Who doesn’t get the warm fuzzies upon strolling downtown on Westminster underneath the strings of white lights? Clearly, there’s no better place to conduct a Holiday Mini-Pub Crawl. Just grab a few friends, throw on your sexiest parka, and hit the town. Swing through Tazza for a spiked coffee, Aspire for a Candy Apple Tini and The Salon for an Old Fashioned. You’ll feel warm and fuzzy, no doubt.
Deer Tick is performing at Fete on December 30. While this doesn’t sound very “holiday” at the surface, hop on YouTube and check out lead singer John McCauley’s rendition of a “Have a Very Merry Christmas.” Search “Christmas in a Chinese Restaurant” (his Diamond Rugs version is my favorite) and prepare to cry tears of merry joy. $23. 8:30pm. 103 Dike Street. 383- 1112, fetemusic.com.
The man who penned myriad screenplays including Hairspray, Cry Baby and Serial Mom hits the stage to poke fun at holiday rituals with humor that’s reserved for adults only. The one-man show John Waters Christmas (pictured at left) is sure to put the X in your Xmas. $35 advance, $40 day of, $99 gold circle (includes a meet and greet after the show). Lupo’s Heartbreak Hotel, 79 Washington Street. 331-5876, lupos.com.
If you want to feel young again, throw a Holiday Key Party. As guests arrive, they are required to drop their car keys in a bowl, so feel free to liquor them up with seasonal cocktails. May I suggest spiked hot chocolate? Simply add some Vincent VanGogh Dutch Chocolate vodka to mugs of cocoa and dance around the house with lampshades on your heads for a few hours. Then don your Snuggie and call it a night.
For a less boozy holiday bash, host an Ugly Sweater Party. Offer prizes for the guest wearing the most abominable Christmas sweater, plan a gag gift exchange and hang some mistletoe (a must for embarrassing your shy friends). Be sure to create a fun photo backdrop so that guests can pose in front of it to remember the evening forever. Hang tinsel or cover a wall with wrapping paper: the tackier the better.
No holiday list is complete without including the fabulous Providence Gay Men’s Chorus. Join them for Happy Holigays: Let the Merry Bells Keep Ringing on December 5, 8 and 9. Come out to support the group, which has grown from 12 to over 40 members since its inception in 1995. $20. 7pm Wednesday and Saturday; 4pm Sunday. Beneficent Congregational Church, 300 Weybosset Street. provgmc.org.
Head to AS220’s 95 Empire on December 22 for their big Coincidental Hour: Christmas Magic Special. Or pop by on December 14 and 28 for BYOI, Bring Your Own Improv, two nights of interactive comedic madness. Just tell the actors what you want to see. How exactly would thespians act out The Nutcracker? That could be interesting... or painful. 10pm. $5. 95 Empire Street. 831-9327, as220.org.
Dust off your apron, it’s time to bake bourbon-spiked Christmas cookies. That’s right, you can easily enhance your favorite treats with the addition of bourbon. Your guests will hit the floor, literally, over your Holiday Bourbon Balls – combine graham cracker crumbs, ground pecans, powdered sugar, chocolate chips and bourbon then mix and bake. Who knew you were such a gourmet?
Why not ring in 2013 with some ringing in your ears? Head to The Met for a New Year's Eve Bash featuring local jam and funk band Fungus Amungus (pictured below). The band has shared the stage with Max Creek, the Spin Doctors and the Violent Femmes, playing live for up to seven hours at a time. Better make it a double – you’ll be on the dance floor all night long. 1005 Main Street, Pawtucket. 729-1005, themetri.com.
Squeeze in a date night while you do your holiday shopping. The Holiday Stroll on December 7, 14 and 21 in Garden City Center provides a romantic ambiance of lighted luminary candles, wine tasting at Café Luna, ice carving and live music. Shops will offer sales and samples, making for a multitasker’s dream come true. 100 Midway Road, Cranston. 942-2800, gardencitycenter.com.
Class it up. Hit the Dunk for Trans-Siberian Orchestra: The Lost Christmas Eve on December 19. One of the world’s top acts, the genre-defying rock opera group has been touring for the holidays since 1999. With pyrotechnics, lights, lasers and a booming sound, it’s a sensory overload... in a good way. $41.50-$71.50. 7:30pm. 1 LaSalle Square. 331-6700, dunkindonutscenter.com.
Who painted the Sistene Chapel? Duh, Michelangelo. What is the capital of Kenya? Yawn. Nairobi. Bored with the typical Trivial Pursuit-style questions? Try Holiday Pub Trivia – it’s sure to put some pep in your analytical step. During the week of Christmas, bars throughout the area will host holiday-themed trivia. A complete list of bars and dates can be found at wrikdj.com.
He’s more than just a hipster-approved musician with Brooklyn street cred and tight jeans; Sufjan Stevens is a prolific lyricist, churning out songs of epic proportions. Join him on December 19 for Sufjan Stevens Christmas Sing-A-Long, featuring both traditional hymns and popular carols. He’ll be taking requests all night. $20. Doors 7:30pm, show 8:30pm. Fete, 103 Dike Street. 383-1112, fetemusic.com.
Listen, I’ve got some serious Saturday Night Fever. If you do too, spend New Year’s Eve at Twin River for Boogie Nights with Tiffany, the ultimate ‘70s and ‘80s dance party extravaganza. Eat dinner and sip champagne with Mr. Boogie, then get on down with Roller Girl. Pop star Tiffany will be on hand too, making this your kitschiest NYE ever. $85-$115. 9pm. 100 Twin River Road, Lincoln. twinriver.com.
Join the Ocean State Theatre Company in welcoming the Winter Wonderettes. It’s 1968: Missy, Suzy, Betty Jean and Cindy Lou are preparing for their holiday party. Enjoy listening to the ladies harmonize on classic songs while you sip on a classic martini a la Mad Men. They’ll sing you into a haze of jolliness from December 5-30. $39-54. 1245 Jefferson Boulevard, Warwick. 921-6800, oceanstatetheatre.org.
Be selfish this year: Shower yourself with presents. In Downcity’s Secret Santa is a fun way to get free loot from your favorite downtown stores. Simply pick your most wanted item from any participating store and share it with the Downcity merchants by leaving a comment on their blog. They’ll choose a winner every Friday through December 31 and buy that person their one coveted item. indowncity.com.
Check out historic South Main Street’s Holiday Festival, December 1-6. The fest will kick off with an all-day event of carolers, holiday treats and over the top holiday window displays. Shoppe Pioneer, Marc Allen, Cable Car Cinema, Wild Colonial Tavern, Dr. Karambelas and others will offer specials through December 6. Styleweek will be incorporating trunk shows and makeup demos. On that final day, enjoy a holiday stroll for local shopping deals. 247-7467.
Every year on the Sunday before Christmas, a group of fun loving people gather together for WestSide Caroling (pictured above). Meet at Loie Fuller’s at 5pm; there you’ll lubricate your voice for an hour before heading out on the streets to carol throughout the historic West Side. Kids and families are welcome. At 8pm, you’ll return to Fertile Underground for milk and cookies. 1455 Westminster Street. 831-9344, wbna.org.