The Newport Historical Society will offer a diverse range of end-year holiday programs that will begin during mid-November and continue in this Rhode Island town through late December. The programs include an 18th century music performance by musicians in period attire, walking tours throughout the town and a living history program.
As part of the opening ceremony for Christmas in Newport, the historical society will host a “Holiday Open House” on Saturday, December 1, 3-5 p.m. Visitors will be welcomed into the 1739 Colony House on Washington Square and they will be entertained with a recreation of an 18th century concert by The Ministers of Apollo. This free program will feature Christmas and seasonal music performed during the colonial period, including pieces that were once performed in Newport.
History Walking Tours
The historical society also will offer weekly history walking tours. The tours include the popular Holiday Lantern Tour, the family-friendly Rogues & Scoundrels Tour during holiday vacation week and several programs with costumed interpreters.
Here is the complete tour schedule from the Newport Historical Society:
Holiday Lantern Tour
• November 16 – December 1 on Fridays and Saturday at 4:30 p.m.
• December 6 – December 29 on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays at 4:30 p.m.
Learn the history of 18th century winter holiday traditions on a lantern-lit stroll through Newport’s streets. Hear how people did or didn’t celebrate the holidays. Reservations strongly encouraged as space is limited.
Winter at the Wanton-Lyman-Hazard House: 1795
• Saturdays, December 1 and December 8, at 11am
Tour the c.1697 Wanton-Lyman-Hazard House to learn about its history and how 18th century residents survived the winter. At the tour’s conclusion, meet a historical interpreter portraying Polly Wanton Lyman. She will discuss winter life. Cost: $15 per person, $10 for historical society members. Reservations are required.
Discover Colonial Newport in Winter
• December 21, 22 and 29 at 11 a.m.
Hear stories about remarkable entrepreneurship and religious diversity during Newport’s colonial period.
Discover Colonial Newport in Costume
• December 24 at 11 a.m.
Follow a guide in colonial costume as she recounts the stories of Newport’s early history. Learn about the city’s founding, its prosperity and its role during the American Revolution.
Rogues & Scoundrels Tour
• December 26 at 11a.m.
See where scoundrels lived, pirates profited and criminals were punished. Find out why this colony was known as “Rogue’s Island.”
Holiday History Stroll
• December 27 at 11 a.m.
Follow a guide in colonial costume and learn about winter holiday traditions during the colonial era.
All Christmas and holiday tours depart from the Museum & Shop at Brick Market at 127 Thames Street. Unless otherwise noted, cost for each event is $12 per person and $10 for Newport Historical Society members. For reservations, call 401-841-8770.