Holiday Guide

13 Ways to Jingle All Over Providence

Enjoy the holidays (without getting on the highway)


An Old Favorite
If you’re a Rhode Islander, it isn’t officially the holiday season until you’ve heard Tiny Tim squeak out his little holiday blessing over a giant Christmas goose. A Christmas Carol is a time-honored tradition in many places, but none moreso than the Ocean State. Yes, you’ve seen it already. But if your Inner Scrooge is saying “humbug” to going back this year, drive a stake of holly through his heart and get to the theatre. Trinity Rep reinvents the production every year to make it a new experience, so you get the best of both worlds: time-honored tradition and fresh creativity on stage. This year, Ebenezer is played by Fred Sullivan, Jr., whose booming stage presence makes Scrooge’s redemption all the more powerful. Think we’re kidding? Go ahead and think of the Fezziwigs’ joyous holiday party without smiling. We dare you. Performances run through December 31. 201 Washington Street. 351-4242. More info...

Glide into Winter
There’s nothing more Christmassey than gliding across the ice at the Providence Skating Rink. Through the flurry of pink noses and mittens, you’re practically guaranteed to see a marriage proposal on the ice every day in December – after all, love (and ice) is in the air this month. If you’re feeling a little more Dorothy Hamill than Tara Lipinski and Johnny Weir, there are adult refresher courses and full-fledged skating lessons for the inexperienced (but if you’d just rather sit on the bench and sip hot cocoa, well, we aren’t going to judge you). There are deals all week long: during weekday lunch hour, admission and skate rental are only $5 each; same goes for Funday Monday afternoons, Wednesday night college nights and weekday after-work specials. On the first Saturday of the month, admission is free for PVD residents. Take advantage of the magic of the season: once the cold really sets in during the new year, the last thing in the world you’re going to want to risk is a faceful of hard ice. 2 Kennedy Plaza. 331-5544. More info...

Feed Your Soul
In the midst of all the shopping, wrapping, ribbon-tying and gifting that takes up so much of the holiday season, it’s easy to forget the abundant need that exists in Rhode Island, especially in December. This year, resolve to give something back. Lucky for you, the Rhode Island Food Bank is making it easy (and fun) to do just that. On December 13, visit the Food Bank with non-perishable food items to enjoy their Holiday Open House. The morning will feature performances by Voices of Christmas and the Wheeler School Jazz Ensemble. Guests can help sort food donations, tour the Food Bank and enjoy hot chocolate, cider and cookies. It’s a good way to help a great cause (not to mention giving your kids a valuable lesson in what’s really important during the holidays). 200 Niantic Avenue. 942-6325. More info...

Holiday Spirits

It might not be Miracle on 34th Street, but downtown Providence has holiday cheer to spare. On Saturdays through December, Downcity will be merry and bright with the Downcity Holiday Social. Think festive activites for kids and adults alike, in between shopping at your favorite merchants for holiday gifts (because you do your holiday shopping at independent stores, right? Right?). Aurora, the mixed use arts space, will host all of the activities – starting, as all good things do, with cocktails. Purchase one of their signature bloody marys and get access to the delicious bagel bar. For kids, there’s hot chocolate and cookies, as well as a holiday movie series presented by Movies on the Block, showing clas- sics like A Christmas Story. Santa and his elves will be on hand to take photos, and kids can write letters to Santa. There will also be food vendors and performances that change weekly, and a Rock and Roll Yard Sale on December 13. Westminster Street. More info...

Run Your Jingle Balls Off
Just because winter is coming doesn’t mean the running season is over. Freeze your jingle balls off at the Amica Downtown Jingle 5k on December 14. The race kicks off from the Convention Center, and starts with a kids run before the main event, where your most festive holiday finery is encouraged – though if you’re fantasizing about a Providence version of Boston’s Santa Speedo Run, keep dreaming. Prizes go to winners in individual adult and kid categories, as well as families and corporate teams. The race supports Toys for Tots, Project Undercover and sellers of sparkly elf ears everywhere. 952-6333. More info...

Christmas on Pointe
If there’s a season to experience the ballet, it’s during the holidays. The Nutcracker is practically the official soundtrack of Christmas. See it live for the first (or 50th) time at PPAC, as Festival Ballet performs its annual staging of the holiday classic, from December 19-21. The performance includes a 25-foot Christmas tree, life-size dolls and The Dance of the Sugarplum Fairies in all its glory. For another literary classic, take in a performance of Clement Clarke Moore’s ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas by the Providence Ballet Theatre at Rhode Island College. The show, on December 19, will feature professional dancers and local kids. For something more modern that literally turns the holidays upside down, check out Cirque Dreams: Holidaze. The mix of dance, aerial arts and acrobatics is fun for the whole family. Festival Ballet and Cirque Dreams: 220 Weybosset Street. 421-2787,; Providence Ballet: 600 Mount Pleasant Avenue. 456-8144

Dancing Through the Snow

The Dancing Cop is as much a part of Christmas in Providence as Santa Claus himself. This year is the 30th year of former police officer Tony Lepore dancing in the streets. While we aren’t sure where he will be stationed this year as of press time, last year he was at the intersection of Dorrance and Westminster every day at lunchtime. Lepore even has his own television special he’s currently taping, set to air on local cable access. More info...

Shop and Stroll

You have to give it to Providence: we have so much city love that now we have an overabundance of neighborhood love, too. Areas all over town are hosting their own holiday strolls and neighborhood parties. SoMa (the South Main Street district) is hosting a Holiday Stroll on December 6, featuring carolers, shopping deals and a bake sale, with proceeds going to the Rhode Island Food Bank. Hope Street is bringing back their Winter Stroll on December 4, featuring a night parade with Santa himself, as well as food trucks, hayrides, a petting zoo, street performers like fire jugglers and Extraordinary Rendition Band, an installation from the Providence Children’s Film Festival, free food and drink – oh yeah, and shopping. Wickenden Street presents their first Holiday Ramble on December 11, featuring photos with Santa, a gift raffle, shopping events and lots of delicious hospitality. On December 14 – you know, after all the students are gone and you can park again – head to Thayer Street for their Holiday Stroll, featuring music and fun festivities.

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