scorecardresearch Skip to main content

Best things to do in R.I. this week: Dec. 30-Jan 6

If you're looking to plunge into 2023, Rhode Island's got at least four options for polar plunges on New Year's Day, all to support good causes.Craig F. Walker/Globe Staff

This week we’ve got New Year’s Eve parties, bumper cars, ice skating, polar plunges, pizza, heated igloos and more.

Welcome to 2023, Ocean Staters.


Mickey and Minnie host “Disney on Ice presents Into The Magic,” starring a who’s who of their pals from “Frozen,” “Moana,“”Coco,” “Tangled,” “Beauty and the Beast,” “Cinderella” and more. If you didn’t go to Disney World this school vacation, this Providence show might be the next best thing. At the AMP through Jan. 2. 1 La Salle Square, Providence. Tickets from $15. Schedule and tickets here.


If you can’t get enough of the holidays, this is your week to squeeze out the last of the magic. There’s still one last chance to …


Experience the lights and magic of the Gloria Gemma Christmas Display in Exeter, free and open daily from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. through Jan. 1, according to their Facebook page. Note that they close in high-winds, so call ahead to confirm. Free. 106 Ten Rod Road, Exeter. 401-861-4376. Donations welcome, and benefit the Gloria Gemma Breast Cancer Resource Foundation. Details here and here.

Catch “A Christmas Carol,” at Trinity Rep through Jan. 1. From $25. 201 Washington St., Providence. 401-351-4242. Details here.

See 3.5 million lights at Roger Williams Park Zoo’s Holiday Lights Spectacular through Jan. 1. 5–9:30 p.m. Tickets sold online only. Adults $12, kids 2-12, $10; babies 1 and under free. 1000 Elmwood Ave., Providence. Details here.

Stroll Bristol’s Blithewold Mansion illuminated with “Night Lights,” featuring light displays and handmade bamboo ornaments. Plus hot cider, hot chocolate, coffee, or “hot drinks with a kick” via RI Cruisin’ Cocktails. 101 Ferry Road. Open Dec. 23, and Dec. 28-Jan. 1. Prices vary per carload, details here.



Last year, you might’ve enjoyed ice skating on Gurney’s Newport outdoor rink-by-the-sea. This year, it’s new name, same rink: the luxe Goat Island hotel is now the Newport Harbor Island Resort. The property announced the name change in October. Their picturesque rink is open extended hours for school vacation this week (10am-9pm through Jan. 2) and resumes normal hours Jan. 3. (Mon-Friday 3-9 p.m.; weekends 10 a.m.- 9 p.m.) $15. Kids 12 and under $8. Seniors 65+ $8. Skate rentals $12. 401-851-3340. 1 Goat Island, Newport. Details here.


Newport Harbor Island Resort’s heated igloos offer water views, seasonal drinks, boutique dining and apres-skate menu, blankets and pillows for groups up to 4. Apres-skate fare includes roast beet salad, pear salad with blue cheese and candied walnuts; duck poutine, bone-in short rib, according to their online menu. Minimum lunch order $75, dinner: $150. As of this writing, the next open slots start Jan. 3. 1 Goat Island, Newport. Reserve via OpenTable. Details here.


All-you-can eat pizza, game tokens, a free pass for one game of laser tag or one rock climb, a New Year’s countdown with “confetti explosion,” noisemakers, photo opps with Pikachu, games, prizes, dance party and yes, roller skating. Reserve your spots at United Skates of America’s Annual Family New Year’s Eve Party. Free coffee for grown-ups. 5:30-9:30 p.m. Tickets for non-skating adults $9.99. Skating tickets from $16.99. 75 New Road, East Providence. Details here.



Showcase Cinema de Lux in Warwick rings in ‘23 with an 8:15 p.m. screening of “Avatar: The Way of Water” followed by Champagne, dessert, and a big-screen live-feed of the ball-drop in Times Square. 21+ Tickets $20.23 via the Showcase Cinemas app or online. 1200 Quaker Lane, Warwick. Details here.


