North Carolina Arboretum's Winter Lights Bring Holidays to Life

Winter Lights 2015

A new tradition is lighting up the holidays in Asheville. The North Carolina Arboretum’s annual Winter Lights, which began in 2014, features 500,000 bright, energy-efficient LED lights throughout the nationally-known gardens. The lights illuminate the natural beauty and landscapes of the arboretum during the winter season. In 2017, Winter Lights opens Nov. 17 and runs nightly through Dec. 31, 2017. The 2017 celebration features more lights, new interactive displays and lower family-friendly pricing.

Winter Lights at the ArboretumAs you stroll the walkways through the manicured grounds, enjoy uniquely lit displays that are like works of art. The displays and lighted landscapes help bring magic and whimsy to life throughout the three-acre tour. A special highlight is the 50-foot animated tree that comes alive to music. Other fan favorites at Winter Lights include the lighted Quilt Garden (which showcases incredible patterns), the "Storytime at Woodland Cove" animatronic children's program and the Rocky Cove Railroad garden scale model train. New features in 2017 include interactive motion sensor games and light activities.

As you take in the lights, warm up with hot cocoa, cider, s'mores, wine and beer. On weekends, enjoy a special dinner buffet (by reservation only).

If you go: 2017-2018 Winter Lights

  • Winter Lights opens Nov. 17 and runs through December 31, 2017
  • The Lights are on from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. every night
  • Tickets are required for entry and must be purchased in advance.  The tickets are date-specific. There is no cost for children age four and under.
  • Winter Lights is an outdoor walking tour. Wear closed-toe shoes suitable for walking and check the forecast to make sure you are dressing appropriately for the weather.

Reserve your ticket

Tickets are $18 for adults (ages 12+), $12 for children (ages 5-11) and free for children 4 years old and under. For more information on tickets, prices, availability and dinner reservations please click HERE

Winter Lights 2015Enjoy Weekday Specials

During Winter Lights, Tuesdays are “Friends and Family” nights at the Arboretum. All adult visitors will receive a discounted flat rate of $15 per ticket. "Friends and Family Tuesdays" tickets are $10 for children.

Catch a Ride

The Trolley Company offers transportation from downtown Asheville to Winter Lights every Friday and Saturday from 5:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. Visitors can be picked up from the Renaissance Hotel in downtown Asheville. In addition to transportation, you’ll receive a Winter Lights ticket and a cup of hot chocolate.  Please note: the trolley is for transportation purposes only. The trolley does not provide a drive-through tour of the lights. Winter Lights is an outdoor, self-guided walking tour. For more information on the Trolley Tour rates and availability, click HERE.

Discover the new downtown display

The Arboretum is partnering again with the City of Asheville for a holiday light display in downtown Asheville’s Pack Square Park.  “Winter Lights Downtown” will be centered around the Vance Monument and Hoss Haley Fountain. Winter Lights Downtown kicks off Nov. 18 at 6 p.m. and will be on display nightly through mid-January 2018.