Festive Happenings for Your Holiday Getaway

Family Making Smores at Winter Lights

Holiday magic for all ages

Asheville is well known for going all out with its holiday celebrations. The season offers a mix of beloved holiday traditions, special events and pop-up markets. Here’s a list of festive celebrations and events happening all season long in the Asheville area.

Top Events for the Holiday Season in Asheville, North Carolina

Christmas at Biltmore

November 4, 2022 - January 8, 2023
Biltmore

Biltmore Estate at the HolidaysBiltmore has decked the halls in holiday décor with more than 60 trees including a 35-foot Fraser fir. Across the estate you’ll see garland, ribbons and festive light displays. Each night through January 7, 2023 they are hosting their popular Candlelight Christmas Evenings. This requires a special ticket to reserve your time and each ticket includes a next-day visit to see the gardens, Antler Hill Village, including the new Leonardo da Vinci exhibit, and the Winery.

Winter Lights

November 18 - December 31, 2022
The North Carolina Arboretum

Winter Lights at the ArboretumDesigned with an artistic aesthetic, Winter Lights is a self-guided walking experience through the Arboretum that features beautifully lit displays and glowing landscapes nestled along the Arboretum’s woodland edge and garden areas. Nearly one million lights enhance the natural beauty of the gardens. The lights are on display November 18 - December 31, 2022. Advance tickets are recommended.

Winter Wonderland

November 19, 2022 - January 2, 2023
Grove Arcade

The Grove Arcade in downtown Asheville decorates for its Winter Wonderland celebrationThe holiday spirit in Asheville lives at the Grove Arcade. For over 15 years, the merchants and residents of the Grove Arcade have come together to turn their beloved 1920s architecture into a winter paradise! Shop, dine and take part in special events like the Tree-Lighting Ceremony on Nov. 19, holiday face painting on Nov. 26, a children's book reading on Dec. 3 & 10, along with a roaring twenties New Year's Eve party on Dec. 31.

Asheville Holiday Parade

Saturday, November 19, 2022, 11 a.m.
Downtown Asheville

Asheville Holiday ParadeBring the family out for a parade that will roll, dance, and march through downtown. This year's parade theme is "Winter Wonderland" and will feature more than 100 entries including bands, dance and cheer squads, youth sports, and other organizations. This year, James Beard Award winners, Chefs Katie Button and Meherwan Irani, will serve as Grand Marshals of the parade.

2022 National Gingerbread House Display

November 28, 2022 – January 2, 2023
Omni Grove Park Inn

Girl smiling looking down at gingerbread house display at Omni Grove Park InnPeruse hundreds of confectionery creations lining the halls of this famed resort, all of which are vying for the top spot in this year’s competition. For those not staying at the resort, there are select days you can visit to see the entries. There is a minimum parking fee of $25, and no outside pets are allowed unless you’re staying at the Inn.

Deck the Trees

December 1, 2022 – January 2, 2023Deck The Trees Black Mountain
Monte Vista Hotel, Black Mountain

Beautiful and unique hand-decorated Christmas trees in the theme of “Let Heaven and Nature Sing” will bring joy and inspiration to all who visit. The public is invited to view the multitude of adorned trees on display.

Appalachian Santa and Highlands Experience

December 1 & 9, 2022
Montgomery Sky Farm

Join Appalachian Santa on the farm for family photo sessions. Kids will have a chance to see Highland cows, mini goats and sheep. Warm beverages and cookies will be available in the barn along with the opportunity to write Santa a letter.

Festival of Lights

Walk-thru (Dec. 2 & 3) Drive-thru (Dec. 4 - 23)
Lake Julian

Lake Julian Festival of Lights 2017On of Asheville's favorite light shows has transformed this year by adding some extra sparkle to the event. On Dec. 2 and 3, guests can experience the "Lights by the Lake" walking tour, where you can enjoy the dazzling sights of Lake Julian by foot. Its traditional drive-thru experience will begin on Dec. 4 and shine through December 23. Admission is $5 and tickets for both of these events must be purchased in advance online.

Jingle Bell Trolley

December 2 - 4, 9 - 11, 16 - 18, 22 - 23
Craggy Mountain Line Railroad

Take a fun and festive train ride with Santa and Mrs. Clause. This event is fun and educational for the family. Tour multiple locomotive, cabooses, and train cars and enjoy cookies and hot chocolate.

Dickens in the Village Festival

December 2-3, 2022
Biltmore Village

Dickens in the VillageThe beautiful, historic district of Biltmore Village transports you back in time to the days of Charles Dickens and A Christmas Carol! The Old World Dickens in the Village Festival is an immersive holiday experience featuring performances by strolling carolers, actors and musicians dressed in costume. This year, the festival will include a Christmas market and kids carnival on Saturday, December 2, from 4 to 7 p.m. followed by another Christmas market on Sunday, December 3, from 1 to 6 p.m.

25th Annual Santa on the Chimney

December 3 & 10, 2022Santa on the Chimney
Chimney Rock State Park

Watch Santa practice for the big night on one of the biggest chimneys in the world. On December 3 and 10, 2022, Santa rappels from the top of Chimney Rock at Chimney Rock State Park. Meet him and Mrs. Claus, listen to special music and enjoy family activities.

Black Mountain Christmas Parade

December 3, 2022, 2 p.m.
Downtown Black Mountain

Join in the holiday cheer at this annual event in Black Mountain, which features over 50 floats, vehicles and performers, as well as Santa Claus!

Weaverville Christmas Parade

December 3, 2022, 1 p.m.
Downtown Weaverville

Take part in this annual small town holiday tradition in Weaverville, just north of Asheville. There will be floats, performers, and a visit from Santa Claus.

