Christmas at Biltmore Estate

Christmas at Biltmore 2017

America’s largest home transforms each holiday season for an awe-inspiring tradition in Asheville, N.C. that dates back more than 120 years.

2023-2024 Christmas at Biltmore Dates: Nov. 3, 2023-Jan. 7, 2024

Welcome the holiday season in style with Christmas at Biltmore -- a two-month holiday celebration featuring incredible decorations, live music and special candlelight evening experiences.

The 35-foot Fraser Fir is the centerpiece of the Christmas at Biltmore celebrationMore than 100 hand-decorated Christmas trees adorn the home and the estate, the centerpiece being a 35-foot Fraser fir. The 35-foot tree is brought by Santa on horse-drawn carriage and lifted into place in the grand Banquet Hall during the annual tree raising. The more than 25,000 ornaments and 100,000 holiday lights twinkling throughout the Estate provide a magical ambiance. And, the 1,960 live poinsettias and 1,000 feet of fresh evergreen garland give the estate an aroma that completes this feast for the senses.

For a sense of what to expect, take our online PHOTO TOUR of the decorations from a past season in Biltmore’s most iconic rooms!

The Christmas at Biltmore celebration is spread across the estate with everything from holiday blooms in the gardens to an illumination display at Antler Hill Village to commemorative Christmas wine at the Winery.

Each year, Christmas at Biltmore has a different theme and different color scheme, ensuring that every holiday season at Biltmore is unique.

This year's decorating theme is "Winter Landscapes," which honors famed Biltmore landscape architect Frederick Law Olmsted and the anniversary of his birth 200 years ago. As part of the décor, guests will see elements that will bring the outdoors inside along with subtle touches that reference Olmsted's body of work across the U.S., including Bethesda Fountain in Central Park in New York City (Third Floor Living Hall), and elements of the Boston’s Emerald Necklace chain of parks in several rooms (Winter Garden, Music Room, and Louis XV Room).  Adding to the excitement, Christmas at Biltmore coincides with the Leonard da Vinci - 500 Years of Genius exhibition on the Estate, an immersive experience that explores Leonardo da Vinci’s life, research, and art. There are a variety of ticket options, including tickets that include both the Christmas at Biltmore experience and da Vinci exhibit.

The holiday season kicks off each year with the Christmas tree-raising ceremony. A 35-foot, locally-grown tree is brought in by horse-drawn carriage. A team of Biltmore employees help lift the tree into place in the 7-story grand Banquet Hall. Check out this behind-the-scenes look at the 2021 tree-raising!

How to Experience Christmas at Biltmore

George Vanderbilt's Library at Biltmore Estate in Asheville, NC decorated for the holidays

Enjoy the Christmas at Biltmore celebration during the day as part of your admission to the Estate. Make sure to plan ahead and book your date and time in advance. Your experience is a self-guided tour.

During the day, in addition to exploring Biltmore House, you can also discover the gardens and trails. Inside the Conservatory next to the Walled Garden, there are daily complimentary seminars that provide tips for making your own holiday décor. Stroll through seasonal blooms and an array of tropical plants. 

Don’t forget to stop at Antler Hill Village where you can enjoy a free wine tasting at the Winery. An elaborate model train display featuring replicas of the country's most unique train stations will be decorated for the holidays. 

Candlelight Christmas Evenings at Biltmore

Biltmore Ornaments Christmas 2017

Biltmore glows in the evening with candlelight and firelight, giving you the opportunity to experience Christmas at Biltmore in a different light. Candlelight Christmas Evenings give you the chance to experience Christmas at the Estate much the way the Vanderbilt’s did on Christmas Eve 1895 when Biltmore welcomed its first guests.

Musicians throughout the house will perform seasonal favorites as you stroll on a self-guided tour of the rooms of Biltmore House. Feel the warmth and glow of the dozens of lighted fireplaces. Before you even enter the House, you’ll be greeted by a 55-foot Norway spruce tree sparkling in the center of the front lawn. That tall tree will be surrounded by 36 illuminated evergreens and shrubs.

Falliday at Biltmore 2018At night in Antler Hill Village and the Winery, a constellation of holiday lights illuminates trees, buildings and paths. The lights here have quickly become a must-see.

Candlelight Christmas Evenings do require a separate admission and are by reservation only.    

How to Taste Holiday Flavors at Biltmore

Throughout the Christmas at Biltmore Celebration, savor a festive meal at one of the Estate’s many restaurants including: The Bistro, Deerpark Restaurant, Stable Café, Cedric’s Tavern or The Dining Room at The Inn on Biltmore Estate. These restaurants will offer favorite seasonal dishes and craft cocktails.

For a special treat, the Inn on Biltmore offers an afternoon tea. Modeled after the English high tea tradition, Biltmore’s tea includes an assortment of savory sandwiches, delicate scones served with whipped cream and lemon curd and hand-made pastries and sweets. Reservations are required.

Biltmore Winery Christmas 2017Wondering what wine to serve or to give as a gift? You'll find the answer at Biltmore Estate Winery. From food pairing to sampling the delicious combination of red wine and dark chocolates, the staff at Biltmore Winery can help you find just the right wine for your holiday celebrations.

How the Christmas at Biltmore Tradition Began

On Christmas Eve 1895, George Vanderbilt opened Biltmore House to family and friends for the first time. Estate records show no detail was overlooked to ensure the holiday would be a memorable experience for guests. Vanderbilt also had a special grand celebration with gifts just for the Estate's employees, a tradition family descendants still carry on today.

What to Know: 2023-2024 Christmas at Biltmore

  • Christmas Tree Raising: TBD
  • Christmas at Biltmore Daytime Celebration: November 3, 2023 through January 7, 2024
  • Candlelight Christmas Evenings at Biltmore: November 3, 2023 through January 6, 2024
  • Candlelight Christmas Evenings require a separate ticket for entry from daytime admission and are available by reservation only. The ticket includes an evening self-guided candlelight tour of Biltmore House, same day or next day visit to the gardens, Antler Hill Village and Biltmore Estate Winery.
  • For ticket information, please visit Biltmore's website.
Updated January 20, 2023