Holiday Happenings

Posted 11/24/21

By MERI R. KENNEDY Santa arrives this Saturday in Garden City It's the most wonderful time of the year and everyone's favorite big man in red is back at Garden City Center. Come visit Santa in his cozy cabin right outside the Garden City Center Gazebo

This item is available in full to subscribers.

Please log in to continue

Log in

Holiday Happenings


Santa arrives this Saturday in Garden City

It’s the most wonderful time of the year and everyone’s favorite big man in red is back at Garden City Center. Come visit Santa in his cozy cabin right outside the Garden City Center Gazebo to meet and greet the most holly jolly guy in the neighborhood and get your photo.

Reservations are strongly encouraged so the big guy can check his list twice before you arrive! Walk-ups are welcome but will be given a return time upon arrival. Register at the link below.

Santa’s hours are Nov. l9 through Dec. 9 and open M-F from noon to 8 p.m., Saturdays 10 a.m. to 8 p.m., Sunday 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Also, Dec. 10-23 with hours of M-F 11 a.m. to 8 p.m., Saturday 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. and Sunday noon to 6 p.m.

Santa will also be in his cabin on Dec. 24 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. In order to ensure children’s safety, hayrides will be socially distanced and limited capacity. Pre-registration will be required for hayrides and will be a $3 donation per rider to The Tomorrow Fund. Please pre-register at the link below. Don’t snag a seat on the hayride? No worries, there will still be plenty of free and fun and entertainment for kids of all ages at this event.

Santa’s Cabin safety: For the safety of children visiting Santa’s cabin, any guests at Santa’s cabin not taking a photo with Santa will be required to wear a mask. Set will be cleaned between guests and all staff is vaccinated. Only one family will be allowed in the cabin at a time.

Be sure to register your visit at or call 866-980-8693.

Mayor Ken Hopkins Invites you to attend City Christmas Tree Lighting

The Annual Christmas Tree Lighting at Cranston City Hall will be held on Dec. 6 at Cranston City Hall, 869 Park Ave. All guests of all ages are welcome to attend this traditional event.

The program will begin at 5 p.m. with a musical performance; 5:45 p.m. will be the Tree Lighting; 5:50 p.m. Santa Claus arrives (be sure to bring your camera). There is free parking available behind City Hall.

Hanukkah at City Hall

Join Mayor Ken Hopkins for the lighting of the Menorah at City Hall on Tuesday, Nov. 30, at 6 p.m. Join in the celebration of Hanukah, which will include latkes, dance and song. For more information, visit

For the Kids at Thirsty Beaver

The For the Kids toy drive, which supports the U.S. Marine Corps Toys for Tots campaign and the Rhode Island Dream Center, is returning at the Thirsty Beaver in Cranston this year.

There are three ways to donate – an in-person collection event scheduled for Nov. 30, an Amazon wish list, and a monetary donation component.

The in-person event will be held from 5:30 to 10:30 p.m. on Tuesday, Nov. 30, at the Thirsty Beaver, located at 288 Atwood Ave. Miss Rhode Island USA Jonét Nichelle, Miss Teen RI Sophia Ledoux, and Santa and Mrs. Claus will be on hand.

To learn more, email or visit their holiday site at

Deliver holiday meals to seniors

The Cranston Senior Enrichment Center is seeking your help once again to deliver holiday meals to homebound seniors in the Cranston community. Thanksgiving meal delivery is scheduled for Nov. 24 and Christmas meal delivery is scheduled for Dec. 23.

If you are interested in helping, please contact Jason Andoscia at 780-6255 or email Please include your full name, address and telephone number as well as the number of meals you are able to deliver.

7th annual Fez-tival of Trees

On Thanksgiving weekend the RI Shriners will host their 7th Annual Fez-tival of Tree on Nov. 27 from 11 a.m. through 5 p.m. and on Nov. 28 from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Rhodes on the Pawtuxet.

