The mansions in Newport, Rhode Island are impressive at any time of year, but the Newport mansions really come to life at Christmas.
The Most Popular Newport Mansions
The Breakers, Marble House, and The Elms are the most popular of the Newport mansions:
These 3 mansions are decorated for Christmas from late November to January 1. (Closed Thanksgiving Day and Christmas Day).
During the holidays, the interiors of these grand houses take on a warmth they might lack in any other season. The vast rooms are filled with greenery and light.
Christmas at The Breakers
The Breakers is the biggest Newport mansion with 70 rooms and nearly 140,000 square feet.
These “Stone Palaces” can look cold and imposing behind their wrought iron gates.
In the winter, the houses come alive with fresh flowers and lavish decorations.
At The Breakers, the 15-foot “Poinsettia Tree” stands in The Great Hall. Each year, the “tree” is created from approximately 150 red poinsettia plants.
Christmas at Marble House
Marble House has 50 rooms and covers nearly 140,000 square feet.
Marble House is the Newport mansion with a tea house. After the death of her second husband, the former Alva Vanderbilt added the Chinese Tea House on the seaside cliff of Marble House. Alva hosted rallies for women’s suffrage at the tea house.
The Entry Hall at Marble House features a large wreath, white poinsettias, and a festive tree to highlight the marble staircase.
From 1888-1892, Marble House was built as a summer cottage and 39th birthday present for Alva Vanderbilt. In 1895, Alva’s daughter, Consuelo, married the Duke of Marlborough, and lived in a real palace in England. See inside Blenheim Palace.
Christmas at The Elms
Which Newport Mansion is the best? Oh, this answer is a tricky one. The “best” depends on your personal taste. Just like ice cream or pizza.
I can say that my favorite is The Elms. This 48-room mansion with a total of 60,000 square feet is in the style of a French chateau.
For Christmas, The Elms limestone-clad exterior is decorated with greenery.
You might consider visiting the mansions in late afternoon when the rooms take on a soft glow.
The Grand Ballroom at The Elms glimmers with light from a crystal chandelier. The ballroom can accommodate 400 guests.
The Elms has a 10-acre park with marble and bronze statues, impressive trees, a fountain, and a sunken garden.
The park at The Elms is a breath of fresh air (even on a winter day) and a lovely end to the self-guided tour.
Gingerbread Mansions of Newport
In a previous visit to The Breakers, a gingerbread house competition was held in the loggia, a second-floor gallery overlooking the sea.
Local bakers were invited to select a favorite Newport Mansion and create a gingerbread house version of the historic property.
The gingerbread entries were made entirely of edible materials, including the interior decorations.
Gingerbread House Winner
The Hunter House designed by Just Gerry's, displayed the confection on a rotating plate for a 360-degree view. Very clever.
Like gingerbread houses, gingerbread cookies are a classic. You can put a fun twist on the classic gingerbread cookies. See this Gingerbread Cookies Video.
Get tickets and plan your visit to Holidays at the Newport Mansions.
See more Places to Go:
Coit Tower Murals
East Coast Lighthouses
Where to Buy Authentic Native American Jewelry
Musée de l’Orangerie
Cape Cod Hydrangea Festival
Places unexpected. Bakes for home bakers. Books overlooked. Find your new favorite thing.