Your December Must-Dos

30+ ways to make merry all month long


One of the loveliest things about December is that whether or not you celebrate Christmas, one can’t help but be charmed by the festivities surrounding the holiday, and hopefully, the corresponding goodwill and merry vibes. Even the fact that sunset occurs before 5pm gives an early start to the magical glow from light displays and decorated store windows. For a little city, Providence has everything you need to create memories – and selfies – with friends and family. Our editorial elves and mensches have compiled a list (and yes, we’ve checked it twice!) to make sure our valued readers have no FOMO all month long. From December 1 to New Year’s Eve, we got you. Happy holidays from all of us at Providence Monthly

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December 1

The Great Challah Bake: Learn how to make the beloved braided bread. Every participant leaves with at least two challahs. In honor of breast cancer awareness, BRCA screenings are available on-site. Providence,

December 1-3

Three Nights of Lights: This alluring first-time program features a series of events centered around the illumination of many of the city’s murals, ice dancing performances, at least two holiday tree lightings, and a partial WaterFire. Read more on page XX.

December 2

Tree Lighting Ceremony: Head to the steps of City Hall for this annual tree lighting ceremony, presented by the Mayor and the City’s Department of Art, Culture + Tourism.

December 2-16

Holiday Night Markets: On select Friday nights, enjoy a very merry market featuring small-batch items from your favorite creatives at The Providence Flea. Farm Fresh RI,   

December 3-4

Fine Furnishings Shows Winter Market: An exceptional weekend shopping event featuring holiday decor and vendors galore. WaterFire Arts Center, 

Cocoa & Cocktails on Hope: Rally the whole family for a trip to Hope Street where kid- and adult-friendly beverages enhance the already festive mood. Keep an eye out for kettle corn, donuts, and other seasonal treats along the way! Facebook: Hope Street Prov

3rd Annual Hoppy Holidays: The Guild and Field of Artisans redefine the best way to spread Christmas cheer – with shopping small and drinking beer. Pawtucket,

Skate Show and Tree Lighting Ceremony: The BankNewport Rink at Kennedy Plaza is the place to be for a tree lighting that rivals NYC.

Winter Wonderland: Slater Park transforms into a true spectacle with hundreds of decorated trees and Victorian “houses,” hay rides, historic carousel, miniature train, and even an 18-foot talking snowman. Pawtucket, 

December 4

Handel’s Messiah: RI Philharmonic and Providence Singers bring the beloved holiday concert to life. The VETS,

The Vienna Boys Choir Christmas In Vienna: Hear the beautiful, pure vocals from the famous group of child musicians as they perform Austrian folk songs, holiday classics, and more. 

December 6

Christmas Wreath Workshop: Narragansett Brewery is the setting for a cozy craft night of constructing your own wreath from fresh greens, berries, and more – plus a free pint of beer!

December 7

The Hip Hop Nutcracker: Hip hop pioneer Kurtis Blow emcees the 130-year-old ballet reimagined with a dozen all-star dancers, on-stage DJ, and an electric violinist. Providence Performing Arts Center,

December 8

Community Potluck & Cultural Celebration: Celebrate the foods and cultures of the community. Guests may bring a favorite dish and story to share at this family-friendly event with activities for kids and their caregivers. Wanskuck Library,

December 9-10

The Four Seasons: The RI Philharmonic performs Vivaldi’s famous masterpiece. The VETS,

December 10

Baby Shark Live! The Christmas Show: The hit kids show makes a splash on stage with Baby Shark and friends as they embark on adventures into the jungle and under the sea – this time with special holiday singalongs and Santa Claus. Providence Performing Arts Center,

A John Waters Christmas: The holiday you know is turned on its head with a maniacal musical compilation by the cult film director John Waters. Columbus Theatre, 

Field of Artisans at Narragansett Brewery: The one-of-a-kind artisan market sets up shop in the iconic brewery’s new space.

Community Tamalada: Families with children gather at Adams Library for a reading of the beloved Christmas book, Too Many Tamales, by Gary Soto and then join Rhode Island Latino Arts learning how to make Mexican tamales and champurrado. Central Falls,

Ugly Sweater Holiday Party: Visit Jordan’s Jungle in your most festive getup for an open bar, hors d'oeuvres, a photo booth, and 20 percent off shopping, with tickets benefiting Crossroads Rhode Island. Pawtucket,

December 10 & 17

Anti-Robot Club’s Marketplace: Over 60 emerging creatives and small businesses showcase and sell their latest work, including vintage, visual art, clothing brands, handmade jewelry, ceramics, and more at Farm Fresh RI.

