33 Most Festive Things to Do in Newport RI in the Winter

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Newport in the winter is magical. That’s because you’ll enjoy so many festive things to do in Newport RI in the winter. You might think of it as a summer destination (and it is), but today we are reframing this fabulous coastal destination in New England to share the best Newport activities for winter. Here are 33 of our favorites, below.

Editor’s Note: This article was updated in November 2023 to keep it fresh and up to date.

downtown newport ri snow | Enjoy Travel Life

CONTENTS – In this article, you will learn how wonderful it is to visit Newport in winter. Plus, discover 33 of the most fun and festive things to do in Newport RI this winter, including:

Why You Should Visit Newport RI in the Winter

Newport, Rhode Island, is a beautiful coastal city in New England, rich with history, culture, and charm.

At any time of year, you’ll find a variety of area restaurants to please foodies, unique shops, and thriving boutique hotels. In addition, Newport RI offers a stunning yacht port and it’s famous mansions from the Gilded Age. 

Newport is one of New England’s best beach towns, so you may think of it as a summer destination. It is, and millions of tourists each year attest to this. But it’s a great place to visit in winter, too. You’ll find fewer crowds in the winter, which is a benefit of visiting at that time of year.

But if you’re looking forward to a much-needed winter getaway, then Newport is a perfect place for that, too — especially during the holidays. This is a best bet, winter destination where the entire city goes all-in on the festivities.

To find the best lodging options, you should search booking.com, expedia.com, and hotels.com and book early. It’s easy to filter your choices based on your travel dates, budget, and amenities. That way, you can compare offers and decide what suits you best.

You might even consider adding a unique twist to your experience by staying in one of these treehouse cabins nearby.

Have a look at your best lodging options in Newport using this interactive map, below.

Once you visit this beautiful coastline, you can bet you’ll be returning. That’s true if you’re planning to visit in winter too.

So, we’ve broken down the best places to visit in Newport, Rhode Island to help you make the most of your winter trip.

You’ll discover some significant places that you shouldn’t miss along with some lesser-known places to add to your winter itinerary. Make sure you read it to the end before planning your winter visit to Newport RI.

Best Things to Do in Newport RI in the Winter

Newport RI in December is a magical place, and a perfect way to enjoy the festive winter season.

Here are 33 reasons why.

1. Tour the The Newport Mansions in Winter

Newport Mansions Christmas | Enjoy Travel Life

Visiting the mansions during the holidays is one of my favorite winter things to do in Newport.

The opulent mansions of Newport were originally called summer “cottages.” Built by wealthy tycoons in Philadelphia and New York in the 1850s and 1900, these magnificent showcases include Marble House, Rosecliff, The Breakers, Rough Point, The Elms, and more. 

These stunning Victorian summer homes of the wealthy are open to public tours, and are splendidly decorated for the holidays. The guided and self-guided tours are intriguing and informative. 

You can also attend holiday parties, formal balls, concerts and performances during the Christmas season at the Newport mansions for an extra special experience.

These winter festivities at the mansions in Newport are sure to get you into the holiday spirit!

Related: 5 Festive Events to Celebrate Christmas at the Newport Mansions

2. Choose from Christmas in Newport Events

Christmas in Newport is a festival celebrating the holidays almost every day of the month in December. It began in 1971 to honor non-commercial traditions, so it’s in its 52nd year!

Among the activities featured at the Christmas in Newport festival, you’ll find:

  • Tree lightings
  • Classical and holiday music played by an orchestra
  • Nutcracker ballet performance at Rosecliff mansion
  • Kids holiday gift making
  • Jazz ensemble at Salve Regina college
  • Art Exhibits
  • History Tours
  • Illuminated boat parades
  • And more

A non-profit organization in Newport with about 1500 members raises funds for charity every year during Christmas. So no matter when you are visiting Newport during the holidays, you’ll want to check out the schedule of events

Many of these winter activities are free!

3. Have Fun in Igloos & Ice Skating at Newport Harbor Island (Gurney’s Resorts)

As though the location of this posh hotel on Goat Island overlooking the bay is not incentive enough to visit, you’ll want to experience the igloos at Newport Harbor Island (formerly Gurney’s Resorts) when you’re visiting Newport RI in wintertime.

