Asheville Holiday Events: Nov & Dec

Asheville Top 50 Holiday Events - Nov & Dec

*Some events for 2020 may change as state and local guidelines may change. We are working hard to keep the information updated daily and encourage you to check back regularly for updates!

During the late fall and festive holiday season, including Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year's Day, Asheville and the surrounding mountain small towns have many great events, festivals, and celebrations. Below are our favorites. Also, see our Holiday Things to Do for ideas for your vacation during November and December. 

Top 50 Holiday Events, November & December

Gingerbread Houses Grove Park Inn
Baking Spirits Bright, The Omni Grove Park Inn
Wednesday, October 21, 2020 to Thursday, January 21, 2021
Learn how to make Gingerbread Houses at-home via a three-part series featuring All-Star Chefs & Competition Judges (including celebrity chef, Carla Hall). A portion of the proceeds goes to ACFEF’s Chef & Child Initiative. Class takers also receive 15% off future stays January-March, 2021. Available for purchase until Jan 21, 2021. Once purchased, the class series is available for unlimited viewing until October 1, 2021. 
Christmas at Biltmore
Christmas at Biltmore
Friday, November 6, 2020 to Saturday, January 9, 2021
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.
Polar Express Train
Polar Express Train
Friday, November 13, 2020 to Thursday, December 31, 2020
Ride to the North Pole on the Polar Express Train at the Great Smoky Mountains Railroad to pick up Santa. It's fun for all ages. Departs from Bryson City. See our guide for all the details.
Tryon Christmas Lights
Christmas Wonderland Lights @ Tryon
Tuesday, November 17, 2020 to Sunday, January 3, 2021
Drive through an extravangant, 2-mile Christmas light show, synchronized to music at the Tryon International Equestrian Center - open every night of the week.
Winter Lights NC Arboretum
Winter Lights at the NC Arboretum
Friday, November 20, 2020 to Saturday, January 2, 2021
Drive through a one-mile stretch of impressive light displays and unique exhibits at the Arboretum! We are delighted to be a sponsor of this festive event.
Thanksgiving in Asheville
Thanksgiving Day & Weekend
Thursday, November 26, 2020 to Sunday, November 29, 2020
See things to do on the holiday weekend, including the best restaurants open on Thanksgiving Day. Kick off the holiday season in style!
Forest City Christmas Lights
Forest City Hometown Holiday Lights
Thursday, November 26, 2020 to Sunday, January 3, 2021
See the million lights that create a magical Main Street in our top Christmas Town Forest City with many events throughout, including carriage rides. Lighting ceremony on Thanksgiving Day.
Hendersonville, NC, Christmas
Hendersonville Home for the Holidays
Friday, November 27, 2020 to Friday, January 1, 2021
Main Street twinkles with thousands of lights with many festive events including hayrides, tours, ice skating, and fantastic shopping.
Drive About Art Tour
Arts & Crafts Drive-About Tour
Friday, November 27, 2020 to Saturday, November 28, 2020
Take a free self-guided driving tour of the galleries and working studios of Graham and Swain Counties and buy arts and crafts directly from the artist. Pick up a map at the Stecoah Valley Cultural Arts Center near Fontana Lake. 10 AM-5 PM.
Trail of Lights Spruce Pine
A Mountain Christmas Trail of Lights
Friday, November 27, 2020 to Thursday, December 31, 2020
Enjoy 15 miles of twinkling lights and displays through the small towns of Spruce Pine and Bakersville, with many holiday happenings throughout the month. While you’re there, choose and cut your christmas tree at a local farm with fun activities like hayrides, hot cocoa, s’mores and pictures with Santa!
Flat Rock Playhouse
Flat Rock Playhouse Christmas (Virtual)
Monday, November 30, 2020 to Sunday, December 20, 2020
The Christmas show comes to your home this year! Experience the magic and merriment on stage and around town as this year's one-of-a-kind production was filmed on the Rock and in Hendersonville, capturing the spirit of the holidays like never before with dancing on Main Street, fireside singing, stunning performances on stage, and a virtually connected chorus. 
Lake Julian Festival of Lights
Lake Julian Festival of Lights
Tuesday, December 1, 2020 to Wednesday, December 23, 2020
This drive-thru light show in south Asheville features 50 animated light displays and thousands of colored lights in a lakeside park. $10 per car. 6-9 PM. Tickets must be purchased online.
Asheville Nativity Creche Fest
Asheville Nativity: Creche-Fest (Virtual)
Tuesday, December 1, 2020 to Thursday, December 31, 2020
See a virtual display of 300+ Nativity sets from 60+ countries, hosted at First Baptist Church in downtown Asheville (5 Oak Street). Go to their website for details. 
Dillsboro Lights & Luminaries
Dillsboro Lights & Luminaries
Repeats every week every Friday and every Saturday 4 times.
Friday, December 4, 2020
Experience the magic as the charming village is transformed into a winter wonderland of lights, candles, laughter, and song! Shopkeepers provide live music and serve holiday treats with hot cider and cocoa.
Toe River Studio Tour
Toe River Studio Tour
Friday, December 4, 2020 to Sunday, December 6, 2020
Self-driving tour to discover studios of 100+ artists and craftsmen, many internationally-known and from the acclaimed Penland School of Crafts. A blend of contemporary and traditional art - Burnsville and Spruce Pine area. Free admission!
Santa on the Chimney at Chimney Rock State Park
Santa on the Chimney
Repeats every week until Sat Dec 12 2020.
Saturday, December 5, 2020
Watch Santa practice for his world-wide chimney-dropping tour on his "practice chimney," the 312 ft. tall Chimney Rock monolith. Included with park admission.
Guild Artist Holiday Sale at the Folk Art Center
Guild Holiday Makers Sale at the Folk Art Center
Repeats every week until Sat Dec 12 2020.
Saturday, December 5, 2020
Get great deals on amazing art directly from the artists, offering over-runs, discontinued stock, and studio seconds in a festive atmosphere. And don't miss the special exhibits and main store at the Folk Art Center on the Blue Ridge Parkway. Free admission. 10 AM-4 PM. 
Dillsboro Lights & Luminaries
Dillsboro Lights & Luminaries
Saturday, December 5, 2020
Experience the magic as the charming village is transformed into a winter wonderland of lights, candles, laughter, and song! Shopkeepers provide live music and serve holiday treats with hot cider and cocoa.
Rutherfordton Christmas
Small Town Christmas, Rutherfordton
Saturday, December 5, 2020
Many events along Main Street throughout the day 1-9 PM. Shop sidewalk vendors at the Christmas Market from 1-5 PM and stroll by the storefront windows featuring live interactive displays 2-4 PM. Christmas Parade at 5 PM. Tree lighting at 6:30 PM at Courthouse. All free to attend.
Big Crafty Asheville
The Big Crafty (Virtual)
Saturday, December 5, 2020 to Sunday, December 6, 2020
Join The Big Craft this December though their Instagram stories!