December 10-11

Hope Street for the Holidays: Dress for success (or laughs) during this celebration of bad fashion, where merchants hold contests, giveaways, and the chance to win Ugliest Sweater on Hope Street. Plus, watch out for Santa sightings. Facebook: Hope Street Prov

Hot Glue Heroes Exclusive Holiday Pop-Up: Get your one-of-a-kind kitchy creations including diorama ornaments, Pine Cone Cuties, Tiny Bits of Joy vignettes, and art by Tom Butts at this studio pop-up. East Providence, Facebook: Hot Glue Heros RI

December 11 & 16

Providence Bruins Winterfest: Catch two games of fun and fundraising to celebrate the winter season. Amica Mutual Pavilion,

December 16-24

The Nutcracker: Don’t miss the Festival Ballet’s fresh take on the enchanting classic, featuring a 38-foot tree, Nutcracker by Big Nazo Lab, and creative choreography by Yury Yanowsky. The VETS, 

December 16-17

Twas the Night Before Christmas: Providence Ballet Theatre performs a production inspired by Clement Clarke Moore's classic poem at RI College. A cast of professional dancers and local children create a fun-filled performance perfect for all ages!

December 17-18

Providence Artisans Market Holiday Show: Munch on food truck snacks and shop local artists exhibiting fine handmade gifts in a variety of styles and media, with something for everyone on your list. WaterFire Arts Center,

Fa La La on Hope: Music and light herald the coming of the holidays on Hope Street, with joyful music by local performers and a special lighting of the menorah on Sunday to celebrate the first night of Hanukkah. Facebook: Hope Street Prov

December 18 

Hanukkah Spectaculah: The City of Providence's Art, Culture + Tourism Department hosts a celebration of candle-lighting, food, music, and more on the first night of Hanukkah at Biltmore Park.

Just In Time Art Sale: Last-minute shoppers will delight in the lush wonder of the Roger Williams Park Botanical Center greenhouses while completing their wish lists with local gifts.

December 22

Marie Osmond: A Symphonic Christmas: A singer who’s “a little bit country,” actress, talk show host, dancer, author, and public speaker, the multi-talented Marie is destined to put on the show of the season. Providence Performing Arts Center,

December 27

Free Admission on National Visit the Zoo Day: Enjoy a festive day in the fresh air gazing at the animals. Bring a non-perishable food item to benefit the Rhode Island Community Food Bank.

December 28 - January 2

Disney On Ice presents Into The Magic: Enjoy epic adventures at the AMP performed on skates centered around beloved characters including Belle, Moana, Miguel, Anna, Else, Rapunzel, and Flynn. ​​

New Year’s Eve / December 31

New Year’s Eve at Sarto: Ring in 2023 with a special prix-fixe dinner at Sarto. Three seatings available with the 9pm including DJ entertainment, midnight countdown and champagne toast.

New Years Eve Soiree: Head up to The Rooftop at the Providence G for unparalleled views of the city while enjoying a three-course prix fixe meal prepared by the Rooftop’s talented culinary team. For guests looking to enjoy both dinner and dancing, the Rooftop offers reservations also include  access to entertainment by Massive Groove Band starting at 9pm.

Party in the Pub: Providence GPub hosts a 21+ party with live music by DJ Justin Dupont, dancing, cool raffle prizes (boomboxes, paddle boards!), and champagne. Count down to midnight at this lively spot. Complimentary valet parking.

Also happening: A Christmas Carol, Disney On Ice, Holiday Lights Spectacular 


Through December

Bumper Cars and Ice Skating: Glide around the BankNewport City Center Rink beneath the sparkling Christmas tree lights. 

Through December 11: Stephen Karam’s Tony Award-winning play The Humans, a psychological drama about a family reunited for the holidays, plays at the Wilbury Theatre Group.

Through December 23

118th Little Pictures Show & Sale: You read that right – the Providence Art Club’s oldest and largest exhibit returns for another landmark year, featuring artwork all under 16 inches.

Through January 1  

A Christmas Carol: The Rhode Island holiday tradition returns with Trinity Rep’s reimagined telling of Dickens’ classic.

December 17-18

Providence Artisans Holiday Show: Get your shopping started early with over 70 local artists displaying handmade paintings, ceramics, jewelry, photography, mixed media, and more. WaterFire Arts Center, Facebook: Providence Artisans Market

Through January 1

Holiday Lights Spectacular: This magical walk-through experience returns with 40 acres of dazzling light displays featuring over 2 million lights – now that’s what we call merry and bright! Roger Williams Park Zoo, 

Through December 31

Craftland Holiday Extravaganza: The holiday season gets even jollier with the whimsical charm of Craftland, a landmark local purveyor of handmade gifts celebrating its 20th year. You’re sure to find everything on your wish list – plus a little extra.


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