Tree and wreath raffle drawings begin at 3 p.m. on Sunday. There will be beautiful Christmas Trees and Wreath Displays, a Penny Market, raffles, a wide variety of arts, crafts and vendors.

Mrs. Claus’s Café (Concession’s courtesy of The Catering Gourmet) and Musical Entertainment, and more!

There is a $2 suggested donation at the door. Please note that Santa Claus will make regular appearances throughout the FEZ-tival! However, due to continued COVID concerns, children will not be able to sit on his lap, to ensure the safety of our littlest Guests and their families, and to make certain that Santa will stay healthy to make his rounds this Christmas Eve.

His magical elves will distribute complimentary gifts for all of the children who attend the Fez-tival, courtesy of Santa himself! Be sure to bring your letters and drawings for Santa, as an official “North Pole” mailbox will be available!

Net proceeds from this event will directly benefit the Rhode Island Shriners. This is their largest fundraising event of the year.

The Rhode Island Shriners are a fraternal organization, with the charitable goal of operating 22 Shriners Hospitals for Children, specializing in burn, orthopedic, and spinal injury care. All care provided at Shriners Hospitals for Children is totally without charge to the patient or family. While the donations for this event are not tax-deductible, the proceeds help to defray the operating costs of the Shrine.

To learn more, visit

Photos at Pet Supplies Plus

On Sunday, Dec.5, Pet Supplies Plus is holding their Holiday Photos Event! They will be taking your pet's pictures from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. and children and adults are welcome to be in the picture! The cost is $20 for two photos: your choice of two characters. And you get two 4x6 prints available for store pick up plus .jpeg emailed to you. All proceeds benefit Almost Home Rescue to help Rhode Island dogs and people in need.

Historical Christmas

City Councilman John Donegan and the Cranston Historical Society are excited to host the 3rd Annual Ward 3 Holiday Tree Lighting at the Governor Sprague Mansion on Sunday, Dec. 5 at 4:30 p.m. Festivities will begin with a performance by the Bain Middle School Chorus, followed by the lighting of the tree.

Enjoy holiday music, cookies & wassail and holiday spirit at the Holiday Open House at Governor Sprague Mansion on December 5. The Cranston Historical Society has graciously opened the museum to the public at no charge for several decades. It is our way to share some kindred hospitality and welcome our visitors. Please wear masks to the event.

In the Mansion ~ Andrew Kaplan, Rhode Island pianist, will perform musical selections on Cranston Historical Society’s rare 1800s Steinway grand piano. The Western Cranston Garden Club decorates the Mansion in a spirited Victorian theme each year. Visit info tables of Cranston Arts Commission & OneCranston Health Equity Zone who will give out takeaways to visitors.

Gingerbread Decorating Contest

Artists’ Exchange will hold its 17th annual Gingerbread House Decorating Contest. The event is scheduled for Saturday, Dec. 4 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. at Artists’ Exchange, located at 50 Rolfe Square in Cranston.

How does it work? Participants start with a simple graham cracker construction and craft it into a work of art. There are heaping supplies of frosting, cereal, pretzels and of course, an array of colorful candy to decorate your dream candy home. And with no age limit, everyone is invited to join in on the fun!

Last year’s take home gingerbread craft kits were such a huge hit, that we are bringing them back for a second year. This year participants will have the option to compete in person or bring the contest to the comfort of their own homes. Come visit the holiday workshop and pick up a gingerbread house kit.

Registration for both in person decorating and the take home craft kit is required. Register early as supplies are limited.

If you want to enter the contest for a chance to win free classes, participants can submit their creations for judging by posting their masterpiece on Facebook and Instagram and tagging @artists_exchange. Their team of Judges, consisting of local artists and art teachers, rate all the houses based on creativity, attention to detail, imagination and most of all, thinking “outside the house!” Winners will be announced on their website and social media on Dec. 6. Prizes include Artists’ Exchange class gift certificates towards classes in our upcoming winter session.

