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Holiday Events in Asheville, North Carolina

A colorful, creative city, Asheville comes alive over the holiday season. From Shadrack's Christmas Wonderland Lights and Winter Lights at The North Carolina Arboretum to Candlelight Christmas Evenings at the Biltmore Estate, there are many exciting things to do in Asheville, North Carolina to bring joy to your holidays. Put some sparkle in your season at our Biltmore Farm hotels.

DoubleTree Biltmore Thanksgiving Buffet

DoubleTree Biltmore Hotel

Thursday, November 27, 2014
Celebrate and give thanks! Gather around our table and celebrate Thanksgiving at the DoubleTree Biltmore with our traditional feast, featuring seasonal classics with an elegant twist. Our culinary team has created a menu full of Roasted turkey, autumn greens, herb roasted fingerling potatoes, pork loin stuffed with apples, pears and sage, creamy pumpkin pudding, vanilla cheesecake and much more! Available Thursday, November 27, from 1:30 – 6 pm. Adults $35; Children 12 and under $14. Reservations required at 828-274-1800. Full menu available at DoubleTreeCateringAVL.com.

Roux Thanksgiving Buffet

Hilton Asheville Biltmore Park

Thursday, November 27
Roux will be serving a traditional Thanksgiving meal, buffet style with none of the hassle or clean-up! Come dine with us and enjoy delicious selections of Traditional Roasted All-Natural N.C. Turkey, Baked Ham, Sweet Potato Casserole with Pecan Streusel, Gluten-Free items, assorted pies and much more! Buffet will be served from 1 pm - 8 pm Thanksgiving Day. $34 adults | $15 children 12 and under. Reservations required at 828-209-2715 or OpenTable.com. Roux is located in the Hilton Asheville Biltmore Park. Full menu available at RouxAsheville.com

Candlelight Christmas Evenings

Biltmore Estate

November 7, 2014–January 3, 2015
Explore Biltmore House during holiday evenings when candles and fireplaces fill the grand home with a warm glow, accenting delicate ornaments and priceless treasures with metallic shine and sparkle, and music warms the heart. This year, book a Candlelight Christmas Evening at Biltmore to make holiday memories with your family that will last a lifetime. http://www.biltmore.com/visit/plan-your-visit/buy-tickets/candlelight-evenings

Polar Express Train

Bryson City, NC

November 7-January 4, 2015
A favorite holiday tradition for kids of all ages (including the adults!) is the Polar Express Train excursion at the Great Smoky Mountains Railroad. The 1.25-hour round-trip excursion comes to life as the train departs the Bryson City depot for a journey through the quiet wilderness for a special visit at the North Pole. Set to the sounds of the motion picture soundtrack, guests on board enjoy warm cocoa and a treat while listening and reading along with the magical story. Children's faces show the magic of the season when the train arrives at the "North Pole" to find Santa Claus waiting. Santa will board The Polar Express, greeting each child and presenting them with a special gift as in the story, their own silver sleigh bell. Christmas carols will be sung as they return back to the Bryson City Depot.
Ticket prices begin at $40 for adults and $26 for children ages 2-12. Children under two years old ride complimentary. http://www.gsmr.com/

2014 National Gingerbread House CompetitionTM

The Omni Grove Park Inn

On Display November 19th, 2014 through January 1st, 2015
Open to the public on Sunday through Thursday. Resort guests only on Friday and Saturday. For a sweet treat, tour the amazing display at the 22nd Annual National Gingerbread House Competition at The Omni Grove Park Inn. Except for the base, the entries are constructed entirely of edible materials.
While there is no admission charge to view the gingerbread creations, there is a $10 per car parking fee. http://www.groveparkinn.com/gingerbread

Shadrack's Christmas Wonderland Lights

Western North Carolina Agricultural Center

November 21, 2014-January 4, 2015
This award winning Christmas light and music extravaganza is a two mile maze filled with hundreds of thousands of LED lights performing in perfect synchronization with the Christmas tunes playing through your car radio. Featured among the lights are huge customized displays of the 12 Days of Christmas with a comical twist.
At the end of the drive route, visit Santa's Village with Santa Claus under a big tent. Refreshments like hot cocoa, S'mores, funnel cakes and more are available for purchase. Fun activities for kids include a Santa train, giant spider bungee jump and inflatables. Christmas Wonderland supports Toys for Tots.
Open everyday, dusk until 10 PM (and later on weekends), even in the rain.
  • Cars or Family Vans - $20
  • Activity Van or Mini Bus - $30
  • Limo - $30
  • Tour/School Bus - $75
http://shadrackchristmas.com/asheville/

