November 20, 2020-January 10, 2021
This year, in light of COVID-19, take a festive drive through The North Carolina Arboretum's elaborate Winter Lights show, converted to a spectacular one-mile stretch of unique exhibits covered with thousands of holiday lights! Designed with an artistic aesthetic, the show enhances the natural beauty of the gardens and campus as you ride through the Arboretum’s enchanted forest in your own vehicle. RomanticAsheville.com is delighted to be a sponsor of this event.
You must buy tickets in advance. Open 5:30 PM -10 PM. (Incoming gates close at 9:30 PM). Plan ahead as many nights will sell-out. See the ticket info and link to buy below!
Look for several new features and design elements this year! The new display will offer some fun twists, including new nature-themed displays like winter wildlife, colorful butterflies, special insect lantern exhibit, and a giant daisy "garden." It's sure to delight guests and create new holiday memories!
Guided by green principles, the design team created a show composed of energy-efficient LED lights, which use 80% less energy than conventional lights. Proceeds generated from the Winter Lights fundraiser helps the Arboretum continue to expand its educational programs, exhibits, and facilities. It takes 12,500 hours of labor to design, set up and remove the lights and manage the crowds.
Tickets & Hours
- Pre-sale admission is $25/vehicle and $30 at the gate.
- You must reserve your date when you buy your ticket.
- Tuesday "Friends and Family" discount nights (excluding December 22).
- Arboretum Discount Week: November 30-December 3.
- Members of The North Carolina Arboretum Society get a $3 discount on their pre-sale tickets.
- Commercial vans and motor coaches will be charged a premium, please see website for details.
- Open nightly from 5:30 to 10:30 PM, including Thanksgiving and Christmas Day.
- Many nights will sell-out in advance.
- Weekends and Holidays will be busy with a longer wait time. Avoid the lines by choosing a later time (after 8 PM) or go on a weekday.
- Click here to buy tickets on their website.
Things to Know
For other questions, call the Arboretum 9 AM-5 PM, 7 days a week, at 828-665-2492.
The North Carolina Arboretum is located next to the Blue Ridge Parkway entrance ramp at Milepost 393. From I-26, take Exit 33 and follow NC 191 South for two miles to the entrance on right.
Street Address: 20 Frederick Law Olmsted Way (but don't rely on your GPS only)
Go to our North Carolina Arboretum Guide for daytime visits year-round.