These are distinctively designed heated igloos offering a multisensory experience through live music, activities, and signature drinks. And yes, they overlook the waterfront, making this one of the romantic things to do in Newport ri, too.  

Imagine enjoying the company of someone special in your private, cozy igloo on the Lounge & Firepit Deck overlooking the bay. 

You’ve got the igloo to yourselves for up to two hours, where you can enjoy tasty drinks and creative menu options, like: 

  • Shrimp and Grits
  • House Made Venison Chili
  • Caribbean Hot Chocolate

Not only will you savor the snacks by the roaring fire pits, but also the scenic views of Narragansett Bay and the Newport Bridge.

Plus, The property also has a skating rink. So, bring another couple if you want – a private igloo fits up to 4 people. 

All igloos feature specialty winter cocktails, an après skate menu, vintage games, a roaring fire pit, and more. Just be sure to reserve ahead as this experience is in demand over the holidays. (The good news is, the igloos are open through March.)

Make it all the better by staying over at Newport Harbor Island . Click here for their current rates.

4. Take in the Newport Winter Festival

The Newport Winter Festival is a fun and nostalgic experience in its 34th year. While it doesn’t take place until after the new year, it’s worth noting. During this event, you’ll enjoy great food and musical entertainment, and celebrate timeless traditions such as:

  • Outdoor ice skating
  • Bonfires
  • Sledding
  • Snow bowling

Plus, festival bracelets provide you with free or significantly discounted admission to events, as well as discounts and specials at over 50 local museums and businesses. So, plan a long weekend to maximize your experience.

You’ll enjoy the winter wonderland weekend regardless of whether you participate in any activities or simply watch.

To finish the night, take in a stunning winter fireworks display at 7 pm with beautiful views from Prouty Beach’s waterfront.

Nothing beats the frostbite blues like spending some quality time with family and friends. Check for updates to the calendar of events TBD here. 

5. Warm Up at the Hot Chocolate Bar at . The Chanler

hot chocolate bar newport ri | Enjoy Travel Life

The Chanler Hotel, always known for its stunning waterfront location and gilded age splendor, is now also known for its hot chocolate bar.

This festive and fun activity includes three hot chocolate drinks made from the world’s finest chocolate. You can enjoy incredible flavors made with milk or water to order, such as:

  • Dark chocolate
  • Milk chocolate
  • Peruvian Magic 

You won’t need to make any reservations for this cafe, and the parking is free. That makes it a great impromptu addition to any winter Newport itinerary. 

The Chanler’s Chocolate Bar kicks off during the winter months and is open weekends from 12 to 5. You can have your decadent hot chocolate with a donut or upgrade it to an adult beverage. 

Besides hot chocolate, The Chanler also offers the splendid beauty of the sea and hotel itself. Plus, it’s conveniently located along the Cliff Walk. Click here to see their current rates.

6. Sign Up for a Holiday Lantern Walking Tour (Historical Society)

The Newport Historical Society’s Holiday Lantern Tour has become an annual tradition for families. It’s a great way to get into the holiday spirit while learning some colonial American history.

This one-hour walking tour begins at dusk, and features early New England traditions and the way in which historic Newporters celebrated the holidays. It’s a rare opportunity to explore Newport’s history and charm at night, guided by an expert.

You’ll want to book this tour in advance, as the groups are limited in size so everyone has the best experience. In addition to the Holiday Lantern Tour, you’ll find other fascinating tours you can sign up for, like:

  • Discover Colonial Newport
  • Golden to Gilded
  • Creative Survival
  • Rogues & Scoundrels

One (or more) of them is bound to pique your interest!

7. Peruse the Tennis Hall of Fame

Newport Tennis Hall of Fame | Enjoy Travel Life

The International Tennis Hall of Fame is located at the Newport Casino, a National Historic Landmark in Newport that opened on July 26, 1880. 

The location is not a gambling casino, but rather an athletic complex and recreation center for billiards, card games, and club rooms. This 7-acre property was the center of Newport’s social life during the Gilded Age.

The museum has 13 outdoor grass courts where the annual Association of Tennis Professionals’ (ATP) Tour Hall of Fame is hosted. Each year in July, they award the prestigious Van Allen Cup.

The International Tennis Hall of Fame honors players and contributors who have made it in the sport of tennis. It has more than 2,000 artefacts on display, from racquets to trophies and attire. You’ll even find a hologram of hall-of-famer Roger Federer and a wide variety of interactive exhibits. 