The 68th Asheville Holiday Parade, presented by Bojangles & Ingles JingleFest

Downtown Asheville

Saturday, Nov 22, 2014 11:00 am - 4:00 pm
Caleb Johnson, winner of American Idol and Asheville native will be grand marshal, in a float sponsored by Mission Health. Following the Asheville Holiday Parade, American Idol Winner and Grand Marshal, Caleb Johnson will stop by Ingles JingleFest for a meet and greet with area fans and sign autographs. Also during Ingles JingleFest, U.S. Congressman Mark Meadows will honor Johnson with a Congressional Record for his significant contributions to North Carolina. Ingles JingleFest will feature nonstop entertainment with performances from many of the groups that participated in the parade, inflatables and bouncy houses, kid's activities, and of course, photos with Santa. There will be children's activities in the arena, and a small craft/holiday market on the concourse. http://www.ashevilledowntown.org/holidays

Winter Lights

The North Carolina Arboretum

November 22, 2014 - January 4, 2015 6:00 - 10:00 p.m.
Walk through a winter wonderland and experience the gardens in a whole new way! This new light show is unlike anything in Asheville. Designed with an artistic aesthetic, Winter Lights will enhance the natural beauty of the gardens and landscape. The Arboretum has collaborated with Jerry Stripling, former designer and manager of holiday decorations, special projects and events for Walt Disney World®, to create a truly magical experience. Winter Lights will also feature music, gifts, and food & beverages.
All tickets must be purchased in advance; no tickets will be sold at the gate.
  • Adults$18
  • Children (ages 5 to 11)$16
  • Children age 4 & underFREE
http://www.ncarboretum.org/exhibits/upcoming/winter-lights

Christmas at Connemara

Carl Sandburg Home

November 29 and December 27 at 10:30 a.m.
Join us on Saturday morning to revel with local musicians and storytellers. Music/storytelling will be held from 10:30 am to 12:30 pm in the garage adjacent to the Sandburg Home. Hot cider and cookies will be served. Holiday craft-making will be offered from 10am to 1pm. The house will be decorated in the simple style of the Sandburgs with poinsettias and a traditionally decorated Christmas tree from Thanksgiving until January 6th, 2015. http://www.nps.gov/carl/planyourvisit/events.htm

Olde Fashioned Hendersonville Christmas

Historic Downtown Hendersonville

December 5, 2014, 5pm-8pm
Merchants host an open house with refreshments, entertainment & late night shopping www.downtownhendersonville.org

2014 Fletcher Community Christmas Tree Lighting

Fletcher Community Park

December 5, 2014, 6:00 p.m.
Town of Fletcher will kick off the holiday season with its Annual Tree Lighting at Fletcher Community Park. This event includes musical performances by local musical groups, the lighting of the Town Christmas Tree, visits with Santa and plenty of delicious hot chocolate and cookies to help keep warm. This is a perfect opportunity for children to give Santa their Christmas lists and to get a photo with Saint Nick. This event is free and open to the public.

Dickens Festival at Biltmore Village

December 5-7, 2014
Historic Biltmore Village transforms itself into a quaint Victorian village on the first Friday, Saturday, and Sunday of December. Enjoy three days of concerts, refreshments, horsedrawn carriage rides, and strolling vocalists and instrumentalists in costumes of the period. The stage will be filled continuously with musicians, choral groups, singers, dancers, and the Montford Park Players performing scenes from Charles Dickens' A Christmas Carol. It features more than 300 performers who, after their stage segment, will rove throughout the Village entertaining on the streets and in the shops and restaurants. And when dusk turns into evening, the more than 250,000 white lights outlining the historic buildings will combine with the streetlights to enhance the ambiance. Shops will stay open both evenings until 7 PM with many of the shopkeepers dressed in Victorian-era garb. Free admission. Performances Friday 5-7 PM, Saturday 11 AM-7 PM, Sunday 1-5 PM http://www.historicbiltmorevillage.com/

Lake Julian Festival of Lights

December 5-22, 2014
Drive through a festive holiday light display along Lake Julian in south Asheville (near Biltmore Park). Their Festival of Lights is lit with thousands of colored lights and 50 animated and stationary light displays. The road circling this Buncombe County park becomes a magical journey. The light show is open 6-9 PM and admission is $5/car.