Discounted registration for the winter session of classes is also available at the event. Be sure to check the schedule on the Artists’ Exchange website before coming because all class registrations processed on the day of the event will get 20% off tuition.

Also included in the weekend’s festivities there will be outdoor holiday photo ops, pre-decorated wreaths and wreath decorating kits as well as take home art survival kits for sale. Be sure to share your memories with Artists’ Exchange on Facebook and Instagram, follow them to stay up to date on all the great events and activities happening!

For reservations visit, The contest cost is $15 per house for in-person unlimited decorations.

St. Mary’s Feast Society’s 2nd Annual Toy Drive-Through Event

On Sunday, Dec. 19 the St. Mary’s Feast Society will again hold its annual toy drive-through event. Similar to their turkey drive-through event, cars will be directed into the parking lot and they will be greeted by many Christmas Carolers and holiday characters as toys will be handed to each family in each car.

There will be parking across the street next to the gazebo for those who want to get out and meet Santa and take pictures.

“This event is made possible by selfless volunteers, generous donations, and caring sponsors, in our wonderful community”, quotes Ryan Nardolillo, Vice President of the St. Mary’s Feast Society and event organizer.

Executive Board Members, members of the St. Mary’s Feast Society, community volunteers and the St. Mary’s Feast Society Ladies Auxiliary will be handing out the countless toys to those in need on that day.

Winter Wonderful Holiday Stroll

On Dec. 3 at 4 p.m. through 8 p.m. Garden City Center will host their Annual Holiday Stroll.

The stroll includes live music & entertainment strolling throughout the center, Ice Demo and sculptures on display, Special winter tasting menus from your favorite GCC eateries, Hot cocoa and cider donut truck, Kids craft hosted by Ohanga and surprise and delights around every corner.

And, as a Garden City Center first, a tree lighting hosted by Santa himself.

Story time with Mrs. Claus at the GC Gazebo

Mrs. Claus will be at the Gazebo in Garden City Center ever Sunday beginning Dec. 5 – Dec. 19 from 11 a.m. to noon.

Join the one and only Mrs. Claus by the Gazebo on Sunday mornings this December while she reads some of her favorite holiday stories. Bundle up, bring a chair and sit by the Gazebo with the famous lady in red and hear holiday tales for kids of all ages.

Knightsville Gazebo Christmas Tree Lighting

It's almost time for some Holiday Cheer with the 7th annual Knightsville Gazebo Christmas Tree lighting. The evening, Dec. 1, starts at 6 p.m. followed by the lighting of the gazebo 6:30 p.m. It’s going to be a wonderful evening filled with Christmas Carols, Hot Chocolate and even a special visit from the guy in the Red Suit! Special thanks to the Thirsty Beaver Cranston, Maplewood Landscaping & Nursery, Lou Umberto's Italian Kitchen and the St. Mary's Feast Society for their continued support of this annual event, hosted by Councilman Chris Paplauskas.

For the Kids at The Thirsty Beaver

This program originated in 1996 as a complementary accessory to an annual client appreciation Christmas party hosted by Jacob Belt in partnership with the US Marine Corps Toys for Tots campaign. By the year 2000, it had grown in popularity to the point that it had to be moved from an office setting to function rooms at local restaurants. That move eventually led Jacob to Edward Brady and his restaurant group. After a few years working with Edward, Jacob went through a career change which led him to reconsider hosting the event due to the cost associated.

In 2015 Ed Brady stepped forward and suggested they run it together.

“In the early years if we collected 100 toys, we were ecstatic, the Marines were also. In the first year with Ed as a partner, we hit 1000 toys!”

In 2017 they moved the event to another of Ed’s restaurants, the Thirsty Beaver in Cranston. In 2019, 7,500 toys were collected for the children of RI. In addition to the Marine Corp, we also work with Dream Center in Cranston to distribute the toys.