Plus it’s a lovely building, inside and out. The old Newport casino complex has a museum, an indoor tennis facility, and a grass tennis court.

Also, the International Tennis Hall of Fame is a non-profit organization that aims to preserve, inspire, and celebrate tennis all across the world. 

This is a cool place to visit whenever you’re in Newport.

Check for schedule holiday updates here.

8. Stroll Along the Newport Cliff Walk | Winter

Newport’s Cliff Walk is one of the most prominent Newport, RI attractions besides the Newport Mansion. Once you start walking down the cliff, you’ll understand the significance.

This National Recreation Trail was established in 1975 and is a 3.5 mile path along with some stunning coastlines. It’s made of paved and unpaved paths that navigate the scenic rocky coast so you’ll want to wear comfortable footwear. 

Most of it runs through the land on which the mansion was built, so to one side you have the Atlantic Ocean, and the other, the stunning landscapes and architecture of the Newport Mansions.

After Rough Point Bridge, the Walk loops around and officially ends at Bellevue Ave. The easiest stretch is a section between First Beach and 40 steps that paved and easy for about two-thirds of a mile. The trail gets more rugged as you go south. In fact, you have to be extremely cautious through some sections of the trail. In some spots the cliff has a drop of more than 70 feet. 

To walk the full length, estimate about two-and-a-half to three hours time. If you just want a taste of the experience, you can get off at any point since there are numerous exit points.

This is another of the romantic things to do in Newport ri, plus it’s free! Although you might have to pay for parking at either  on Memorial Boulevard at Easton’s Beach, or Forty Steps at the end of Narragansett Avenue. 

Remember to dress for the season, because winter in New England is cold! Expect to get your shoes a little dirty, and know that it is always breezy by the coast. Make a pit-stop at the public restrooms at Narragansett Ave before you go. Last but not least, don’t forget your camera!

9. Appreciate the Finest Vehicles at Audrain Auto Museum

Audrain Auto Museum Newport RI | Enjoy Travel Life

Just a few doors down from the Tennis Hall of Fame is Audrain Auto Museum. Don’t be fooled by the name: it’s an art museum showcasing collections from more than 200 of the most extraordinary and unique vehicles.

The automobiles are chosen and displayed expressly for exhibition themes, which change regularly.

Over the holidays, you’ll enjoy the latest exhibit, Engineering + Design = Passion: The Nick Begovich Collection. Among this Fullerton, CA scientist’s collection are 1952 Jaguar XK120M Fixed Head Coupe, 1956 Mercedes-Benz 300SL “Gullwing” 1974 Maserati Bora!

In recent years, exhibits included:

  • Women Take the Wheel: Fashion, Modernity and the Automobile 1905 – 1945
  • Balance & Power: The World on Two Wheels, 1885 – 1995
  • Small Wonders: Micro, Mini, Pedal & Toy Cars
  • From the Racetrack to the Opera: Marques That Did It All
  • Porsche Then & Now: 70 Years of Excellence

The museum shows nearly 20 cars at a time in this intimate setting. It’s a fascinating curation of cars for any time of year. It’s worth a return visit to Audrain every time.

10. Find the Best Waterfront Views on Scenic Ocean Drive

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Photo credit: Discover Newport

Don’t show up randomly on scenic Ocean Drive during the daytime. You might end up crawling along at 15 miles per hour behind the line of other visitors snapping photos. Instead, organize your trip a little ahead of time. 

The real magic and beauty can be seen on this stunning 10-mile coastal drive in the early morning when you’re more likely to have the entire road to yourself. That’s exactly what you want so you can capture this scenic beauty on camera. 

Locals recommend starting at Bellevue Avenue, working your way east, and finishing at Castle Hill Inn for coffee and breakfast.

Along the way, you’ll pass:

  • The Newport Mansions
  • Hammersmith Farm (Jackie Kennedy childhood home) 
  • Brenton Point State Park
  • Fort Adams State Park
  • Gooseberry Beach

This is another scenic, free activity you can’t miss when you visit Newport in winter.

11. Explore the Newport Art Museum

Newport Art Museum | Enjoy Travel Life

Take in the rich cultural heritage and vibrant contemporary art scenes of Rhode Island at the Newport Art Museum. It’s the only museum that primarily focuses on talented artists and art of Rhode Island. 

