Roger Williams Park Botanical Center open for second Holidays in the Park, Dec. 10

Event features rare Poinsettias, hand-crafted decorations and a visit from Santa

PROVIDENCE — The University of Rhode Island and Providence Parks & Recreation will host Holidays in the Park at the Roger Williams Park Botanical Center on Saturday, Dec. 10 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. to celebrate the holidays.

Admission and all event activities are free for those who bring a non-perishable food item for the Rhode Island Community Food Bank.

“It’s a great way for families to take a break from the holiday stress and celebrate with the community,” Sejal Lanterman, URI’s community engagement and outreach coordinator, said.

The event, which drew approximately 200 visitors last year, will feature a display of rare poinsettias grown by URI Master Gardeners. The master gardeners will be on hand to lead demonstrations of how to create holiday wreaths, table centerpieces and other hand-crafted holiday decorations, many of which will be for sale or raffled off. They also will answer questions about gardening and composting.

The Rhode Island Rose Society also will be selling decorations and leading demonstrations of how to make rose arrangements in pictures and how to winterize roses.

The URI Master Gardeners and Southside Community Land Trust will have a wide variety of gardening items for sale. There will also be a visit from Santa, live music and free food.

All of the activities will take place within the glass-walled confines of the Roger Williams Park Botanical Center, which opened in 2007. The botanical center is the largest public indoor display garden in New England, encompassing about 12,000 square feet of flowers, rare plants, waterfalls and unique exhibits, including carnivorous plants and towering palm trees.

“It’s so warm and lovely inside,” said Lanterman, the plant pro who is often seen on NBC Channel 10’s Weekend Sunrise show on Sunday mornings.

The URI Outreach Center at the University of Rhode Island provides horticultural and environmental programs at the Botanical Center, including guided tours, Learning Landscape field trips for schoolchildren, gardening classes and urban agriculture workshops for adults, among other events.

For more information about the Holidays in the Park event, call the URI Outreach Center at 401-874-2900, visit their website or email