Holiday Guide: The Quintessential Thanksgiving in Rhode Island

Thanksgiving is all about celebrating with the ones you love. In Rhode Island, we celebrate this vibrant holiday with locally-raised turkeys, charitable marathons, sporting events, and tons of Black Friday deals. Here’s how to have the quintessential Thanksgiving in Rhode Island. 

1. Blackies Bulldog Tavern, Smithfield, RI

When you are looking for a place for a pre-holiday drink, you can’t do any better in Rhode Island than Blackie’s. Owned by executive chef Angie Armenise and general manager Jeanine Lannucci, comfort food is taken to a self-described “whole new level of creativity & quality.” Passion, attention to detail and comfortable pub digs complement the juiciest burgers you’ve ever had, freshly grilled pizzas, and unexpected twists on sandwiches. Boasting a full bar with hand-crafted drinks, this is the place to welcome in the holiday.

2. Baffoni’s Poultry Farm, Johnston, RI

If you are looking to get a fresh turkey for the holiday, look for the only official USDA-certified poultry slaughterhouse in Rhode Island. Their poultry is fed a vegetarian diet that is free of hormones, additives, and meat by-products. Since 1935, the family has been dedicated to raising and dressing all-natural poultry for the local community, and the 80-acre farm is equipped with coops that house roughly 25,000 chickens and 1,200 turkeys.

3. LaSalle Bakery, Providence, RI

Next, you will be wanting the perfect pie. Well, LaSalle will tell you that “the perfect pie is a delectable, delicate balance of filling and crust,” and the bakers at LaSalle use only the highest quality ingredients, rolling their homemade dough by hand. When it comes out of the oven, the crust is buttery, tender, flaky, and holds its own when filled with sweet contents. Sold whole or by the slice, for your Thanksgiving, you better pick up two.

4. Rhode Island Family Turkey Trot, Pawtucket, RI

The bird is in the oven, and the fixings are in the fridge. Hey, you’ve got time for the Thanksgiving Turkey Trot. Intended for youth and their families, the race raises proceeds to go to the Pawtucket Soup Kitchen, and participants may bring a nonperishable food item to their packet pickup. The run is sponsored by Semper Home Loans, and there will be awards to the top three winners. Plus, as in past years, the post-race party will be held at Murphy's Law which is conveniently within walking distance from the finish line.

5. Bryant University men’s basketball

After you have had a couple days to recover from pigging out, you can wobble down to the Chace Athletic Center to watch the Bryant University Bulldogs as they take on Brown University. Everyone loves sports during the holidays, and this year the Bulldogs are playing well at home. So after Thanksgiving passes, grab a turkey leg and watch the big game live because athletics, sports, and Thanksgiving celebrate this nation’s heritage like, well, turkey and stuffing. 

6. A Christmas Carol Theatrical Performance, Providence, RI

In a Rhode Island family holiday tradition, Trinity Rep will be presenting, “A Christmas Carol” throughout November. In this Charles Dickens adaptation, Ebenezer Scrooge, a greedy, sour, old businessman, is infamous for his lack of Christmas cheer. Visited by three ghosts, the miser soon examines his life and is inspired to change just in time for Christmas. You know the story—now see it performed live. 

The Carol every year is a must

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7. Newport Harbor Illuminated Boat Parade, Newport, RI

What could be more festive than boats decorated with lively illuminated holiday decor floating around Newport Harbor? Be on time, as the parade begins promptly at 6:15 p.m. and will travel east around the harbor where vessels will compete for prizes like, “Best Decorated Sailboat,” “Best Decorated Powerboat,” “Most Team Spirit,” and more. Awards will be presented afterward at the Newport Yacht Club where light refreshments will also be served.

8. Save the Bay Seal Cruises, Westerly, RI

For some water-themed fun, you can take a 90-minute scenic ride down the Pawcatuck River into Little Narragansett Bay where you will be immersed in bucolic views of fall foliage and catch glimpses of some winter harbor seals as they rest on rocks and shorelines. For more than 15 years, Save the Day seal tours and nature cruises have been showing folk a good time on the water, and, included with the tour, you will get a set of binoculars, expert guides, and a look at Rhode Island wildlife up close and personal.

9. Block Island Holiday Shopping Stroll, Block Island, RI

In lieu of Black Friday, with all of its stress, stampeding crowds, and exhausting early-morning and all-night sales, why not take on a decidedly more low-key adventure? Block Island is all decked out with festive, illuminated decorations, and the now-famous Lobster Pot Tree is upright and dressed up. So come check out local retailers, friendly faces, and incredible sales. And, don’t forget, you also have a chance to win raffle prizes.

10. Sons of Liberty Spirits Company, South Kingston, RI

Nothing signals the end of a great holiday any better than $10 whiskey and craft beer flights at a local distiller’s. Get local wood-fired pizza and wings, plus live music from 6-9 p.m. while Sons of Liberty Spirits pours single malt whiskeys made from their own craft-beers. The only distiller to offer seasonal whiskeys, nothing speaks to the warmth of the holidays like a warm and cozy whiskey neat or on the rocks.

#whiskey #rhodeisland #sonsofliberty date day with this guy 😍!! #whiskeygirl 🥃

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