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Newport Thanksgiving help?

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Hi...my family is thinking about spending Thanksgiving in Newport. We've never been and always enjoy checking out places "out of season". My husband and I are mid-late 30's and our 2 boys are 1 and 3. We'd also like to bring our small dog. We need suggestions for all the details.

We plan to arrive Wed and leave Sat.

Lodging: So far, considering Hotel Viking and Hyatt Regency. Are these good/wise choices? Differences between them? Others I should consider?
Dining: Main concern is Thanksgiving. We'd like something traditional, fun, etc. Should we travel out of Newport or is there someplace good in town? Other fun kid-friendly options for the rest of the trip?

Activity: We'd like a hotel with an indoor pool. I understand the outdoor Ice Skating Rink opens that weekend. Would be nice to see the Mansions or maybe just Astors Beechwood. Carriage rides available? Also would consider visiting a tree farm...I know some in New England will ship, but that may be more in VT, NH, etc. Suggestions for things to do with the kids?

Babysitting: Any hotels/services that provide good child care for an evening out?

Okay, please feel free to add anything you feel would be helpful. Forgive my naivete, as I mentioned, we've not been before.
Also, we are considering (to avoid holiday traffic a bit) breaking the trip up and staying in the Darien/Bridgeport/Stamford area on Tues night before arrival and Saturday night on the way home. Any recommendations for affordable hotels?
Thanks,
Shari

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