In & Around PVD: Last Minute Christmas Family Activities

*deep breath* Do you ever feel so busy in December that you start to feel guilty you haven’t done much with the kids and then realize we’re now in the middle of the last week before Christmas and you cheated the kids out of a ton of activities so you’re scrambling to roll out sugar cookie dough and catch up on the Advent Calendar and marathon all of the movies?! I’m kind of there right now. Fear not, if you’ve made the gingerbread house, sent out your greeting cards, drank all the hot chocolate but the kids want to do more stuff here are a few suggestions for things to do in the area if you manage to get out of your cozy PJ pants.


Drive to a Neighborhood Light Show

Remember when your parents would pile the whole family into the car to drive through an area decorated to look like a little holiday village? There’s something about seeing a ton of lights that really excites a child’s mind. I’m disappointed to think we don’t have many of those anymore but we’re lucky to have a few generous neighbors willing to install their own light display. Check these out-

Conway Christmas Lights Extravaganza
265 Maple Valley Rd, Coventry

The Conway family have been presenting their light extravaganza since the 1990s. Their display currently consists of over 60,000 lights with over 400 mold lawn ornaments. There is a walk-through path that leads through the entire display that has a grand entrance of two trees wrapped 40ft high. The Conways are gladly taking donations of non-perishable food to donate to the Coventry Food Bank and The Tomorrow Fund. Their lights turn on at 6:00pm every evening.

Lewis Family Christmas “light-o-rama”
12 Shenandoah Road, Warwick

The “light-o-rama” spectacular on Shenandoah Road, put on by Everett Lewis and the rest of his family of seven for the last 21 years, brightens up the streets of Cowesett every night during the holiday season, and Lewis said that this year’s display is the best yet.

Not only do two to three thousand people visit while the display is going from the day after Thanksgiving until December 31, he said, but last year alone the Lewis family was able to raise $2,500 for a charity “near-and-dear” to his heart, the Autism Project.

As the display has gotten bigger over the years, the Lewis’ have supplemented the increased attention – they’ve even got a shout-out on the 106.9 FM radio dial that says “Merry Christmas from the Lewis Family” – with LED lights that change color, light decorations on festive structures in the yard, 29 synchronized songs playing on 106.9, 12 blow mold Christmas decorations, and, on some nights, Everett himself dressed up as Santa Claus. (Read more)

Picozzi Family Christmas Display
75 Gristmill Rd, Warwick

This computerized Christmas display presents the lights to “dance” along with music. It started out with store-bought string lights and decorations but these days with the ingenuity of homeowner Frank, most of his lights were handmade and programmed by him with the help of computer software and controllers. Visitors are welcome to park near the house and listen to the music on 97.1 on the radio or walk up to the yard to see the lights in person. His labor of love is truly a gift to the community. The display runs from November 24th thru New Years Eve. The hours are 5:30 to 9pm Sunday thru Thursday and 5:30 thru 10pm on Fridays and Saturdays. Santa visits the display every Saturday night in December from 7 to 8:30pm. They have a mailbox for kids to leave their letters to Santa. Every letter with a return address gets sent to Santa and he mails back a letter to the child. The family is also collecting donations for The Tomorrow Fund and they gladly participate in the “goodnight lights” for the children at Hasbro Hospital.


Go See a Show

As much I’d like to suggest everyone go see a program at the local theatre as often as they can every year, it takes a good chunk out of your food & entertainment budget and I don’t want you to go broke more than you probably already are. Adulting, amirite?! So plan for a special occasion when you know you have the funds and sometimes everyone just needs to experience something like the Boston Pops once in a great while.

Wednesday, December 20, 7:30pm
WGBH Presents A Christmas Celtic Sojourn with Brian O’Donovan at The Vets

Brian O’Donovan’s A Celtic Sojourn has entertained and enlightened radio audiences since 1986. Now celebrating a decade and a half of holiday performances, the Christmas-time live version of the show draws on Celtic, Pagan, and Christian traditions to celebrate the music of the season. A Christmas Celtic Sojourn reflects the compelling and diverse offerings of the weekly national radio program plus the excitement of a live show featuring the Celtic world’s best performers.

$68 – $58 // BUY TICKETS

Friday, December 22, 8:00pm
2017 Holiday Pops Tour by the Boston Pops Esplanade Orchestra at the Providence Performing Arts Center

Join the Boston Pops Esplanade Orchestra and Conductor Keith Lockhart for their sparkling and beloved Holiday Pops concert. Capturing the magic of the Christmas season and the winter charms of New England, the Boston Pops will perform their signature Sleigh Ride, as well as other Holiday classics, and new arrangements of seasonal favorites. They are joined by the Metropolitan Chorale, known as one of Metro Boston’s premier choral ensembles. Santa Claus himself will make a guest appearance during the concert’s finale followed by the traditional Boston Pops Holiday Sing-a-long to bring this special performance to a close.

$130.00 – $58.00 // BUY TICKETS

Tuesday, December 19 to December 23, 7:00pm
The Santaland Diaries at the Sandra Feinstein-Gamm Theatre
172 Exchange St, Pawtucket

by David Sedaris
adapted by Joe Mantello
directed by Tony Estrella

From award-winning humorist, playwright and National Public Radio contributor David Sedaris, a dose of unconventional holiday humor. The author’s real-life experiences as a Macy’s Christmas elf named Crumpet are nothing short of laugh-out-loud funny.

Contains mature language and themes that may not be suitable for young children.

General admission $44.75 // BUY TICKETS


Get the last of your shopping done

Providence hosts a bunch of really great shopping events from a lot of local makers and artisans almost every season. It’s one of my favorite things about this area, knowing I can probably find a great gift item made by someone in the state.

Wednesday, Dec. 20, 4-9:00pm
Holiday Market at Providence Share Space
140 Broadway, Providence

Featuring vendors: White Buffalo, Six Swans, Geometric Folk, Klay Ceramics, Vintage Ginger’s Closet, Serendipity Curiosities, Pretty Snake, Bohome + Bloom, Creek & Fellow, Puggles, Factory of Weird, The Blank Space Collection, The Attic Project Jewelry, and more

Is there anything else?! Let me know in the comments!

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