November 1, 2018
The centerpiece for the Christmas at Biltmore celebration is the 35-foot fraser fir Christmas Tree in the Banquet Hall. Bringing the massive tree into Biltmore House is amazing to watch. This operation is precise and takes an army of 40 people! Watch the arrival at 10 AM, led by Santa himself. No extra ticket or reservation is needed. Many hundreds of guests gather in front of the house to watch, so expect a traffic jam getting into the estate. Pic above: 2018 Arrival!
After the tree is safely lifted into place into the Banquet Hall, visitors can watch the decorating team as they add the lights and ornaments throughout much of the day. We had special access inside the Banquet Hall to watch the arrival. See 2017 Photos of Biltmore House Christmas.
If you are an Annual Passholder, you get 20% off at all estate shops, hotels and restaurants that day! Save $100 on an annual pass during all of November. For 2018 tour info, specials and more, go to our complete Christmas at Biltmore Guide.
After workers run steel poles under the tree, the wagon departs. This highly orchestrated team carefully carries the massive tree into the front door.
PULL! Coming into the Banquet Hall is a little tricky. This seen may remind you of squeezing your tree through your front door.
Ropes from workers in the balcony and on the main floor guide the tree carefully around the chandelier (and it's very close!). But since the Banquet Hall is 70 feet high, there is plenty of room at top. Scaffolding is quickly assembled to begin untying to release the branches. The tree was grown at Andrews Nursery in Newland.
The tree is decorated with 500 ornaments (up to several feet long), 500 lights and 500 packages (as George Vanderbilt decorated the tree). During the Biltmore Christmas season, the tree is changed out twice - both overnight.
If you plan to attend, arrive early since the tree raising has become extremely popular!
Also see our Top 20 Holiday Outings and Christmas Events in and around Asheville
More info for you about the Biltmore House:
- See more photos of inside Biltmore House.
- Take a guided tour of additional areas of the house not opened for the self-guided tour.
- See our Biltmore Intro for details on visiting, including information on the Winery, Gardens, Events, Antler Village, hiking and the outdoors and more!
- Go to the Biltmore Estate Web site to buy advance discount tickets!
Watch our video highlights of the tree arrival and raising.