The Griswold House, which has served as the museum’s home since 1916, is an official project to save America’s treasures and is a national historic landmark. The house itself is a stunning work of art, so it’s worth planning a house tour.

It was designed by Richard Morris Hunt in 1862 and was finished in 1864 for John NA Griswold, who was a china trade entrepreneur. 

Hunt later designed several grand cottages of Newport’s gilded age, including Marble House, Ochre Court, and the Breakers.

The Newport Art Museum is closed on Christmas, but an exceptional experience otherwise through the holidays. 

If you time it right, you’ll catch the Newport Art Museum Holiday Marketplace, which features works from emerging and established artists, including:

  • Ceramics
  • Paintings
  • Ornaments
  • Wearable arts
  • Other finds for the art-lover(s) on your holiday shopping list 

12. Take a Seal Watch Tour (by Save the Bay)

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Save the Bay offers nature tours and seal watching in Newport (and Westerly) from October to April. That way, you’ll get a close-up educational view of migratory seals from expert guides. (Did you know seals are Rhode Island’s state mammal?)

You’ll motor through historic Newport Harbor and observe the seals resting Citing Rock. If you choose a one-hour tour, you’ll stay on the boat. But if you opt for the 1.75-hour tour, you’ll also visit the Rose Island grounds to see more seals on the shore.

Tours leave daily from Bowen’s Ferry Landing — and gift certificates also make a great holiday gift!

13. Stroll Thames Street – The Best Shopping in Newport RI

Newport’s famed Thames Street is located just steps away from the waterfront in Downtown Newport. It has been the main commercial centre of Newport since the 18th century, and is the heart of Newport.

You’ll easily locate some local shops and unique offerings on Newport’s historic Thames Street, such as Thames Glass and Newport Fudgery. You can shop conventional stores as well, including Banana Republic and Express.

Part of the beauty of Thames stress is excellent dining options from seafood to upscale restaurants. Popular choices include Bouchard’s Restaurant and Brick Alley Pub.

Parking can be tricky here (in all of Newport, really), but if you stay over on Thames Street, you’ll have a place to park your car and be in the heart of the shopping district. We recommend staying at The Admiral Fitzroy Inn, one of the last captain’s houses.

14. Reduce Holiday Stress at The Bodhi Spa

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The Bodhi Spa in Newport RI is one of New England’s leading hydrotherapy day spa. It provides a calming full-body experience through the ancient art of water therapy. And let’s face it, we could all use a stress-free holiday!

At The Bodhi Spa, you can enjoy:

  • Mineral-infused hot tubs
  • A classic sauna
  • An exhilarating cold plunge pool
  • The calming relaxation area
  • An aromatherapy steam room
  • A Zen garden

They also provide a deluxe menu of facials and body treatments. Doesn’t that sound like just what you need over the holidays?

15. Take a Rhode Island Reds Food Tour (Newport Neighborhood)

Rhode Island Reds Food Tours provide an unforgettable half-day food tasting experience in Newport RI.

This Newport cuisine tour includes strolling through historic neighborhoods in Newport as well as other fun activities that make for a delightful excursion.

You’ll visit at least six scrumptious local eateries that will provide you with wonderful culinary samples highly influenced by the regions.

If you want to go beyond Newport, you might also like Rhode Island Reds’ Downcity Providence tour. It will take you to the country’s best food scenes, which have been making all of the best lists in all major publications.

16. Dine at White Horse Tavern: A Cozy Historic Retreat

Nestled in the heart of Newport, the White Horse Tavern is not just a restaurant; it’s a step back in time. 

As the oldest tavern in the United States (1673), this charming establishment exudes warmth and history. During the winter, the tavern is adorned with festive decorations, creating a cozy atmosphere that beckons you inside. 

While it’s “America’s Oldest Tavern,” the food is nothing of the sort. It’s fresh and contemporary to suit modern tastes, featuring local cuisine and extensive wine pairings.

Imagine savoring a hearty meal by one of four crackling fireplace, surrounded by the rustic charm of centuries past. 

Be sure to make your reservations in advance by 2-4 weeks if you’re visiting White Horse Tavern over the holidays.

Whether you’re enjoying their renowned clam chowder or indulging in a seasonal dish, the White Horse Tavern offers a quintessential New England winter experience.

