Asheville Christmas: Unwrapping the Magic with 2024 Festivities

Discover the Enchanting Winter Wonderland of Asheville

Follow along as we spill the eggnog on how to plan the best Asheville NC Christmas.

Pause for a moment and let the joy of the season sink in. Feel the chill in the air, the warmth of hot cocoa in your hands, and the echo of Christmas carols in the background.

Asheville in winter is a charming spectacle, transforming into a picture-postcard setting that celebrates the Christmas spirit like no other.

Embrace the Holiday Spirit at the Asheville Christmas Parade

Get ready to feel the holiday spirit as the Asheville Christmas Parade turns the city into a Christmas wonderland. Filled with culture, charm, and communal celebration, the parade is a not-to-be-missed event.

Imagine marching bands playing Christmas tunes, eye-catching floats decorated with Christmas lights, performers showcasing festive skits, and Santa Claus’s grand entrance. All this set amidst the beautiful streets of Asheville. Sounds like quite the Christmas in Asheville NC, doesn’t it?

Experiencing the Asheville Christmas Parade is a taste of Southern-style holiday cheer. You’ll enjoy the community spirit, festive atmosphere, and a reminder of what the giving season is all about. Catch the festivities on November 18th, starting at 11 AM.

Santa in a sweater playing a tromboneSpread Cheer With The
National Gingerbread House Competition

Now here’s a festive activity you shouldn’t miss – the Annual Gingerbread House Competition! It’s not just about the sweet treats; it’s about creativity, artistry, and the holiday spirit. Imagine walking into a room filled with deliciously scented, intricately designed gingerbread houses.

The best part? They’re all competing for the top prize. So whether you’re there to join the competition at the Omni Grove Park Inn or just to spectate, it’s a spectacle you won’t want to miss!

Relax and Unwind at the Christmas Eve Candlelight Service

As Christmas Eve draws near, what better way to enter the holiday than by attending a serene candlelight service? Many of Asheville’s churches open their doors for these solemn yet heartwarming services. With the soft glow of candles, the harmonious voices of the choir, and the potent, peaceful silence, it’s a moment of reflection and tranquillity you’ll definitely cherish.

Toasting to the Season: Asheville NC Christmas Brew Tours

Asheville has long been recognized for its thriving craft beer scene. During Christmas, local breweries put a festive spin on their offerings. What results is a variety of unique holiday brews that are sure to delight your palate.

Related Post: Best Things to Do in Asheville NC: 22 Unique Ideas

Hop onto one of Asheville’s brewery tours and enjoy sampling a collection of specially crafted Christmas brews. It’s an exciting and tasty way to toast the season!

Looking for more eclectic fun? Head over to the Grove Arcade to get your fill of shopping, dining, and entertainment.

friends having beer together at a brewery
Leo Patrizi / Getty Images

Immerse Yourself in the Festive Atmosphere of Christmas at Biltmore Estate

This Christmas, get ready to witness the mesmerizing beauty of the Biltmore Estate in Asheville. The sight of the beautifully lit estate against the calm winter sky will leave you spellbound.

Step inside the halls of America’s largest home, adorned with ornate Christmas trees, each room showcasing distinct holiday themes. Don’t miss out on the Banquet Hall with its majestic 35-foot Fraser Fir. You can almost visualize the table set for a grand Vanderbilt holiday feast, similar to those held a century ago.

Related Post: Biltmore – Insider’s Guide, Reviews, and Tips

Lose yourself in the aroma of the thousands of poinsettias, paperwhites, and amaryllis embellishing the Winter Garden. Enjoy this stunning blend of grandeur with homey Christmas vibes.

Pro Tip: Secure your Biltmore House tickets ahead of time for a unique experience with the Candlelight Christmas Evenings – a blend of traditional carols and vintage decor.

Outside, be awe-struck by the extensive gardens transformed into a captivating spectacle with a vibrant display of winter lights and Christmas symbols. Share toasts and tales with fellow attendees at Antler Hill Village’s winery, known for its award-winning wines.

Before you leave, browse the vintage-inspired treasures in the Carriage House Gift Shop. Don’t forget to sample traditional Christmas treats, such as cider and cookies, for that authentic Asheville Christmas experience on the estate.

outside biltmore estate with lights on trees in Asheville, North Carolina, USA

Experience the Joy of Ice Skating at the Asheville Outdoor Rink

Step into the picturesque world of Winter dreams in Asheville’s Outdoor Ice Rink, where the city’s vibe truly transforms into a Winter Wonderland. The sparkle of hundreds of lights strung above, the joyfully chilly air, and the crisp crunch of ice under boots creates the perfect setting for making indelible Christmas memories!