To ensure we meet that demand, this year they have developed this website and will have multiple drive-by donation events at various companies. Please consider a donation of an unwrapped toy or any amount of money.

They would be happy to provide a collection box for you to put in your store but supplies are limited. Please fill out this form to request a collection box. Please bring any donations you receive to our Donation Collection Event on Nov. 30.

All of the people involved with For the Kids Toy Drive volunteer their time and/or services. 100% of the money received goes into buying more toys for the kids! The only cost incurred is due to credit card processing fees.

Please email to become a sponsor and/or for any questions

Adopt A Family with CCAP

CCAP Adopt—Family Program is up and running for the holidays. A $300 donation to the program will adopt an entire family for the holidays (100 percent of your donations go right to the families in need). Donations in other amounts are also appreciated.

Please make your check payable to Comprehensive Community Action Program and send to 311 Doric Ave. Cranston, RI 02910, Attention Holiday Giving Campaign, before Dec. 10.

For more information about CCAP’s Holiday Giving Campaign, contact Sherry Diaz, Vice President of Social Services, (401) 562-8336, or Lee Beliveau, Vice President of Development at 401-562-8356,

All food and donations can be delivered during business hours: 9 a.m. through 3 p.m. at 311 Doric Ave. on the lower level.

Little Free Pantry to offer Christmas help

The Little Free Pantry is no accepting applications to apply for Christmas Help. Their goal is to provide 1-3 items per child; value of your gifts range from $5-$40 dollars as this is a helping hand. They do their best to help as many as they can, yet they do not guarantee help. Those who self-identify that they are in need of assistance, living in Coventry, Cranston, Scituate, Warwick and West Warwick are welcome to apply.

Please include your name, a picture/copy of a recent utility bill in your name (your photo ID will be required at pick up). Please block out account numbers. They just need to verify address and name. They can’t accept people signing up for others, and your Facebook name must be similar to your real name

For each child, up to 17 years old, parents will need to provide the child’s name (first name only), age, gender and Wishlist or a list of likes (of mixed value max 40 dollars per item). You must provide a list we cannot fill requests without it. Please note they will consider children over age 17 with special needs, please PM us in regard to our requirements. NO requests for Gift cards/tickets, as well as any video games/systems (exception would be inexpensive headphones and accessories) will be honored.

Also include a list of other programs you have signed up for or intend to sign up for.

Due to dishonesty about children, they now require a birth certificate at pick up time. Your I.D. must match one of the parents listed on the birth certificate. Exception for those with legal custody paperwork will be required. This for visual inspection in person only!

They never ask for income verification and reserve the right to ask for additional information for children as you may only sign up your children that live with you full time. Their pick-up location is in Warwick, near RT 37. They provide this information when pick up times are arranged. This is borrowed space afforded to them by a local business in which we are allowed to use after business hours.

Christmas at the Grange

The Oaklawn Grange annual Christmas tree lighting will be held on Thursday, Dec. 9 at 6:15 p.m. The lighting of the tree will be held at the Wilbur Ave. Gazebo followed by horse drawn hayrides throughout the neighborhood provided by New Deal Farms.

Santa will be here as well as cookies and hot cocoa. They will be accepting canned goods and/or monetary donations to be donated to the local food bank.

Praise Tabernacle Christmas Show

Praise Tabernacle Church, located at 330 Park Ave., will host their traditional Christmas Show on Dec. 17 at 7 p.m.; Sunday Dec. 18 at 7 p.m. and two shows on Sunday, Dec. 19 at 11 a.m. and 7 p.m.

For more information, contact the Church at 781-1565 or visit

Menorah Lighting in Pawtuxet Village

Pawtuxet Park, Wed, Dec. 1, 7:00pm

If you have a holiday event scheduled, please email MeriKennedy at

holiday, happenings


No comments on this item Please log in to comment by clicking here