17. Attend Bowen’s Wharf Annual Tree Lighting: A Maritime Holiday Spectacle

bowens wharf holiday tree lighting | Enjoy Travel Life
Photo Credit: Corey Favino

Kick off the holiday season at Bowen’s Wharf, where the Annual Tree Lighting ceremony transforms this waterfront district into a magical wonderland. 

Picture strolling along cobbled streets adorned with twinkling lights and the scent of fresh pine in the air. As the massive Christmas tree comes to life, the entire area is bathed in a warm, festive glow. 

Enjoy the spectacle with a cup of hot cocoa in hand, and explore the boutiques and galleries that line the wharf, each offering unique holiday treasures. 

It’s a picturesque start to the winter season that captures the maritime spirit of Newport.

18. Fine Dining at Clarke Cooke House: Elegant Dining with a Winter View

For a sophisticated winter dining experience, look no further than Clarke Cooke House

Overlooking Newport Harbor at Bannister’s Wharf, this iconic establishment combines elegant ambiance with breathtaking views. During the colder months, the restaurant is adorned with seasonal décor, creating a refined yet festive setting. 

Indulge in a gourmet meal featuring locally sourced ingredients while gazing out at the winter harbor scene. You’ll be among the royalty, yachting champions, and other elevated guests who have enjoyed this historic restaurant’s innovative cuisine.

For a cozier vibe, dine at The Candy Store & Bistro on the first floor of the Clarke Cooke House. There, you’ll see the original post and beam construction along with a collection of America’s Cup prints and other sailing memorabilia.

The combination of impeccable cuisine and panoramic views makes Clarke Cooke House a must-visit destination for a memorable winter evening in Newport.

19. Eat Coastal Comforts in Winter at Mooring Seafood Kitchen & Bar

Escape the winter chill at Mooring Seafood Kitchen & Bar, where coastal comforts meet seasonal delights. Located on the waterfront at Sayers Wharf, this restaurant boasts a menu showcasing the best of New England seafood. 

Imagine sipping on a warm bowl of clam chowder while watching the boats gently bob in the harbor. The nautical-inspired décor and the sound of seagulls in the distance add to the maritime charm. 

Whether you’re a seafood enthusiast or simply seeking a cozy retreat and a craft beverage, Mooring Seafood Kitchen & Bar promises a delightful winter dining experience. It’s also a great place to catch the sunset over the harbor!

20. Tour the National Museum of American Illustration: A Luminary Spirit!

Step into a world where art meets winter enchantment at the National Museum of American Illustration (NMAI). 

Housed in a stunning mansion, this museum showcases masterpieces that come to life against the backdrop of the season. You can wander through decorated halls adorned with noteworthy illustrations, that capture the luminary spirit of art in every stroke. 

Discover the “Golden Age of Illustration,” including works by Norman Rockwell, N.C. Wyeth, Maxfield Parrish and others. It’s a cultural retreat that adds a touch of sophistication to your Newport winter itinerary.

At the time of writing, he NMAI is closed for renovations. So, you’ll want to check their website for the latest information before you visit.

21. Experience Elegance at Hotel Viking: A Luxurious Winter Retreat

hotel viking newport ri dusk | Enjoy Travel Life
Photo credit: Hotel Viking

Embrace the lap of luxury at Hotel Viking, where winter becomes a glamorous affair. 

This historic hotel, with its timeless elegance, offers a winter escape like no other. Picture yourself sipping a steaming cup of mulled wine by the grand fireplace in the lobby, surrounded by opulent holiday decorations. 

If you visit in early December, you can kick off your holiday season at their annual Christmas Tree Lighting in the courtyard.

In addition to seating for Christmas Eve Dinner, Christmas Day Breakfast, and Christmas Dinner, Hotel Viking offers a selection of other festive holiday activities. Among them are: Christmas Cookie Decorating Classes, a Nutcracker Tea, and Breakfast with Santa. The festivities continue into the New Year, too!

Whether you’re indulging in a spa day, relaxing in the indoor pool, or enjoying a sumptuous holiday meal at their fine dining restaurant, Hotel Viking transforms Newport’s winter into a lavish retreat, blending comfort and sophistication.

As a guest, you can also take advantage of discounts to multiple Newport attractions.