Christmas Candlelight Tour

Vance Birthplace

December 6, 4 - 7 pm
Experience a traditional 1830s Christmas from the North Carolina backcountry! Play the part of travelers seeking lodging for the night at the Vance home. Meet Vance neighbors as they lead you through the decorated house and explain the traditions and customs that may have been observed in the Reems Creek Valley. Admission: $3 for adults, $1 for children (6-16 years old), and free for "Friends of the Vance Birthplace" members. http://www.nchistoricsites.org/vance/vance.htm

Santa on the Chimney

Chimney Rock Park

Dec 6th, Dec 13th, 11am-2pm
How is Santa able to climb down millions of chimneys around the world in a single night? He practices, of course. Witness Santa's daring stunt as he practices on one of the world's largest chimneys with multiple 200-foot rappels! Meet Santa and Mrs. Claus, enjoy live holiday music, hot cocoa, cookies and kids' activities, plus meet live critters. Sponsored by Coffee on the Rocks in Chimney Rock Village. Buzzfeed recently ranked our rappelling Santa as one of the "8 Most Extreme Santas in the World." Cost Included with Park admission http://www.chimneyrockpark.com/events

Candlelight Christmas Stroll

Weaverville, NC

December 12, 2014, 6-9 PM
With luminaries along the streets, local choirs and bands will provide music, and horse and buggy rides will be available through town. Local businesses will be open late and the official tree lighting at 7:30 PM. http://www.visitweaverville.com/events/candlelight-stroll/

Asheville Ballet presents The Nutcracker

Diana Wortham Theatre

December 12, 2014 - 7:30 PM
December 13, 2014 - 2:30 & 7:30 PM
December 14, 2014- 2:30 PM
The full length, professional performance, and favorite holiday family tradition, about Clara's magical journey to the Lands of Snow and Sweets, performed by North Carolina's oldest non-profit ballet company.
Adult $50/$35/$25, Students $18, Children 12 & under $15 http://www.ashevilleballet.com/

Warren Haynes' 26th Annual Christmas Jam

NC's US Cellular Center

December 13, 2014
Each year, the Christmas Jam sets the stage for surprise collaborations, rare appearances and musical sets that rock into the wee hours of the morning. Featuring Vince Gill, Gov't Mule, Billy & The Kids, Hard Working Americans, The Revivalists and Jason Isbell with his band with additional artists to be announced soon. http://www.xmasjam.com/

A Swannanoa Solstice

Diana Wortham Theatre

December 21, 2014, 2:00 p.m. & 7:00 p.m.
The introspective melodies of guitar and mandolin, the lively staccato of step dancers and world percussion, the ancestral resonance of Highland pipes and bouzouki, the tender intonations of harp and piano - these are the sounds of A Swannanoa Solstice, the annual winter holiday celebration now in its 12th year. Award-winning recording artists Al Petteway, Amy White, and Robin Bullock are joined by the talents and voices of special guest musicians, storytellers, dancers, and host and founder of The Swannanoa Gathering at Warren Wilson College, Doug Orr, for a joyous and contemplative performance featuring seasonal Appalachian, Celtic, Scots-Irish, and world-influenced music. Share a cup of wassail with family and friends and join in the tradition.
Tickets: Regular $40; Students $35; Child $15 http://www.dwtheatre.com/

Biltmore Farms Hotels

Dining options near you

DoubleTree Biltmore Thanksgiving Buffet

DoubleTree Biltmore Hotel
Thursday, November 27, 2014
Celebrate and give thanks! Gather around our table and celebrate Thanksgiving at the DoubleTree Biltmore with our traditional feast, featuring seasonal classics with an elegant twist. Our culinary team has created a menu full of Roasted turkey, autumn greens, herb roasted fingerling potatoes, pork loin stuffed with apples, pears and sage, creamy pumpkin pudding, vanilla cheesecake and much more! Available Thursday, November 27, from 1:30 – 6 pm. Adults $35; Children 12 and under $14. Reservations required at 828-274-1800. Full menu available at DoubleTreeCateringAVL.com.

