We've looked at the strolls taking place throughout South County during the Christmas season, but what if you aren't interested in doing any shopping at the moment, but still want to experience some holiday magic?
Luckily, you'll find special events, including concerts, plays, runs, and parties, pretty much every weekend between now and Christmas, giving you all the opportunity you need to get involved.
Check out a few of the following events in communities throughout Washington County because they'll make sure you're in the mood for the holidays when the big day arrives.
Festival of Lights
From November 29 – December 2, Wickford Village will transform into a winter wonderland, with white lights lining the streets and tons of events taking place all weekend long. The Festival of Lights, which runs from 6:00 – 9:00 PM on the Thursday, 10:00 AM – 9:00 PM on the Friday and Saturday, and 12:30 – 6:00 PM on the Sunday, is in its 33rd year in 2018 and provides an old-fashioned Christmas experience that everyone in your family is sure to appreciate.
Events taking place over the course of the weekend include a Christmas tree lighting, Santa’s arrival on Wickford Cove on a boat, hayrides, and a parade. There's also the Wickford Kitchen Tour on this weekend, which is a walking tour of the village that enters ten historic homes and shows off their festive kitchens. The tour is a unique event that grows in popularity every year.
Christmas at the Castle
On Saturday, December 1 and Sunday, December 2 between noon and 4:00 PM, you are invited to Smith's Castle in North Kingstown for Christmas at the Castle. This event includes music by the Dulcimer Players, the Brown University Madrigal Singers, Updyke's Rose, Sheila Reynolds, and St. Luke's Bell Choir, in addition to story time with Mrs. Claus.
The venue also has on-site vendors, a bake sale, cookie decorating, face painting, and crafts, so bring the entire family to the castle for a visit. Admission is $6 for adults, $3 for kids between the ages of six and 12, and free for children under six with a family cap of $20.
Narragansett Festival of Lights and Jingle Bell Run
Sunday, December 2 is a big day in Narragansett, as this is when both the Festival of Lights and Jingle Bell Run take place. The Festival of Lights starts at 10:00 AM when the Towers Gift Shop opens. From there, you can listen to performances by the choirs from Narragansett High School and Narragansett Middle School between 11:00 AM and 12:30 PM, which will be followed by a face painting station, horse-drawn wagon rides, a visit from Santa Claus, a magician, and trolley rides through town. You are also encouraged to bring one unwrapped toy to donate to the Narragansett Housing Authority.
The Jingle Bell Run starts at 10:00 AM at the North Beach Club. It's a five kilometer jaunt with prizes for the fastest individuals in each division, in addition to the best costume. It costs $18 for adults and $12 for students, with discounts offered for early registration or student teams. If you want to participate, but don't feel you can run five kilometers, there's a one-mile family walk on the beach, as well.
A Christmas Carol at the Contemporary Theater Company
We all know that story of Ebenezer Scrooge, Bob Cratchit, Tiny Tim, and the spirits of Christmases past, present, and future, and most would agree that the holiday season just isn't the same without hearing it at least once. A Christmas Carol is a heartwarming tale that gets people into the holiday spirit, so if you have the chance to see it performed live, it's almost a no-brainer to attend.
The Contemporary Theater Company in downtown Wakefield will have performances of this classic story at 7:00 PM on December 7, 8, 13, 14, 15, 21, and 22, in addition to showings on December 9 and 16 at 2:00 PM. Tickets for the Friday, Saturday, and Sunday performances are $25 for adults and $15 for those 25 and under, while Thursday performances are pay-what-you-can at the door. The Sunday shows offer $18 tickets for seniors, as well.
A Courthouse Christmas Benefit for the Children's Programs
The Courthouse in West Kingston has a fundraiser planned for Saturday, December 8, with proceeds going to the venue's children's programs. The aptly-named A Courthouse Christmas Benefit for the Children's Programs is headlined by Pete Silva and The Big Hope Band, while also featuring performances by The Courthouse Theater Ensemble and The Courthouse Chimes.
The concert is affordable, as tickets are $10 for adults and $5 for children, and is for a great cause, so head to West Kingston on December 8 if you want to check out some great music without breaking the bank and support a local program in the process.
Christmas Pops Westerly
The Chorus of Westerly choir is in its 60th season and always active throughout the holidays with 2018 being no different. It all gets started on December 1 at Kent Hall with Messiah and Christmas Carol Sing, an informal event with performances of Handel's Messiah and other holiday favorites. As this isn't really a concert, and more of a gathering, you can sing with the group if you choose. Tickets are $20 each.
Next, The Chorus of Westerly will team up with The Pops Festival Orchestra to present Christmas Pops Westerly. These concerts will take place on Saturday, December 15 at 6:00 PM and Sunday, December 16 at 2:00 and 4:30 PM at Kent Hall, and are a wonderful opportunity to get out there and enjoy some of South County's best music. Tickets range from $25 to $70, depending on where you sit.
Christmas in Song
There will be a free event called Christmas in Song on Friday, December 21 at the Watch Hill Chapel, featuring Christmas carols, bells, stories, and all the holiday cheer you can handle. This highly entertaining evening runs from 5:00 until 6:00 PM, making it accessible for the entire family and there will also be hot chocolate and a special appearance by Saint Nick himself.
Keep in mind that the location of this venue means that only street parking is available, so make sure you get down there early to guarantee yourself a spot.
‘Tis the Season
Once you buy real estate in South County, you’ll never be short on things to do during the holidays. These events vary in scope and participation levels, so you’ll have many activities from which to choose throughout December.
Part of South County living is involving yourself in the community and its events, so make sure you head out and experience the holidays like only the south coast of Rhode Island can offer.