. For ticket information, visit www.islandmovingco.org.
3. Santa Sundays
You can let Santa Claus know what’s on your wish lists and even take a photo with your own camera during Santa Sundays at the Newport Mansions. Santa visits each of the three mansions in December, listening to children’s wish lists.
Good News! You don’t need to be a kid to believe! Tell Santa what’s on your list.
Expert Tip: Santa’s visit is from 12 p.m. – 3 p.m. on Sundays and included as part of the tour admission. Strollers and carriages are not permitted inside any of the houses.You don't need to be a kid to believe! Tell Santa what's on your list. #santa @newportmansions Click To Tweet
4. Holiday Dinner Dance
Love The Great Gatsby? You might just feel you’re in the movie during the Holiday Dinner Dance held in the impressive Great Hall of The Breakers! The evening begins with a cocktail hour on the loggia, then a three-course seated dinner in the Great Hall followed by dancing in the Music Room. This Black Tie evening provides valet parking and is the most elegant of the festive events to celebrate the holidays at the Newport Mansions.
Good News: A portion of the ticket price is tax-deductible.
Expert Tip: The Special Events Office takes reservations from Preservation Society Members beginning early October. If tickets are still available at the end of October, reservations are open to the public. Make reservations early!
5. Holiday Evenings & Entertainment
The Newport Mansions lovely to behold at night. Look to “Holiday Evenings” as an opportunity to immerse yourself in a Gilded Age experience. Guests may stroll through softly lit rooms and enjoy light refreshments. And, music-lovers, take note: the entertainment line-up is always fantastic.
Past performances include Victorian Carolers, Barbershop Quartets, Holiday Duets, Big Band, Classical Piano and more. You’ll find events at The Breakers, Marble House, and The Elms on Saturday evenings throughout November and December. Check out the latest schedule.
Good News! There are many performances to choose from during the season, so don’t limit yourself to just one.
Expert Tip: These tickets are in-demand. I recommend advance reservations because performances often sell out in advance.
While You’re at The Newport Mansions…
You may also like to combine your visit to the Newport Mansions with city-wide holiday celebrations in December as part of Christmas in Newport. Look for Newport’s Tree Lighting, Holiday Stroll, Holiday Concerts, and even a candlelit tour of Newport’s historic private homes. For more information about Newport’s city-wide holiday activities, visit Christmas in Newport.