Roux Thanksgiving Buffet

Hilton Asheville Biltmore Park
Thursday, November 27
Roux will be serving a traditional Thanksgiving meal, buffet style with none of the hassle or clean-up! Come dine with us and enjoy delicious selections of Traditional Roasted
All-Natural N.C. Turkey, Baked Ham, Sweet Potato Casserole with Pecan Streusel, Gluten-Free items, assorted pies and much more! Buffet will be served from 1 pm - 8 pm Thanksgiving Day. $34 adults | $15 children 12 and under. Reservations required at 828-209-2715 or OpenTable.com. Roux is located in the Hilton Asheville Biltmore Park. Full menu available at RouxAsheville.com

Shopping options near you

  • Biltmore Park Town Square

    Discover some of Asheville's best shopping at Biltmore Park Town Square. This outdoor plaza is lined with a delightful mix of unique shops interspersed with big-name retailers such as Barnes & Noble, LOFT, Orvis and outdoor outfitters REI. From alluring little boutiques to major shopping galleries, Town Square is where to find everything you need, any time you need it.
  • Historic Biltmore Village

    Even without its history, even without its architecture, even without its charm, Biltmore Village would be among Asheville's can't-miss destinations based on its shops alone. You'll find the national chains you love as well as one-of-a-kind shops you won't find anywhere else. Men's, women's and children's clothing. Gifts, jewelry and art. Housewares, furniture and books. Everything you can imagine.
  • Asheville Mall

    Regional mall features specialty and department stores including Belk, Sears, Dillard's, Eddie Bauer, Gap, and The Disney Store.

DoubleTree by Hilton Asheville - Biltmore

Dining options near you

DoubleTree Biltmore Thanksgiving Buffet

DoubleTree Biltmore Hotel
Thursday, November 27, 2014
Celebrate and give thanks! Gather around our table and celebrate Thanksgiving at the DoubleTree Biltmore with our traditional feast, featuring seasonal classics with an elegant twist. Our culinary team has created a menu full of Roasted turkey, autumn greens, herb roasted fingerling potatoes, pork loin stuffed with apples, pears and sage, creamy pumpkin pudding, vanilla cheesecake and much more! Available Thursday, November 27, from 1:30 – 6 pm. Adults $35; Children 12 and under $14. Reservations required at 828-274-1800. Full menu available at DoubleTreeCateringAVL.com.

Hilton Asheville Biltmore Park

Dining options near you

Roux Thanksgiving Buffet

Hilton Asheville Biltmore Park
Thursday, November 27
Roux will be serving a traditional Thanksgiving meal, buffet style with none of the hassle or clean-up! Come dine with us and enjoy delicious selections of Traditional Roasted
All-Natural N.C. Turkey, Baked Ham, Sweet Potato Casserole with Pecan Streusel, Gluten-Free items, assorted pies and much more! Buffet will be served from 1 pm - 8 pm Thanksgiving Day. $34 adults | $15 children 12 and under. Reservations required at 828-209-2715 or OpenTable.com. Roux is located in the Hilton Asheville Biltmore Park. Full menu available at RouxAsheville.com

Shopping options near you

  • Biltmore Park Town Square

    Discover some of Asheville's best shopping at Biltmore Park Town Square. This outdoor plaza is lined with a delightful mix of unique shops interspersed with big-name retailers such as Barnes & Noble, LOFT, Orvis and outdoor outfitters REI. From alluring little boutiques to major shopping galleries, Town Square is where to find everything you need, any time you need it.
  • Historic Biltmore Village

    Even without its history, even without its architecture, even without its charm, Biltmore Village would be among Asheville's can't-miss destinations based on its shops alone. You'll find the national chains you love as well as one-of-a-kind shops you won't find anywhere else. Men's, women's and children's clothing. Gifts, jewelry and art. Housewares, furniture and books. Everything you can imagine.
  • Asheville Mall

    Regional mall features specialty and department stores including Belk, Sears, Dillard's, Eddie Bauer, Gap, and The Disney Store.