Rhode Island’s Creative Capital made it to Travel + Leisure’s “America’s Best Cities for New Year’s Eve” list, making it one of the hottest spots in New England to welcome 2017. Whether it’s dancing the night away, enjoying awesome food, or going for a swim, Rhode Island has several ways to say farewell to 2016 and hello to 2017 – even if you’ve procrastinated on making plans.
ONE Providence New Year’s Eve Ball – Rhode Island Convention Center – Saturday, Dec 31 @ 9pm
Celebrate New Year’s Eve like royalty in the Creative Capital at the 2nd Annual ONE Providence New Year’s Eve Ball. Between 9PM-2AM guests will enjoy live music, dancing, food, beverages, and surprise performances throughout the night. More information and tickets can be found here.
NEW YEAR’S EVE – Julie Rhodes, Arc Iris, She Keeps Bees, Last Good Tooth – Columbus Theatre – Saturday, Dec 31 @ 9pm
Not too into the party scene? Check out some great live music at the Columbus Theater featuring Julie Rhodes, Arc Iris, She Keeps Bees, and Last Good Tooth. For more information on the bands and to purchase tickets, click here.
Hangover Classic 5 Mile Road Race – Bristol – Sunday, Jan 1 @ 10:30am
Run off your hangover at this Rhode Island New Year’s Day tradition! The Hangover Classic is a classic style road race that goes through Colt State Park and Poppasquash Road. The race course is open for 1 hour and 15 minutes and ends at Agave restaurant with an all-you-can-eat breakfast buffet. Find more information including registration here.
Polar Plunge – Several Locations in RI – Sunday, Jan 1
What better way to ring in the New Year than to take a frigid dip in the ocean? The Polar Plunge is actually a very popular event in RI, attracting thousands of spectators and participants! One of the more popular plunges is at Easton’s Beach in Newport that begins at noon. The Newport Polar Bear Plunge is a fundraiser for the Rhode Island-based organization A Wish Come True which grants wishes to children in RI and nearby MA with cancer and other serious illnesses.
Salute to Vienna New Year’s Concert – The Vets – Sunday, Jan 1 @ 2pm
For the second year in a row, The Vets is hosting a Salute to Vienna New Year’s Concert featuring performances by the Rhode Island Philharmonic Orchestra, acclaimed European singers, ballet and ballroom dancers. For more information click here.
‘Tis the season to do everything wintery! Rhode Island is full of holiday and winter activities for all ages, no matter what part of the state you live in. Here are a few of our favorite holiday activities we’d like to share.
See a Christmas Carol
Seeing Charles Dickens’ classic Christmas play, A Christmas Carol, has been a tradition for many Rhode Islanders for nearly four decades. This Trinity Rep show is great for all ages, but the ghosts may be a little scary for some children. You can see the show until December 31 at Trinity Repertory Company in Providence.
The Granite Theatre & The Renaissance City Theatre Company in Westerly also has their own interpretation of the play, as well as Stadium Theater in Woonsocket. Check out their websites for more information.
Spend an Evening with Donner and Blitzen
Donner and Blitzen are together again for their annual variety act! Head over to the The Contemporary Theater Company for a hilarious, jolly good time. Shows run until December 23, check the website for performance dates and to buy tickets.
Go Ice Skating
There are now two Alex and Ani Skating rinks in Rhode Island — one in Providence, the other in a waterfront location in Downtown Newport. Both the Providence and Newport rinks are open seven days a week, just check out the websites before heading over to see the hours.
Hop on the Polar Express and head on over to the North Pole! The Blackstone Valley Polar Express is a three-hour event that includes a 90-minute train ride with storytelling, sing-a-longs, games, and yummy goodies. Santa even delivers gifts to every child! The train is located at 1 Depot Square in Woonsocket. Make sure to get tickets ahead of time!
Go Out For a Date Night
On December 18, head over to Blithewold Mansion for a Horse-Drawn Holiday Carriage Ride & Holiday Photo Shoot. Enjoy some old-fashioned holiday fun on a horse-drawn carriage ride down their wooded Lover’s Lane, then across the Great Lawn. Register early, it’s first come first serve!
At the Towers in Narragansett on December 22, spend a night enjoying festive music, caroling, and cocktails. Buy your tickets for the Christmas Cocktail Cabaret here.
Following Providence’s selection as the nation’s #1 market to watch by Realtor.com this past December, there was plenty of optimism surrounding the Rhode Island real estate industry heading into 2016. Despite the already high expectations, the state’s housing market has managed to outperform its lofty projections and is currently on pace to break its all-time record for single family sales.
The initial rise began in 2015, when the Rhode Island market saw a 9% increase in single family sales from the previous year. However, through October of this year, not only has that rate of growth continued, but it has actually increased to 12.5% compared to the same time period in 2015.
So far this year, the market has already set records for single family home sales in both the first and second quarters, compiling 1,906 and 2,795 sales, respectively. Rhode Island also set a new personal best with its busiest month of September on record, amassing a total of 1,053 single family sales.
With such a historic start to 2016, the state is now poised to break it’s all-time high of 10,025 single family sales set back in 2004. Through the end of October this year, Rhode Island has already seen 9,185 single family sales, outpacing the 8,453 sales compiled over the same time period during the record-setting 2004 campaign. Considering that current MLS data already shows an additional 1,311 pending single family sales, it’s looking more and more likely that 2016 becomes the state’s new high water mark.
Inevitably, these numbers lead us to wonder about the underlying reasons behind such a hot market. The obvious factors that jump out are affordability and location. Despite prices rising 13% since 2012, the average single family sales price for Rhode Island homes is still nearly 15% lower than it was during its peak in 2007. The availability of reasonably priced homes located within close proximity of the ocean and cities such as Boston and New York offers a unique opportunity for buyers.
Rhode Island has also received plenty of buzz and free publicity as of late. Providence was named “America’s Favorite City” by Travel + Leisure Magazine in October of 2014, and was also selected as “America’s Coolest City” for 2015 by GQ Magazine, while Cranston has been included on Wall Street 24/7’s list of “America’s 50 Best Cities to Live” for each of the past three years. Some of the factors influencing these accolades have been the state’s celebrated restaurants, upscale hotel lounges, craft beers, specialty coffee shops, and emerging technology scene.
Whatever the reasons may be, Rhode Island homes continue to sell at an impressive rate, with the statewide average days on market dropping by nearly 30 days since 2012.
For more information regarding Rhode Island real estate, please visit ResidentialProperties.com – ranked among the top 25 real estate sites in the entire country.