Christmas 2018 in Asheville: Restaurants & More

Christmas Day & Weekend 2018 in Asheville

Are you visiting the Asheville area on Christmas Day or weekend? There are so many things to do. Celebrate with your family or friends and make memories for many years to come. As with most cities, most businesses close on Christmas Day - but we do have a list of restaurants open below.

Biltmore Estate
Yes, Biltmore House is open for daytime tours on both Christmas Eve and Day (closes at 2 PM on the 25th), but no candlelight evening tours on those days. Buy your tickets well in advance (save $10 if at least 7 days ahead) since they will have many sold-out days this week. See our Christmas at Biltmore Guide.

Downtown Asheville
Enjoy free parking in downtown for three days at Christmas (Dec 23, 24, 25). Most shops and galleries are open the day before and after Christmas. See our downtown Asheville Guide.

Winter Lights at NC Arboretum
The big light display in the gardens of the Arboretum will be open both Christmas Eve and Day, 6-10 PM. Cafe has a buffet both days. Buy tickets in advance (no tickets at gate) - they often sell out this week. Go to our Winter Lights Guide for more.

Looking for snow? Typically, our only white Christmas locations are our ski slopes with manmade snow. See our Top Ski Resorts near Asheville.

Take a Hike!
Since the weather will feel more like spring, many will head outdoors for a walk or hike. Most trails in the national forest and parks will be open - but visitor centers will be closed. State parks, including Mt. Mitchell, Lake James and Gorges, are closed on Christmas Day. See our Top 20 Winter Hikes.

Most all of the waterfalls in our national and state forests (including DuPont Forest) will be accessible on Christmas Day, and they are free to enjoy. See our Top 20 Winter Waterfalls photo tour. (Chimney Rock & Gorges State Park will be closed on Christmas Day.)

Blue Ridge Parkway
Typically, higher sections of the Blue Ridge Parkway are closed for ice and snow. But if the weather is warm, it could be fully open.

Restaurants Open for Christmas
What better way to enjoy times with loved ones than to gather for food and drinks? Be sure to make reservations well in advance, especially if you have a group. While most all restaurants and breweries are open Christmas week, only a few are open on December 25th. Many are open on Christmas Eve (see our Restaurants Directory), but close by late afternoon. Here are our top picks:

  • Omni Grove Park Inn Restaurants: Christmas Eve (12-8:30 PM) & Day (12-8 PM) legendary buffet in the Blue Ridge Dining Room, $59-$65/adult & $25/child 6-12. Plus the festive Christmas Day Buffet in the Grand Ballroom is 11 AM-6:45 PM, $65/adult & $25/child 6-12. Vue 1913 features a 3-course menu ($75/person) 2-9:30 PM on Christmas Day. Edison Craft Ales & Kitchen open on the 25th 11 AM-11 PM with a seasonal menu. Reservations are a must - well in advance.
  • Biltmore Estate Restaurants: The big Christmas Eve and Day buffet at Deerpark is $54/person. 11 AM-5 PM both days. Call 828-225-6260 to reserve. Other restaurants, including Bistro and Stable Café, will be open regular hours. Bistro reservations: 828-225-6230. You'll need either an admission ticket or season pass to get inside the estate for the restaurants. Book well in advance! 
  • Grand Bohemian Hotel / Red Stag Grill contemporary European comfort food Christmas Day Four-Course Brunch in Ballroom, 11 AM-3 PM, $70/person. Christmas Eve 5-10 PM & Day 4-9 PM Four-Course Dinner 5-10 PM, $85/person. Biltmore Village.
  • Strada Italiano: Christmas Eve regular menu plus Feast of the Seven Fishes, downtown, 11 AM-9 PM.
  • The Blackbird: Limited menu on Christmas Eve, 5-10 PM, downtown.
  • Bouchon: Open 5-9:30 PM on Christmas Eve, downtown.
  • Season’s at Highland Lake Inn: Outstanding Christmas Day buffet featuring many choices. Flat Rock (near Hendersonville). 11 AM-5 PM. $52/adult, $26/child ages 6-11. Reservations required. Christmas Eve buffet 5-8 PM, $48/adult, $24/child.
  • Hemingway's Cuba: Open Christmas Day 7-11 AM & 4:30-10 PM, downtown Asheville
  • Isa's Bistro: Open Christmas Day 7-11 AM & 12-8 PM, downtown Asheville

Hotels & Bed and Breakfasts
If you stay in a hotel or B&B, most will serve breakfast on Christmas morning. So that's a great way to start the big day! Find the perfect place to stay.