Shout goodbye to 2022 from the rooftop. Specifically, The Rooftop at Providence G. Enjoy that PVD skyline, dance, dine, imbibe with live entertainment including belly dancing, magic, electric violin, and Big Nazo. Prix fixe menu includes local oysters, filet mignon with refried fingerling potatoes and caramelized onions, baked gnocchi and chocolate mousse with hazelnut crunch, according to their menu. You can also buy after-dinner tickets for entry after 10 p.m. for the soiree only. Must reserve a seating for dinner. Dinner tickets from $95. Soiree only, $51. 100 Dorrance St., Providence. Details here.


There are so many other restaurants — from Newport mansions to Providence pubs — offering NYE meals and toasts, it’s an entire other story. See our highlights here.


Don’t want to wait until midnight? Head to Warwick’s Rocky Point Park where the fun kicks off at 3 p.m. with music, food trucks, giveaways and more. Plus fireworks at 6 p.m. — because it’s 12 o’clock somewhere. 1 Rocky Point Ave., Warwick. Details here.


All aboard a New Year’s Eve hayride through a historic farm, with cocoa and s’mores to boot, at Simmons Organic Farm in Middletown. Or start 2023 by hiking with a goat on New Year’s Day. Tickets from $10. 1942 West Main Road. Call or check Facebook for weather updates. 401-848-9910. Details here and here.



For some reason, nothing says New Year’s Day like running into the frigid Atlantic. Here’s where to plunge.

You’ll be “Freezin’ for a Reason” at Newport’s Easton’s Beach (aka First Beach) with A Wish Come True’s 19th annual Polar Plunge Jan. 1. Plunge at noon. Proceeds help send two kids to Disney World. An after-party kicks off at 1 p.m. at Rejects Beer Co. with music, raffles, and more. $20 to plunge; $40 for a plunge towel or fleece blanket; $60 for plunge, towel and blanket. You can also snag pre-party tickets for a breakfast buffet catered by Diego’s at Rejects Beer Co. in Middletown at 9 a.m. 124 Aquidneck Ave., Middletown. Learn more here.

The 47th Annual Penguin Plunge at Roger Wheeler State Beach in Narragansett benefits Special Olympics Rhode Island. Plungers are encouraged to raise or donate $25. Plunge at 10 a.m. 100 Sand Hill Cove Road, Narragansett. Details here.

Tiverton and Little Compton, it’s go-time: The Tiverton Yacht Club hosts its 10th Penguin Plunge at Grinnell’s Beach Jan. 1. Gather on the beach at 11:45 am, and plunge into the Sakonnet River at noon. The Plunge supports the Tiverton Public Library; plungers are encouraged to raise donations. 1860 Main Road, Tiverton. Details here.


The 12th annual Frozen Clam Dip & Obstaplunge at Goddard State Park Beach in Warwick offers an option: jump into the freezing ocean at noon or embark on a “ninja-style obstacle course… Your bravery helps support MENTOR Rhode Island.” from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. $44 per person. 1095 Ives Road Warwick, RI. Details here.


Practice your triple axle at the BankNewport City Center Providence Rink. You can also jump in an ice bumper car and let the good times roll. Bumper cars $12 per person. Skating $7; seniors and kids 12-and-under, $4. Skate rental $6.54. Details and reservations here. Check online for weather notifications. Note that bumper cars are booked through Jan. 3. 2 Kennedy Plaza, Providence.


If you’re the funny one in your crew, kick off 2023 with your new material. PVD’s Askew hosts Comedy Open Mic Jan. 3. Bar opens 6 p.m., open mic 7 p.m. 150 Chestnut St. Details here.


Rock your rollerblades and glide the night away to ‘90s tunes, plus laser tag and rock climbing at United Skate’s adult skate night Jan. 6. 10:30 p.m.-1 a.m. $20. 75 New Road, East Providence. Details here.

Until next week, Rhody: Keep rockin’.

Lauren Daley can be reached at Follow her on Twitter @laurendaley1.