We’re going to the Newport Flower Show for the first time this weekend and wondering what to wear? We’re also concerned that there won’t be enough activities for our two elementary school age children? It will be a long day trip for us and we want to make the best of it.
–Ginny, Duxbury, MA
Google the weather forecast for Newport before setting out to see if you’ll need rain slickers. If it is a sunny day, you’ll want to bring along sunscreen and hats; dress comfortably and smartly to ward off sunburn. Be sure everyone is wearing walking shoes.
- Your kids should plan to take lots of pictures. From the stunning overall vista of Rosecliff, with its fairytale setting and captivating topiary and floral displays, to the fascination of people watching, you should find plenty of photographic happenings.
- Inside Rosecliff ask your children to pick their favorite floral display or exotic rose in bloom by voting to see if they agreed with the judges, who will have already awarded the ribbons to the winners.
The back lawn that runs down to the Cliff Walk from the house is covered with decorated white tents divided into kiosks adorned with great shopping options for finding the perfect leather boots from Durably of Ireland Boot vendor, festive decorative home accessories, colorful costume jewelry, amusing bird houses, lovely straw hats, the latest in gardening accouterments, designer dog leashes and collars, Chinese embroidered slippers, and colorful summer tunics — to name many of my favorite finds.
- At the bottom of this green carpeted bazaar of boutiques you’ll discover a jazz band, ice cream and snack kiosks, and a wonderful Children’s Tent organized and run by the local elementary school. The children’s activities include hands-on planting and other botanical, horticultural and artistic projects to make and take home. What’s most fun is that the “helpers” are elementary school students themselves who are well-schooled in answering questions, because they participate in a year-round horticultural club.
- Shopping opportunities abound. I especially love seeing the latest chic Newport Long Coat and special occasion silk jackets designed by Maria Pucci. Apparently, this year Ms. Pucci has collaborated with the popular interior designer Rebecca Vizard, author of ONCE UPON A PILLOW, in producing evening jackets especially for the Newport Flower Show. Ms. Vizard’s eye for antique fabrics is expressed in her decorative pillows and attractive dog collars and leashes.
At the end of the day, donned in a new straw hat and laden down with an irresistible potted perennial and a fresh pair of gardening gloves, you’ll have enough photos for an album.
- Best of all, your exhausted youngsters will happily sleep through the car ride home.
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