Local's favorite art & craft show with 150 hand-selected local artists. Local food & beer too. Inside the Harrahs Cherokee Center in downtown Asheville (87 Haywood St). Saturday 1-8 PM ($5/person) and Sunday 11 AM-6 PM (free).
Dillsboro Lights & Luminaries
Dillsboro Lights & Luminaries
Friday, December 11, 2020
Experience the magic as the charming village is transformed into a winter wonderland of lights, candles, laughter, and song! Shopkeepers provide live music and serve holiday treats with hot cider and cocoa.
 A Night Before Christmas
A Night Before Christmas
Saturday, December 12, 2020
Downtown Waynesville's historic Main Street area's shops, galleries and restaurants open late from 6-9 PM with live music, live carolers, Bethlehem market place and live natvity, old-fashioned wagon rides, Santa & Mrs. Claus, storytelling, luminary-lined streets and more. Small town Christmas at its finest. 
Santa on the Chimney at Chimney Rock State Park
Santa on the Chimney
Saturday, December 12, 2020
Watch Santa practice for his world-wide chimney-dropping tour on his "practice chimney," the 312 ft. tall Chimney Rock monolith. Included with park admission.
Guild Artist Holiday Sale at the Folk Art Center
Guild Holiday Makers Sale at the Folk Art Center
Saturday, December 12, 2020
Get great deals on amazing art directly from the artists, offering over-runs, discontinued stock, and studio seconds in a festive atmosphere. And don't miss the special exhibits and main store at the Folk Art Center on the Blue Ridge Parkway. Free admission. 10 AM-4 PM. 
Dillsboro Lights & Luminaries
Dillsboro Lights & Luminaries
Saturday, December 12, 2020
Experience the magic as the charming village is transformed into a winter wonderland of lights, candles, laughter, and song! Shopkeepers provide live music and serve holiday treats with hot cider and cocoa.
Christmas Day Asheville
Christmas Day & Week Things to Do
Saturday, December 19, 2020 to Sunday, December 27, 2020
Find things to do and restaurants open on Christmas Day and week in Asheville, Biltmore and the surrounding mountain towns.
New Year's Eve
New Year's Eve
Thursday, December 31, 2020
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.