Hotel Viking is also known for their rooftop bar with panoramic views of Newport and the harbor. A must-see!

Before booking, check their latest holiday rates here.

22. Sip and Shop at Newport Vineyards: Winter Wine Wonderland

Indulge your senses at Newport Vineyards & Restaurant, where winter meets the rich flavors of local wines. The vineyard, surrounded by serene landscapes, takes on a special charm during the colder months. 

Join a wine tasting session in their rustic tasting room, where you can sample a variety of award-winning vintages paired with winter-inspired bites. Or, take a tour and taste of fresh craft beers within the Taproot Brewing Co.

The restaurant features farm to table dining experiences, preparing dishes “100% from scratch.” Enjoy the freshest cuisine comprising estate grown and locally-sourced ingredients. Before you visit Newport Vineyards, be sure to check their hours. As of this writing, dining is closed on Mondays.

In addition to great food and wine, Newport Vineyards is a great place for Christmas shopping, too! You’ll find an assortment of unique and quality gifts for wine-lovers in the gift shop. For your convenience, Newport Vineyards will also handle wine shipping for you!

With the vines resting under a blanket of snow, Newport Vineyards provides a unique and cozy atmosphere, making it an ideal destination for wine enthusiasts seeking a winter escape.

23. Savor Culinary Delights in a Historic Setting at Stoneacre Brasserie

For a winter culinary experience with a French Twist, visit Stoneacre Brasserie

Housed in a historic building, this restaurant seamlessly blends old-world charm with modern gastronomy. Picture a winter evening spent in a cozy corner, savoring dishes crafted with seasonal, locally sourced ingredients. 

The ambiance is intimate and inviting, making Stoneacre Brasserie a perfect spot to relish the flavors of winter in Newport’s historic setting.

24. Schedule Holiday Brunch at Chinese Tea House, a Tranquil Winter Retreat

chinese tea house newport ri | Enjoy Travel Life
Photo credit: John Corbett

Experience winter serenity with a holiday brunch at the Chinese Tea House, nestled in the heart of Newport. Surrounded by lush gardens and classical architecture of the Marble House (one of the Newport Mansion), and flanked by the Newport Cliff Walk, this hidden gem provides a tranquil escape. 

During the holiday season, the Tea House transforms into a haven of festive delights. 

Enjoy a brunch prepared in partnership with Stoneacre Hospitality with seasonal twists, all while basking in the peaceful ambiance of this unique winter retreat. It’s a refreshing, unique way to celebrate the season in Newport.

25. See the Illuminated Boat Parade: A Seafaring Winter Spectacle

Marvel at the beauty of Newport’s harbor during the Illuminated Boat Parade, a dazzling winter spectacle that lights up the night. As darkness falls, vessels adorned with festive lights cruise through the harbor, creating a mesmerizing display reflected on the water.

Join the crowds along the waterfront, sip on hot cocoa, and witness the magic as boats transform into floating holiday ornaments. You can see the parade from multiple points as the vessels circumnavigate Newport Harbor.

It’s a joyful celebration of winter, community, and the maritime spirit that defines Newport.

26. Take a Newport Winter Foodies Stroll: Culinary Exploration in the Cold

Embark on a culinary adventure through the winter streets of Newport with the Newport Winter Foodies Stroll

This event invites you to explore the city’s diverse food scene, sampling delectable bites from local eateries, with perfect wine pairings. Picture yourself strolling through festively lit streets, savoring everything from savory dishes to sweet treats. 

Beginning at the corner of Lees Wharf and Thames Street, you’ll enjoy various culinary delights while covering about a mile’s walk over several guided hours.

It’s an excellent way to experience Newport’s culinary creativity while embracing the winter chill. Bundle up and discover the flavors that make Newport a foodie destination even in the colder months.

27. Visit The Redwood Library: Literary Escape from the Winter Chill

redwood library cozy interior | Enjoy Travel Life
Photo credit: David Hansen

Escape the winter chill at The Redwood Library & Athenæum, a literary haven that combines history and culture. With its colonial architecture and vast collection of books, this library provides a cozy retreat during the colder months. 

They also present a variety of worthwhile events. Recent offerings include a Music Appreciation Series, Garden Parties, and the Redwood Book Club. Click here to see The Redwood Library’s current events.