Christmas Eve Services
Many churches in Asheville have Christmas Eve services. Here are a few of our favorites:

Christmas Day & Week Things to Do

Christmas at Biltmore
Christmas at Biltmore
November 03, 2018 to January 06, 2019
The biggest event of the holiday season. See America's largest home decked out in festive finery. Candlelight Evenings are especially magical. See our extensive guide with tips, photos and details.
Winter Lights NC Arboretum
Winter Lights at the NC Arboretum
November 16, 2018 to December 31, 2018
Stroll through impressive light displays in the Arboretum gardens, especially designed to compliment the plants and trees in this beautiful setting. We are delighted to be a sponsor of this festive event.
Forest City Christmas Lights
Forest City Hometown Holiday Lights
November 22, 2018 to January 01, 2019
See the million lights that create a magical Main Street in downtown Forest City with many events throughout, including carriage rides. Lighting ceremony on Thanksgiving Day.
Asheville Outlets
Asheville Outlets
Shop 75 national and local outlets in this beautiful, new outdoor shopping village. It's located on I-26, just six miles from Biltmore and seven miles from downtown Asheville. It's pet-friendly, and there are many events and sales throughout the year.
Ski & Snowboard
Ski & Snowboard
Hit the slopes for plenty of winter of fun. Since we have the highest mountains in eastern America, you will find plenty of snow, either natural or man-made, for sking and snowboarding. 
Foodie Heaven
Find Foodie Favorites
Check out our very diverse and passionate food and drink scene. Be a little adventurous and try something new. Or, enjoy time-honored classics. In downtown, walk to 60+ locally-owned innovative restaurants, many with outdoor dining. From crafted cocktails to local brews, there's plenty to drink. Forage for food, visit a farm or tour a vineyard.
Downtown Asheville
Downtown Asheville Top 25
Spend a day exploring downtown, with hundreds of locally-owned shops and galleries, museums, restaurants, breweries and pubs. Dance at the Drum Circle, go to a festival or enjoy street performers. See our favorite things to do!
Beech Mountain Ski Resort
Beech Mountain Ski Resort
As the highest ski and snowboard area in the eastern US, ride 17 slopes on 95 acres. Find runs for every skill levels, with a vertical drop of 830 feet and 80+ inches of annual snow. The Alpine Village has ice skating, brewery and even a mountaintop bar. Snow tubing and terrain park. Ski vacation packages and lessons.
Hendersonville, NC, Christmas
Hendersonville Home for the Holidays
November 23, 2018 to December 31, 2018
Main Street twinkles with thousands of lights with many festive events including carriage rides, parade, Broadway shows, tours, ice skating and fantastic shopping.
Downtown Asheville
Explore Downtown Asheville
During the day, downtown Asheville bustles with shoppers browsing more than 200 galleries, antique shops and local boutiques. Each evening, enjoy street entertainers, restaurants, breweries, festivals and music. Walk the Urban Trail and tour historic sites. See our Top 25 things to do downtown.
Gingerbread House Competition, Grove Park Inn
National Gingerbread House Competition
November 25, 2018 to January 03, 2019
See the winning gingerbread houses and creations on display at The Omni Grove Park Inn, elaborately decorated for the season. Public viewing Sunday-Thursday except Christmas week. See our guide for all the details.
New Year's Eve
New Year's Eve
December 31, 2018
Head to downtown Asheville for many dining and entertainment choices or go to celebrations throughout WNC. Special events on Jan 1st too. See our top New Year Celebrations and Things to Do.

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