The Asheville Outdoor Rink is known for its true Christmas cheer. Whether you’re a pro on skates or it’s your first time, you are invited to glide around the icy arena. This is the place where the spirit of festive euphoria comes alive, in the most delightful way possible.

Additionally, the arena also offers skate rentals, so all you need to do is arrive with your Christmas spirit!

Explore the Gleaming Asheville Arboretum Christmas Lights

Let’s step into a luminous world of joy at the Winter Lights at the NC Arboretum. Every year, the North Carolina Arboretum transforms into a mind-blowing spectacle of glistening wonder with over half a million lights sculpted into extraordinary displays.

Cloaked under winter’s serene blanket, the Arboretum becomes an enchanted pathway that triumphantly celebrates the holiday season. As you walk through the open-air wonderland, get ready to oooh and aaah at the brilliantly crafted flora, fauna, and whimsical creatures, all glowing and ushering in an atmosphere of pure delight and amazement.

Wide shot of figures made out of Christmas lights at the North Carolina Arboretum in Asheville, North Carolina, USA
photo credit: The North Carolina Arboretum via Facebook

Asheville Christmas Jam

Hey there, groovy folks! Get ready to rock around the Christmas tree to some of the most electrifying live tunes in town at the Christmas Jam Asheville. Trust us, this is one Christmas festivity in Asheville that you absolutely can’t miss.

The Asheville Christmas Jam, which is an annual jingle-jangle extravaganza, is typically held over two rocking nights in mid-December. This epic musical celebration—organized by the legendary Warren Haynes—draws some of the best musicians from Asheville and beyond. So, pop on your dancing shoes, grab your air guitar, and let’s dive into the festive, foot-stomping fun!

Join in the Merriment with Festive Caroling Events

Get your vocal cords ready; Asheville thrives on the time-honored tradition of Christmas caroling! Participate with other merry folks in spreading Yuletide joy with harmonious tunes that dispel the cold of winter nights.

Each year, the city’s singing season commences with the Annual Asheville Carol Sing at Pack Square Park. With hundreds of joyful voices under a grand Christmas tree while surrounded by Christmas lights Asheville, the energy in the air is truly intoxicating!

As the holidays progress, don’t miss Caroling in the City. Local choirs serenade passersby in neighborhoods, creating festive melodies around every corner.

If you crave an organized caroling experience, hit up the Asheville Caroling Festival. This three-day extravaganza offers live shows, public sing-alongs, and a contest for the snazziest caroling group attire. Warning: attending this festival might end in you dressing up and belting out carols, top hat optional but encouraged!

Wide shot of a large crowd of people surrounding a giant Christmas Tree at Biltmore Park Town Square in Asheville, North Carolina, USA
photo credit: AutoStar at Asheville Outlets via Facebook

Experience the Magic of Storytelling at the Candlelit Tales of Christmas Past

Imagine wrapping yourself up in a cozy blanket and diving into the cherished stories of Asheville’s age-old tradition, the “Candlelit Tales of Christmas Past.” Picture being nestled in a warm ambiance, sipping hot cocoa as captivating tales of past Christmases and festive folklore fill the air. This magical, homely experience is just as much about you as it is about the narratives being spun.

You’ll be taken on a marvelous journey, with gifted storytellers unveiling heartfelt tales filled with nostalgia, joy, and a sprinkle of festive mystery. This wonderful event metamorphoses the holiday season into something extraordinary, making it a pivotal part of your Christmas schedule in Asheville.

Witness the Spectacular Fireworks Display on Christmas Eve

Asheville’s annual fireworks show is a must-see event during Christmas Eve. For many, this vibrant and dazzling display is the highlight of the holiday season. Imagine a sight so stunning it feels like the stars have landed on earth!

Every year, part of downtown Asheville transforms into a mesmerizing light show. The precisely planned and executed fireworks light up the night, casting festive hues over snow-covered mountains. The light show, coupled with the sounds of happiness and celebration, create a perfect holiday atmosphere.

Grab a warm cocoa, gather your loved ones, and immerse yourself in the stunning view. From twinkling sky-fall to grand finales lighting up the city, there’s something to awe at every moment.

Close up photo of Santa and one of his elves at the Asheville Outlets in Asheville, North Carolina, USA
photo credit: Asheville Outlets via Facebook

Join the Annual Ugly Sweater Contest and Show off Your Holiday Style

Gear up for the most amusing event of the season – the annual Ugly Sweater Contest in Asheville. A beloved tradition, this festivity is sure to tickle your funny bone!

But how do you win this bizarre fashion contest? It’s easy! Just don an extraordinarily tacky, colorful, and extravagant sweater, and wear it with conviction. Confidence is key in bagging the grand prize!

