From browsing to treasure hunting, here are some spring and summer dates worth saving for the home decorating enthusiast.
Antique and Vintage Shopping
Sundays in Providence get a little funkier come June, when dozens of antique, vintage and artisan vendors line up along the city’s waterfront for The Providence Flea. With a great mix of estate finds, upcyled goods and quirky bargains, it’s accessible for both the collector and casual shopper. Add in a row of food trucks serving up gourmet snacks and you’ve got yourself a care-free day. Sundays throughout the summer. Free admission. Providence River Greenway.
The Newport Antique Show offers an impressive display of prestigious Americana antiques such as folk art, furniture and decorative arts for purchase or just admiration. Revered as one of the most important shows of its kind, the four-day event features prominent dealers from across the country, as well as a loan exhibit courtesy of the Museum of the American Revolution. The weekend kicks off early with a gala preview party on Thursday benefitting two Newport charities. July 23-26. Tickets start at $15. St. George’s School, 375 Purgatory Road, Middletown.
Arts and Craft Festivals
Looking for art can be intimidating, especially if you’re new to the scene. That’s where the Providence Artisan Market comes into play. The weekly open-air market features all types of local arts, from handmade jewelry and photography to ceramics and paintings in a friendly and approachable way. And with the Hope Street Farmers Market running alongside, you can pick up homegrown produce and provisions while you’re at it. Saturdays, May 18-October 26 from 10am-2pm. Free admission. Lippitt Park, Providence.
Wilcox Park in Westerly transforms into a virtual gallery during the annual Virtu Art Festival. Enjoy the professional craftwork of over 180 juried artists from across the country, live entertainment and a children’s “make it and take it” creativity center. Boutiques downtown join in the action with sidewalk sales for the ultimate retail therapy. May 23-24. Free admission. Wilcox Park, 44 Broad Street, Westerly
Historic Home Tours
For over 50 years the Providence Preservation Society has let us roam inside historic homes at its annual Festival of Historic Homes. This year’s neighborhood highlight is Fox Point, including southern Benefit Street. It’s a great opportunity to take a peek inside the grand homes of the East Side, and to learn firsthand about their preservation. June 13, 10am-4pm. Advance tickets start at $40.
The City by the Sea is brimming with homes of historical importance. Of course you have the mansions, or as the uber wealthy called them, summer cottages. But there are many other homes of note worth a wander here. Newport History Tours, presented by the Newport Historical Society, offers a variety of walking and site tours, from the family friendly History Detective to the more scandalous Rogues and Scoundrels. Check website for tour schedule. $15 per person.
Forget how the other half lives – what you really want to know is how the other half gardens. No more peeking over fences for you. The Newport Secret Garden Tour happens from June 26-28, and takes you through some of the City By the Sea’s most beautiful, envy-inducing private gardens.
Gardening and Flower Events
After the winter we just had, it’s no wonder we are all dreaming of flowers. Leave it to Rosecliff mansion to throw the floral extravaganza of the season, The Newport Flower Show. Come for the exquisite garden displays, educational horticulture exhibits and tantalizing champagne and jazz brunch. Leave with inspiration that hopefully lasts through next winter. June 19-21. Advance tickets start at $20.
Each April, spring makes its glorious arrival at Blithewold just in time for Daffodil Days. Tens of thousands of the bright yellow flower welcome you as you explore the historic property and gardens. Afternoon teas, hands-on workshops, concerts and a Fairy Festival round out the programs available throughout the month-long celebration. Month of April. Admission varies per program. 101 Ferry Road, Bristol.