Winter Wonder Walk Holiday Festival

December 9 - 11, 15 - 18
Adventure Center of Asheville

Celebrate the wonder of winter with a live-action immersive story-walk on an outdoor trail complete with live characters, lights and a blustery guest, Jack Frost. The 2nd annual Winter Wonder Walk follows the pages of the storybook of Winterland - full of holiday magic for all ages! Families can also enjoy a holiday market, a kids’ play area and a warm festival tent buzzing with local vendors, tasty concessions, and activities for the family. Don’t miss out on the Treetops Adventure Park Glow Trail, which will be available for guests age 4 years or older. Proceeds benefit MANNA Foodbank's Memories Making Meals program.

Holiday Lights at Burton Street

December 10, 2022
Burton Street Community Center, West Asheville

The Burton Street Community Center in West Asheville will deck the halls for the holidays. Take a holiday evening walk around the field lit by luminaries, and enjoy hot chocolate and other festive treats.

Warren Haynes Presents: Christmas Jam

December 10, 2022
Harrah's Cherokee Center - Asheville

This beloved musical masterpiece is back! Following a three-year hiatus, the 31st annual Christmas Jam will feature an incredible lineup including Phil Lesh & Friends (feat. Warren Haynes, John Scofield, John Medeski, & John Molo), Tyler Childers with his band The Food Stamps, Gov’t Mule, Brothers Osborne, Dinosaur Jr., and Beth Hart. Curated by Grammy Award-winning vocalist, songwriter, producer and guitar legend Warren Haynes, Christmas Jam, which is a fundraiser for Asheville Area Habitat for Humanity, is one of the most celebrated and longest-running live concerts in the U.S.

Breakfast with Santa at The Farm

December 11, 10 a.m. - 1 p.m.

Enjoy a family-friendly holiday morning with Santa Claus himself this December hosted by The Farm in Candler. Guests to this very special breakfast will delight in delicious food, crafts, hot cocoa and, of course, Mr. Claus.

Twilight in the Treetops – Holiday Night Climb

December 30, 2022
Adventure Center of Asheville

Watch the world transform from dusk to night while climbing in the trees at the Asheville Treetops Adventure Park. Trails will be illuminated to give climbing the obstacles a new perspective. Over 15,000 colored lights, plus colorful lasers sparkling on thousands of leaves, cables, rope and platforms throughout the park will create a mystical tree climbing experience like you can’t imagine. Ages 4 and over. Reservations are suggested.

Making a list, checking it twice

Christmas Shopping

With multiple shopping districts and special pop-up markets, finding that perfect gift is easy in Asheville.

Holiday Musicals & Entertainment Calendar

Get into the holiday spirit at one of the many performing arts events happening around the mountains.

Moscow Ballet - The Great Russian Nutcracker

  • November 25 – 27: Multiverse Theatre Collective presents, Miss Bennet: Christmas at Pemberley at the Be Be Theatre, various times
  • December 3 & 4: The Nutcracker and the Mouse King at Wortham Center for the Performing Arts, 7:30 p.m.
  • December 2 – 4, 8 – 11, 15 – 17: Caroling by Gaslight at The Magnetic Theatre, various times
  • December 2 – 18: Elf The Musical at Asheville Community Theatre, various times
  • December 9 – 11, 15 – 17: The Nutcracker at Wortham Center for the Performing Arts, various times
  • December 9 – 18, Multiverse Theatre Collective presents, The Wickhams: Christmas at Pemberley at the Be Be Theatre, Fridays - Sundays, various times
  • December 9 – 23: Santa Claus Conquers the Martin at the Attic Salt Theatre Company, Fridays - Sundays, various times
  • December 18: A Swannanoa Solstice at Wortham Center for the Performing Arts, 7 p.m.
  • December 20: NUTCRACKER! Magic of Christmas Ballet at Harrah's Cherokee Center - Asheville, 8 p.m.

Holiday Pub Crawls and Races

Whether you need to shed a few holiday pounds, or you want to pack some on, there are some festive holiday events to achieve both.

South Asheville Turkey Trot 5K

November 24, 2022
Biltmore Park Town Square

Thanksgiving is the largest running holiday with families all over the country! Turkey Trots are a great way to start the day. Enjoy some fresh air and exercise before gathering around the table for your Thanksgiving feast! You’ll share miles and smiles with your family and friends as part of this fun, annual tradition.

Miracle Bar

November 25 - December 31, 2022
Golden Pineapple

Miracle is a Christmas-themed pop-up cocktail bar that serves holiday cocktails in a festive setting. With kitschy holiday décor, professionally-developed cocktails and the nostalgic energy of the best office party you’ve ever been to, Miracle is sure to get even the grouchiest grinch in the holiday spirit.

A Very Merry Ugly Sweater Run – 5K & 10K

December 3, 2022
The Riveter

Don your ugliest sweater and lace up your running shoes for this festive 5k/10k event. The Riveter will be serving up plenty of post-race activities (and beverages) this year, so it's sure to become one of your favorite holiday traditions!

Ugly Sweater Crawl

December 10, 2022
Daddy Mac's

Get that Goodwill sweater, find those tacky holiday pants, and get ready to jingle bell ROCK! Ticket Includes: Holiday T-shirt handed out at the after party, Ugly Sweater Crawl koozie, Christmas movie live stream trivia during crawl for prizes, registration party to kick off the crawl, themed discounted drink specials at participating bars, DJ's playing holiday music at multiple stops, Ugly Sweater digital crawl map to help guide you bar to bar, and the Ugly Sweater after party.

 

Updated December 5, 2022
Read More