Day Art Tour

Rhode Island School of Design (RISD) Museum & Christmas at Blithewold

Wednesday, December 7, 2022

Organized by the Friends of the Wadsworth Atheneum

Take a day off from holiday preparations and celebrate the season with a fascinating and festive visit to the RISD Museum and Blithewold Mansion in Rhode Island!

RISD Museum

One-hour history and highlights tour, followed by a brief visit to a gallery of one’s own choosing or the museum shop.

The museum’s first public galleries were opened in 1893 and it is now not only the 20th largest art museum in the US, but also serves as a teaching facility for RISD students. Art works in all media are showcased in galleries featuring Decorative Arts and Design, 18th and 19th Century American (Pendleton House period rooms), European, Ancient Egyptian, Modern and Contemporary, and Costumes and Textiles.

Blithewold Mansion

Enjoy a private early afternoon tea that will include a variety of sweet and savory scones, as well as sandwiches, a savory quiche, fruit tarts and cupcakes for dessert. Step back in time on a tour of the beautifully decorated mansion and do a little holiday shopping in the gift shop. 

This beautiful 45-room mansion is one of the most fully-developed and intact examples of the Country Place Era in the United States. All of the rooms are authentically furnished as they were when photographs were taken for a Country Life Magazine in 1910 and the china and crystal collection is on permanent display in the Butler’s Pantry. While this was the summer residence of the Van Winckle/McKee family, every year the family would return to a Blithewold that had been fully decorated by the household staff to celebrate Christmas and the New Year. The theme of this year’s Christmas at Blithewold is “A Day in the Life” and will provide insights into the interests of each member of the family and their use of each room in the mansion as well as a magical gingerbread house display in the breakfast porch.

Please note that there is a short walk from the visitor’s center to the mansion and only the 1st floor of the mansion is handicap accessible. 

Bus Times

7:45am Departs New Britain Park & Ride (Village Square Dr, New Britain, CT 0605)
8:15am Departs Manchester Spencer St. Park & Ride (Cemetery Rd, Manchester, CT 06042)
3:30pm Departs Rhode Island

Please arrive 15 minutes prior to bus departure time.


$155; $145 members: includes transportation, admission, lunch, and gratuities
Registration deadline: November 21, 2022

All reservations must be made by mail and will be filled on a first come, first served bases. Please complete and mail the reservation form with payment and a self-addressed, stamped envelope. Your check will be deposited the week of the tour. We will mail a confirmation card to you and collect the card at the bus.

Make check payable to: Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art

Mail to: Mary King, 102 Adelaide Rd, Manchester, CT 06040

More Information


All departure times are exact and noted in the tour descriptions.  Please arrive 15 minutes prior to bus departure time. The West of the CT River Bus departs from the park & Ride Parking Lot, off CT-71 South of the West Farms Mall, New Britain. The Park & Ride is across the street from Target and ½ mile from West Farms Mall.  In Manchester the bus departs from the Spencer Street Park & Ride Parking Lot


Please note that bus transportation does not allow for social distancing, and all participants must wear a face mask at all times while on the bus. Food and drink are prohibited on the bus. However, we recognize passengers with medical conditions may require a snack with water. Passengers will be permitted to have bottled water.


If the tour is full, you will be notified that you are on a waiting list. Your check will be held until the tour date and then either returned or destroyed, according to your wishes.


You may cancel reservations up to twenty-one (21) days prior to the tour date. Please understand that refunds cannot be made after that date. If the tour receives too few reservations, it maybe canceled.


It is understood that participation in this trip releases the Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art, Friends of the Wadsworth Atheneum, and any volunteers from any responsibility whatsoever for injury or death, or loss or damage of personal property sustained in connection with a trip.


It is the policy of Post Road Stage, Inc. that all passengers must disembark at all stops. No one is allowed to remain on the bus when the group is on a tour.


For further information please contact Mary King at (860)-649-5715; Kate Deasy at (860)-209-6238, Due to traffic and unforeseeable events, the arrival time back to your departure point may be unpredictable.  Please plan accordingly.