Who knows, your astonishingly ghastly sweater might win you the ‘Ugliest Sweater of the Year’ title! Make this unconventional event part of your Christmas in Asheville, and create memorable, jolly moments!

Embark on a Magical Journey with the Polar Express Train Ride

Grab your comfiest PJs and your golden ticket! Let’s head to Western North Carolina for a lifetime journey onboard the Polar Express. This train ride, brimming with Christmas cheer, is one of Asheville’s can’t-miss attractions.

In just over an hour, this round trip serves up winter wonders and festive vibes. The train’s rhythmic clacking, charming stories, and heart-tugging carols create a truly magical atmosphere. Enjoy a mug of warm, creamy hot chocolate as part of this wintry adventure!

  • Departure: Great Smoky Mountains Railroad Depot.
  • When: Selected dates from mid-November to late December.
  • Price: Varies; check the website for the latest rates.
  • Tip: Don’t wait! Book your tickets early – they sell out fast.

Psst.. do you go loco for locomotives? Check out the Craggy Mountain Line or the Holly Jolly Christmas Trolley.

close up of conductor holding lamp and child holding golden ticket
photo credit: THE POLAR EXPRESS Train Ride – Chicago Union Station via Facebook

Admire the Beautifully Decorated Christmas Trees at the Festival of Trees

Searching for Christmas lights Asheville NC? Imagine stepping into a real-life greeting card. That’s what you’ll experience at Asheville’s Festival of Trees. This event, held at the Omni Grove Park Inn, is a must-see experience for Christmas lovers. It adds a touch of magic to the ordinary winter day by transforming it into an extravagant spectacle of sparkle and color.

Prepare to be amazed by more than a hundred uniquely adorned Christmas trees. As you stifle through glittering lights and fancy ornaments, you’ll find yourself gripped by a sense of awe and inspiration.

Every tree, from the one adorned entirely with handmade lattice-work ornaments to the one paying homage to the Nutcracker ballet, paints its own story and adds a special glimmer to the holiday season.

Wondering if the Lake Julian Festival of Lights will be returning in 2024? While there are no dates released just yet, stay tuned! More information may become available.


Discover the Delightful Christmas Stories at Asheville’s Theatrical Performances

Get ready for a Christmas adventure in Asheville! Known for its lively arts scene, the city offers an array of festive plays that will capture your heart with both classic and original holiday tales.

The stages of The Asheville Community Theatre and The North Carolina Stage Company glow brightly during the Christmas season. Catch the mesmerizing performances and let the magic of Christmas theatre stay with you long after the show ends.

“A Christmas Carol”: Dive into this timeless Christmas story and watch Scrooge learn the true meaning of Christmas.

“The Nutcracker”: Allow the magic of this beloved Christmas ballet transport you to a world of dreams and enchantment.

“Elf the Musical”: Join Buddy the Elf on his heartfelt adventure to discover who he truly is.

a jellyfish image designed lights 
photo credit: The North Carolina Arboretum via Facebook

Take Festive Stroll Through Asheville’s Winter Wonderland Gardens

There’s something quite magical about Asheville’s Winter Wonderland Gardens. Picture exploring a snow-kissed landscape, lit by twinkling lights, and experiencing the peaceful tranquility of nature. It’s the perfect way to take a break from Asheville’s lively Christmas events and enjoy some quiet downtime amidst breathtaking scenery.

Alongside the natural beauty, the garden offers interactive light displays and festive decorations. Gentle holiday music plays in the background, enhancing the visually striking environment and creating a magnetizing atmosphere. The soft lights glowing in the wintery air add to the garden’s overall charm.

So, put on your warmest clothes, gather your loved ones, and head over to Asheville’s Winter Wonderland Gardens. Enjoy the sound of snow crunching under your feet, the glow of Christmas lights, and the stunning natural beauty.

Can’t make it to Asheville before Christmas day? You’re in luck! Most festivities run until December 31.

A Remarkable Asheville NC Christmas in a Festive Winter Wonderland

So, why not start a new tradition this year? Cast off the ordinary, and step into an extraordinary holiday wonderland that is Asheville, North Carolina. Picture yourself amid flickering Asheville Christmas lights, joyful tunes, delightful tastes, and heartwarming experiences.

Can’t you almost smell the gingerbread? Hear the caroling and live music? Feel the magic of stories being told?

Pack your bags, your Christmas sweater, and your festive cheer – Asheville is waiting for you!

What Did We Miss?

Have anything to add to our Asheville NC Christmas guide? Where is your favorite market to get your holiday shopping done? Leave us a comment below!

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Written by Kelsi Johnson

Meet Kelsi, a Colorado-based writer and editor for Tripster. When she isn't behind the keyboard crafting engaging travel content, you'll find her hiking...

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