Past Events

Winter Lights NC Arboretum
Winter Lights at the NC Arboretum
Friday, November 20, 2020 to Saturday, January 2, 2021
Drive through a one-mile stretch of impressive light displays and unique exhibits at the Arboretum! We are delighted to be a sponsor of this festive event.
Tryon Christmas Lights
Christmas Wonderland Lights @ Tryon
Tuesday, November 17, 2020 to Sunday, January 3, 2021
Drive through an extravangant, 2-mile Christmas light show, synchronized to music at the Tryon International Equestrian Center - open every night of the week.
Studio Stroll River Arts District
River District Artists Studio Stroll
Saturday, November 14, 2020 to Sunday, November 15, 2020
Head to the River Arts District near downtown Asheville to find 180+ artists at work in 25 converted industrial buildings along the river. Great deals on art! 10 AM-5 PM. Free admission. See our guide for details.
Polar Express Train
Polar Express Train
Friday, November 13, 2020 to Thursday, December 31, 2020
Ride to the North Pole on the Polar Express Train at the Great Smoky Mountains Railroad to pick up Santa. It's fun for all ages. Departs from Bryson City. See our guide for all the details.
Christmas at Biltmore
Christmas at Biltmore
Friday, November 6, 2020 to Saturday, January 9, 2021
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.
Gingerbread Houses Grove Park Inn
Baking Spirits Bright, The Omni Grove Park Inn
Wednesday, October 21, 2020 to Thursday, January 21, 2021
Learn how to make Gingerbread Houses at-home via a three-part series featuring All-Star Chefs & Competition Judges (including celebrity chef, Carla Hall). A portion of the proceeds goes to ACFEF’s Chef & Child Initiative. Class takers also receive 15% off future stays January-March, 2021. Available for purchase until Jan 21, 2021. Once purchased, the class series is available for unlimited viewing until October 1, 2021. 
Fireplace in Historic Asheville B&B
Winter Events & Valentine Outings
Wednesday, January 1, 2020 to Tuesday, March 31, 2020
See our top picks for things to do and events in January, February and March - including Valentine's Weekend!
Montford Home Tour
Montford Home Tour
Saturday, December 7, 2019
Explore Asheville’s Montford historic neighborhood with Victorian, Arts and Crafts, Greek Revival and Dutch Colonial homes dating back to the late 1800s. Self-guided tour of 10 homes, 1-5 PM, $25/person. Tickets at Asheville Visitor Center (36 Montford Ave).
Winter Wonderland Grove Arcade
Winter Wonderland, Grove Arcade
Friday, November 29, 2019 to Tuesday, December 31, 2019
The Grove Arcade is extra festive during the holiday season! Their Winter Wonderland series features many free, family-friendly events throughout the holiday season with live music, ornament making workshops, gingerbread houses, and more.
Gingerbread Houses Grove Park Inn
National Gingerbread House Competition
Wednesday, November 20, 2019 to Friday, January 10, 2020
See the winning gingerbread houses and creations virtually this year at The Omni Grove Park Inn! See our guide for all the details.
Aluminum Christmas Tree Museum
Aluminum Christmas Tree Museum
Saturday, November 9, 2019 to Saturday, December 21, 2019
This quirky exhibit in downtown Brevard features dozens of vintage aluminum Christmas trees and ornaments inside the Transylvania Heritage Museum. A fun trip back in time. Wed-Sat. Free admission.
Tryon Beer Fest
Tryon Beer Fest
Saturday, November 2, 2019
A festive time with outdoor oyster roast, games, live music and great selection of craft beers and ciders. Downtown Tryon. 12-6 PM. Tickets: $30/person through August. $35 after Sept 1. $40 at event. Tickets capped at 1,000.
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