Our Favorite Winter Activities In and Around Newport, RI


Living in Rhode Island affords you easy access to beaches, sailing, and many opportunities for summertime fun. Locals and summer visitors relish the sunny seaside days, but many of us appreciate the off-season equally as much. While the wide variety of activities and entertainment available during the fall and winter months may be lesser-known, they provide a broad range of experiences to fill your free time until bathing suit season returns! We compiled a list of our favorite winter events in and around Newport, RI, to help you play tourist in your own town and perhaps discover something new.

Holiday Sparkle in the City by the Sea

Want someone to do the planning for you? Check out this amazing resource that spells out every day’s event offerings leading up to Christmas. Marking its 53rd year, “Christmas in Newport” continues with a range of festive, non-commercial holiday activities throughout December. From historic tours and classical concerts to the annual decorative Doorway Contest, there’s no excuse to miss out on some holiday fun when they make it this easy!

Holidays at the Newport Mansions

The Newport mansions are a sight to see any time of year, but especially during the holiday season, with trees, lights, and ornate decor you just can’t miss. Plan a holiday brunch in the Chinese Tea House at the Marble House or a visit to the Elms to take it all in, or enjoy an outdoor stroll through the sparkling winter wonderland that the Breakers mansion is known for this time of year.


Looking for even more holiday splendor on Aquidneck Island? No problem! Check out Christmas at Blithewold Mansion (101 Ferry Road, Bristol) through December 31, or stop by Rough Point (680 Bellevue Avenue, Newport) to take a holiday tour. 

Classical Christmas at Emmanuel Church

Join Newport Classical for a holiday celebration of music and songs featuring pieces by Bach, Mozart, Vivaldi, and more. The concert takes place in the beautiful and historic Emmanuel Church in Newport. For more details, visit the Newport Classical website. 

Newport Holiday Lantern Tour

Learn the ins and outs of Newport holidays gone by with this hour-long historic walking tour — a favorite among visitors and locals alike. Rich with interesting facts about Newport’s holiday traditions throughout the years, this family-friendly activity invites you to spend a winter evening outdoors, learning and enjoying some truly festive fun.

The Newport Winter Festival 

Popular with both visitors and locals, the Newport Winter Festival returns this year for ten days in February. This marks the Winter Festival’s 35th year, running from February 17-26. Festivities include family-friendly fun, food, drinks, and musical entertainment. While the long list of unique events makes it hard to choose, you will most likely find us lounging by a fire pit sipping something delicious from the Polar Pineapples ice bar overlooking Narragansett Bay. Find the list of events on the Newport Winter Festival event calendar.  

Newport Winter Foodies Stroll

Newport’s food scene is regularly expanding and evolving. Let the local experts be your guide during this 1-mile stroll along Newport’s Historic Thames Street. The experience includes a three-course meal accompanied by specially selected wine pairings at three of Newport’s exquisite restaurants. Tours are available on Friday and Saturday evenings in February and March, starting at 5:30 PM. You’re sure to discover something new and maybe even connect with some like-minded foodies.

RI Winter Farmers Markets

Pick up fresh produce as well as prepared foods and gifts for foodies (or yourself!). Even though it’s winter in New England, you can still enjoy fresh seasonal produce. Winter Farmers Markets are open in Newport, Bristol, Warren, and Kingston, Rhode Island. In fact, we consider it one of the special benefits of living in Newport County. You can find a map and market hours on the FarmFreshRI website.

Hot Chocolate at The Chanler

Savor a decadent cup of hot chocolate in one of Newport’s most luxurious hotels, The Chanler at Cliff Walk. Walk the grounds, sit by the fireplace, or walk the Cliff Walk while enjoying the beauty of this 19th-century former home-turned-hotel. From November to March, you can enjoy an expertly crafted cup of milk or dark hot chocolate. For more details, visit The Chanler’s website. 

Newport Polar Bear Plunge

Come down to Easton’s Beach (First Beach) in Newport on New Year’s Day for a dip in the Atlantic! All proceeds from the Polar Bear Plunge benefit A Wish Come True, a Rhode Island-based organization that grants wishes to children with life-threatening illnesses in Rhode Island and Massachusetts. Prefer to stay warm? Bundle up and come cheer on participants while raising money for this amazing organization. 

Unique Newport Winter Experiences

Save the Bay Seal Watch Tours

(Departing from 30 Market Square, Newport)


Enjoy an up-close look at migratory harbor seals in beautiful Narragansett Bay on an expert-guided, educational boat tour through Save the Bay. This has been a favorite Newport County tradition for more than 20 years, offering individuals and families the chance to explore Newport Harbor by water and learn more about the seals that spend time there this time of year. Newport Seal Tours run from November through April. 


Frostbite Fleet Races

(110 Long Wharf, Newport)


Sailing is a time-honored tradition in Newport County, and the winter months are no exception! Head down to the water near the Newport Yacht Club for some excitement as you watch the brave souls racing year-round in the Newport Laser Fleet and Newport Yacht Club’s Frostbite Fleet sponsor races. These races start on January 1 and then run every Sunday through April 14. 

Ways to Get Moving Around Newport County

 Goat Hikes at Simmons Farms


(1942 West Main Road, Middletown)


Enjoy an hour-and-a-half walk around scenic Simmons Farm with your very own goat as your guide! Visit pigs, cows, ducks, and chickens as you take in the views, and ask farmers Kayla or Aidan anything you want to know about farm life. Bundle up and bring the whole family for this favorite outdoor activity.


Whether you’re looking for a quintessential holiday experience in the City-by-the-Sea or want to try something new in true New England style, there’s no shortage of opportunities in and around Newport, RI. Want to learn more about living in Rhode Island? Call (401) 845-9500 or send a message to info@hoganri.com.