PVD Comes Together Downcity

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Downcity Providence during the holidays isn’t just about shopping and eating, it’s about the community coming out and enjoying the season in our capital city. The mix of independently owned shops and restaurants against the backdrop of historical buildings gives the city a special vibe during the holidays. There is a city bustle that makes holiday shopping fun and not a chore.

Lots of the shops in the neighborhood have new and exciting changes happening this year that should not be missed. Downcity Outfitters, in the Biltmore Garage, has renovated and introduced a whole new women’s shop, Paloma, featuring brands like Kate Spade. Local bookstore Symposium Books recently dedicated two shelves to Phaidon books. Gorgeous art, design and food books make great gifts. As usual, Craftland is bringing in additional artists to fill up their shelves, and this year they are also introducing new Craftland exclusive handmade products that you won’t find anywhere else.

Mark your calendars, there are lots of events happening. On Thursday, November 19, Homestyle is hosting their annual Holiday Pre-Shopping Party to show off their new products while you chat with shoppers over a glass of holiday cheer. Around the corner, Noon Designs will host their Thanks-for-Giving party where they’ll have refreshments while you shop. A portion of their proceeds will go to a local nonprofit.

On December 4, three fun parties are happening. Craftland hosts their annual holiday party, with the highly coveted goodie bags going out with the first 50 purchases. Queen of Hearts and Downcity Outfitters are also having holiday parties the same night. Hop around and visit all three.

If you want to make a whole day of it, Saturday, December 5, is the perfect day to spend in the neighborhood. Indowncity is celebrating the neighborhood with #CelebrateDowncity. This year they’ve team up with the Providence Flea for a Holiday Mini-Flea in Aurora. The Flea has put together a carefully curated selection of vendors to sell their handmade and vintage items, and you can get a Bloody Mary from the bar when you’re done shopping. In Grant’s Block, food trucks such as Providence’s newest, Friskie Fries, will serve up tasty treats, live music from local musicians will get you in the spirit and Santa will be visiting from the North Pole to hear what’s on your list. At sundown, Movies on the Block will have a special holiday movie screening.

Up the block, Grace Church will offer free tours about their rich history, and carolers will tour the streets at dusk. Over at the convention center, the annual Rhode Island School of Design alumni sale is happening, featuring fine art and handmade items. At 4pm the Providence skating rink will close to get ready for a special program from 5 – 7pm. The mayor will join them to help light their tree, and Olympic figure skater Michelle Kwan will skate to live music.

In between shops, stop for lunch, coffee or a cocktail to fuel up, and stay for dinner when you’re done. Downcity’s newest restaurant, Vinya Tapas, just opened on Westminster Street, next to Eno Fine Wines. A Barcelona-inspired tapas bar with locally sourced ingredients, this is the perfect stop for a snack when you need a shopping break. Also opening in December is Oberlin, the newest restaurant by Ben and Heidi Sukle from birch, and the Malted Barley is opening a Providence location in the new Kinsley Building.

This holiday season, remember that when you shop local, you help local business owners succeed and you help keep our downtown unique, independent and reflective of the character of the city. Happy holidays!

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