Imagine spending a winter afternoon immersed in the pages of a classic novel, surrounded by the ambiance of a historic library. 

The Redwood Library offers a tranquil escape where you can embrace the joy of reading and find respite from the winter winds.

28. Get Cozy on a Winter Night at the The Jane Pickens Theater

Warm up your winter nights with a visit to The Jane Pickens Film + Event Center, Newport’s historic cinema.

This charming world-class art house cinema, with its classic marquee, offers a nostalgic movie-watching experience, first-run movies, theater, live music, and other entertainment.

During the winter season, cozy up in the theater’s vintage seats and enjoy a selection of films, from holiday classics to contemporary releases. You can look forward to viewing holiday-themed movies, like National Lampoon Christmas Vacation, Elf, and other fan-favorites.

It’s a timeless way to spend a winter evening, surrounded by the magic of cinema in the heart of Newport.

29. Go Winter Bird Watching at Sachuest Point National Wildlife Refuge

winter traills norman bird sanctuary | Enjoy Travel Life
Photo credit: Norman Bird Sanctuary

Experience the beauty of winter wildlife at Sachuest Point National Wildlife Refuge, just a short drive from Newport, steps away from 2nd Beach.

This coastal refuge comes alive with the sights and sounds of winter birds against a backdrop of ocean vistas. Bundle up and explore the trails, spot migratory birds, and enjoy the crisp sea air. 

At the Visitor Center, you’ll discover interesting indoor exhibits, restrooms, and a gift shop.

Whether you’re an avid birder or just looking for a serene winter walk, Sachuest Point offers a natural escape where you can connect with the seasonal wonders of Newport’s coastal environment.

30. Enjoy a Winter Wine Tasting Escape at Greenvale Vineyard

Escape to the warmth of Greenvale Vineyards in nearby Portsmouth for a winter wine tasting experience. This family-owned vineyard, with its rustic charm and scenic views, offers a relaxed setting to savor local wines. It’s a tradition spanning six-generations.

During the winter, the tasting room becomes a cozy retreat, where you can sip on a glass of red or white while while overlooking the waterfront, pastural vineyard draped in a winter blanket.

Greenvale Vineyards provides an intimate and welcoming escape for wine enthusiasts seeking a taste of Rhode Island’s winter terroir.

Featuring live Jazz and holiday music events and charcuterie styling classes just in time for the holidays, this charming vineyard along the Sakonnet River is a quintessential New England wine experience at any time of year.

You can find out more about Greenvale Vineyards here.

31. Bring Home Farmstead Delights (and Treats) from Simmons Farm

Venture just outside Newport to Simmons Farm in Middletown for a winter farm experience. This family-owned farm exudes charm in every season, and winter is no exception. 

Embrace the festive spirit as you explore the Christmas tree farm, selecting the perfect evergreen companion ranging in height from table-top to 15 feet tall. They also offer festive trimmings to decorate your home, such as like wreaths, planters, and roping—even tree stands

Don’t forget to visit the farm store for fresh produce, seasonal treats, from fresh-baked pies to locally crafted jams. 

You can even sign up to take a Goat Hike, leading a leashed goat through the picturesque scene!

Simmons Farm offers a bucolic escape where you can immerse yourself in the joys of winter on a charming New England farmstead that’s almost 400 years old. Just magical!

32. Discover Winter Serenity with Lighthouse Views at Beavertail State Park

beavertail snowcovered aerial | Enjoy Travel Life
Photo credit: Corey Favino

Embark on a winter wonderland adventure at Beavertail State Park, nestled in the scenic town of Jamestown. This expansive park, featuring sweeping views of Narragansett Bay and the iconic Jamestown Windmill, transforms into a serene snowy landscape during the colder months.

Picture yourself wandering through snow-covered fields, with the bay and the historic lighthouse as your picturesque backdrop, creating a scene straight out of a holiday postcard.

Beaver State Park not only offers a perfect setting for winter hiking, photography, and nature appreciation but also provides glimpses of the charming Jamestown Lighthouse, adding a touch of maritime magic to your winter experience.

Whether you’re seeking an active winter escape or a peaceful retreat surrounded by natural beauty, Beaver State Park in Jamestown invites you to savor the seasonal wonders of Rhode Island’s coastal charm, complete with the timeless allure of a coastal lighthouse.

