Building on the success of a record-setting attendance year in 2012, The Preservation Society of Newport County will open three of its historic mansions for daily tours on February 15, a month earlier than a year ago. The Breakers, The Elms and Marble House will all be open for daily tours beginning on February 15, the earliest multi-house daily opening ever for the Newport Mansions.
In 2012, the Newport Mansions saw admissions rise 11% over the previous year, the largest single year attendance jump on record. Total admissions for the year were 883,000, the highest in a decade.
Rosecliff and Chateau-sur-Mer will both open for the season a month later, on March 16, followed by Green Animals and Kingscote on May 11. Hunter House, Chepstow and Isaac Bell House will open for daily tours on June 29.
"Last year we opened our houses two weeks earlier than usual, in mid-March, and found there was a significant demand among visitors," said Trudy Coxe, CEO & Executive Director of the Preservation Society. "Newport's popularity as an off-season destination is growing. That's why this year we have decided to keep all three houses open daily after Newport Winter Festival.
Special Tours and Activities
New for 2013 will be a revised audio tour at The Elms, which includes new information about recent restoration projects in the house, and about servant life. More than a million people have taken The Elms audio tour since its inception in 2000. The revised audio tour will debut in late spring.
In addition, Mandarin translations of the audio tours at The Breakers, The Elms, Marble House and Rosecliff will be added later in 2013. Audio tours in those houses are already offered in French, Spanish and German as well as English. Chinese-speaking visitors are the fastest growing segment of foreign visitors to the Newport Mansions.
The 2013 costume exhibition at Rosecliff will feature 20th century highlights from the Preservation Society's collection. From the avant-garde of the roaring '20s to the minimalism of the '60s and '70s, the costume exhibition will highlight designer pieces by Chanel, Givenchy and Halston. The exhibition will open on March 16 and run through November 22.
Preservation Society members and ticket holders can enjoy lunch and snacks at two different locations. The Chinese Tea House at Marble House will serve refreshments from May 11 to October 27, from 11 am to 5 pm. The Elms Carriage House will be open for refreshments from May 25 to October 14, 11 am to 4 pm.
On Saturday, March 30, children will collect thousands of Easter eggs on the back lawn of Rosecliff during the annual Easter Egg Hunt and Brunch, which includes breakfast served inside the ballroom and on the terrace of the house.
Gardeners looking for great Mother's Day gifts and plants for their own gardens can take advantage of the annual Plant Sale at Green Animals Topiary Garden on Saturday, May 11.
The 18th annual Newport Flower Show, Jade: Eastern Obsessions, will take place at Rosecliff from June 21-23. Visitors are invited to discover the mysteries of the East. Gardens, treasures, traditions and native plants will all blend to create the stunning beauty of this exotic part of the world. The excitiing Opening Night Party on June 21 will feature a cocktail buffet, live music, a seaside supper and other entertaining surprises.
The Green Animals Children's Party on Sunday, July 14 invites children and adults alike to frolic in the whimsical and historic topiary garden overlooking Narragansett Bay in Portsmouth, with music, rides, food and fun.
The Preservation Society's annual Golf Outing will take place on Monday, August 19 at Newport National Golf Club. The event includes tee prizes for all golfers, lunch and refreshments on the course, cocktails and a light supper after golf, awards and live and silent auctions.
The Newport Mansions Wine & Food Festival returns for its 8th year to Marble House, Rosecliff and The Elms from September 20-22. The weekend features a two-day Grand Tasting at Marble House with hundreds of wines, cooking demonstrations from national and regional chefs, a gala celebration at Rosecliff, a collectible wine dinner at The Elms, plus seminars, auctions, and more.
Christmas at the Newport Mansions will take place from November 23 to January 1, 2014, with The Breakers, The Elms and Marble House decorated for the holidays.
Visit www.NewportMansions.org or call 401-847-1000 for the detailed operating schedule, detailed event information, tour packages and ticket prices. Tickets can be purchased online, at all of the houses, and at the Newport Visitors Center. (Note that the schedule is subject to change.)
The Preservation Society of Newport County, Rhode Island is a non-profit organization accredited by the American Association of Museums and dedicated to preserving and interpreting the area’s historic architecture, landscapes and decorative arts. Its 11 historic properties—seven of them National Historic Landmarks—span more than 250 years of American architectural and social development.