While much of South County gets into the holiday spirit once December rolls around, perhaps no venue has as much going on throughout the month as the Ocean House in Watch Hill.
From Thanksgiving Day through New Year's Eve, the Ocean House hosts Seasons By The Sea, an annual celebration that brings events for the entire family to the venue every week. If you're looking for something to do in Westerly and area over the holiday season, the Ocean House is sure to have you covered.
Events For the Kids
Many of the happenings at the Ocean House are family-friendly, starting with Santa’s weekly check-ins at the resort. Every Saturday and Sunday between December 1 and 23, you'll find Santa relaxing in a private hotel room, waiting for some kids to stop by. He’ll be there from 5:00 until 8:00 PM and the cost for a visit is $40 for up to two children. The rate includes pictures and a gift, and since space is limited, you'll have to make a reservation ahead of time.
On December 9 and 16, the Ocean House hosts the Children's Christmas Tea. On the 9th, the tea will feature a visit by the penguins from the Mystic Aquarium, while the event on the 16th will have an appearance by Anna and Elsa from Frozen. The tea runs from 3:00 'til 5:00 PM and costs $60 for adults and $40 for kids. Children three and under are free.
Saturday, December 15 is the date of the annual Children's Christmas Party at the Ocean House. The party is from 10:00 AM and 2:00 PM and features a visit from Santa Claus, movies, stories, drinks, and crafts. Tickets are $25 for adults, while children are asked to donate one unwrapped gift for entry.
The kids can enjoy Brunch with Santa on December 16 and 23 from 10:00 AM – 2:00 PM at The Bistro restaurant at Ocean House. The meal includes both buffet and a la carte items and is always a hit with the young ones. The meal is $62 for adults and $25 for kids between the ages of six and 12, while children under the age of six are free.
Santa will also be around for dinner on Friday, December 21 between 6:00 and 9:00 PM in the Ballroom. The meal is buffet-style and held in conjunction with the annual Christmas in Song concert across the street at the Watch Hill Chapel. If you're heading to the performance, book yourself a table here to make the most of your evening. The meal is $65 for adults, $35 for kids, and free for those three and under.
Christmas might be about giving and spending time with family, but you can also learn how to do some pretty cool things if you head down to the Ocean House for one of their workshops. You can get started on December 18 between 3:30 and 5:30 PM with the cookie and cupcake decorating class. This class, which costs $35 per person, will supply you with lessons from the Ocean House's very own pastry chef, showing you how to decorate your creations to perfection. You'll leave with a box of pastries to show off to friends and family.
From there, on December 20, the Ocean House will have a cocktail-making workshop from 5:00 – 7:00 PM. Here, you'll learn how to make some of the most famous holiday drinks on the market, including mulled cider, peppermint martinis, spiced wine, and, of course, eggnog. The class costs $35.
Finally, on December 22, the Ocean House hosts a yule log workshop from 5:00 until 8:00 PM. The staff will bake the log before you arrive, and then the restaurant's pastry team will show you how to decorate it in style.
Concerts and Performances
The Ocean House is famous for its holiday performances, and it all kicks off on December 14 with the Carols & Fireside Cocktails event in the hotel's living room. This event is complimentary, although you will have to pay for your drink, and runs from 6:00 until 9:00 PM. The hotel brings in carolers, so all you have to do is relax and enjoy some of the best-known songs of the season.
We mentioned the Christmas in Song concert earlier, so here are the details: It's a complimentary show at the Watch Hill Chapel from 5:00 – 6:00 PM on Friday, December 21. The show is highly entertaining and features bell ringers, traditional holiday music, and an appearance by Santa Claus.
The Drawing Room at the Ocean House will fill with holiday cheer on December 22 thanks to Christmas Cabaret Concert with Scott Dreier. This show takes place in an intimate setting and features Andy Langham on the piano, with Dreier performing some seasonal-inspired music. Tickets are $30 and include dessert and one free cocktail.
Meals and Snacks
Christmas at the Ocean House wouldn’t be complete without some high-end cuisine and, luckily, this will be abundant in 2018. We’ve already gone over the family-orientated meals at the resort, but what about events for the grown-ups? On Sunday, December 23, staff will serve cheese flights from Grafton Village, Vermont at the resort's Center for Wine & Culinary Arts. This event allows you to taste some delicious cheddar cheeses and also teaches you about their production. The tasting is $35 each and goes from 5:00 until 8:00 PM.
COAST restaurant at the Ocean House is hosting Christmas Eve and Christmas Day dinners this year, with food prepared by chef William Rietzel and his team. This four-course meals cost $125, with a wine pairing available for an additional $80 each, and has seatings between 5:30 and 8:00 PM. While this event is largely for adults, kids age eight and over are permitted to attend. Reservations are required.
If you don't want to cook on Christmas morning, why not head to The Bistro for the annual Christmas Day Brunch? The brunch includes both a la carte and buffet items and goes from 8:00 AM to 4:00 PM, so you'll have plenty of time to get down there for a meal. It's $62 for adults and $25 for kids between six and 12. Children five and under are free.
Ocean House is the Place to Be
You really can’t go wrong by heading to the Ocean House for any of these events because you’re sure to get your money’s worth. All of the food served at the resort is outstanding, and they always put on first-class events, helping to make this South County Christmas one of your most memorable.