33. Steep Yourself in Victorian Elegance with an Afternoon Tea at Blithewold

Take a short journey to Bristol and immerse yourself in Victorian elegance at Blithewold Mansion. During the winter season, the mansion hosts Afternoon Tea, a delightful experience that transports you to a bygone era. 

Picture sipping tea from fine china, indulging in delectable pastries, and enjoying the view of the snow-covered gardens. 

The warmth of the mansion, coupled with the charm of winter and holiday decor creates a truly enchanting atmosphere that will make your afternoon tea a memorable winter affair.

Final Thoughts on Things to Do in Newport RI in the Winter

Christmas is a perfect time to take a trip to Newport Rhode Island. You’ll find a month-long celebration of non-commercial traditions and all kinds of holiday fanfare to enjoy. With so many festive and exciting things going on, it’s a good reason to plan a winter visit!

From white lights illuminating the buildings, seasonal festivities, and New England charm accented by opulence, Newport makes for a great first time or annual trip to the Ocean State.

Undoubtedly, winter is the most lovely time to visit Newport so make the most of it. You’ll have a great time!

Where to Stay in Newport Rhode Island

Here is an interactive map you can use to compare prices and plan your stay in Newport.

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18 thoughts on “33 Most Festive Things to Do in Newport RI in the Winter”

  1. Wow this list is inspiring! My husband and I are moving to the Newport area with our 5 kids shortly and it looks like we will have much more to do than previously imagined! Thank you!

  2. Lots of fun winter activities! I would start with ice skating by the lake, immediately followed by indulging in some hot chocolate, maybe warm up with a mansion tour, and then followed by visiting the spa. Sounds like a fantastic day to me in Newport!

  3. Awww! I super love your post. Did not really know that there are so many things that we can do in Rhode Island. It would be really nice to spend Christmas there. The activities you mentioned sound amazing. It’s nice that they have a Nutcracker ballet performance, too!

    • Yes! Loads to do in Newport. Hope you get there, Clarice! The Nutcracker in the mansion is spectacular.

  4. I just visited Newport last summer for the first time. It’s a short visit and I want to go back. But after reading your post, probably early December will be wonderful when it’s not too cold yet. You got me at The Newport Mansions and Holiday Lantern Walking Tour as I like history. And end the tour at Hot chocolate Bar at The Chanler. Mmm…

    • Early December is an ideal time to visit for the festivities and holiday fun. I hope you get back this year to experience a different view of Newport. I think you’ll love it!

  5. I’ve only seen the Newport Mansions in summer, but I can only imagine the Nutcracker ballet performed at the Rosecliff mansion. It must be spectacular. I love Rhode Island, but I’ve never visited the Newport Art Museum.

    • Anda, if you have the chance to make a winter trip to Newport, you’ll find the holidays truly are incredible! And The Newport Art Museum is a good take in any season. 🙂

  6. I have never been to Newport but it seems like there is a lot to see and do. I would love to visit the museums and definitely to see the seals. I am a huge fan of winter and Christmas so I found so many things on this list I would love. Ice skating is one of my favorites.

    • Glad to provide you with some inspiration when you get the chance to visit, Paula! Thanks for taking the time to share your thoughts here.

  7. Great list of things to do in Newport RI in winter! I guess most people would plan a visit to Newport for summer or autumn. Winter must be a quite a different, less touristy, more local experience. First thing for me would be a visit to the Hot Chocolate Bar at the Chanler Hotel.

    • Thanks, Natascha! You are absolutely right about the seasonal differences. The Chanler is a class act and a great first stop!

  8. You had me with the Newport mansions – I love these old merchant homes and we have a collection in India. They throw so much information about life back then. And then I would love to sign up for the heritage walk. Looks like there is a lot of history here to see and enjoy. And then of course, fun activities like ice skating.

    • Yes, exploring the mansions and the history surrounding them really is a visit to the past. Nice idea to mix the history and culture activities with some outdoor activities, too. (I would love to see the merchant homes in India!)

  9. Oh wow, Caribbean I hot chocolate sounds amazing. I had no idea Newport RI had so much to do during the Christmas season, I’ll have to add this to my list for my eventual US 50 state road trip!

    • Yes! The holidays are a great time to visit Newport, Alice! Hope you pop Rhode Island up to the top 10 on your road trip list. For such a small state, it really does offer so much.

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