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Newport Off Season
Summer in Newport can be described as bustling, even hectic, but the off-season takes on a serene, romantic character. Crowds dissipate, parking is a breeze, and reservations aren't a problem. Off-season prices plummet as well: parking is often free, restaurants offer midweek specials, lodging prices are much lower, and getaway packages are there for the taking.
Fall visitors can take advantage of the less crowded sidewalks and end-of-season sales up and down Thames Street. Though there may be no need to pack a bikini, brisk walks on the beach and Cliff Walk get the blood flowing. In the wintertime, holiday lights glimmer in the early dusk, and bundled-up folks duck into restaurants to warm themselves by the fire and enjoy a drink and a bite to eat.
Newport's holiday season is absolutely stunning. A light snowfall can peel back the years and it isn't difficult to imagine the city 200 years ago. Bowen's Wharf, decked with white lights, provides Newport with its version of the Rockefeller Center tree. "Christmas in Newport," a program begun in the early 1970s, hosts multiple activities (tree lightings, nativity scenes, a lighted boat parade, dances, concerts, and visits by Santa) for nearly every day of the December calendar. The Breakers, The Elms, and Marble House are dressed up in full holiday regalia beginning mid-November. Mansions, filled with evergreens and thousands of poinsettias, open their doors for live holiday music on Saturday evenings and Sunday afternoons.
Fun options with the kids are the Born Family Skating Center and, during February school break, the annual Newport Winter Festival, with live shows, an ice-carving competition, beach sand/snow sculptures, a citywide scavenger hunt, and a chili cook-off.
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