Asheville Holiday Events: Nov & Dec

Asheville Top 50 Holiday Events - Nov & Dec

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

Christmas at Biltmore
Christmas at Biltmore
Friday, November 5, 2021 to Sunday, January 9, 2022
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.
Spruce Pine Southern Christmas Show
Spruce Pine Southern Christmas Show
Friday, November 5, 2021 to Saturday, November 6, 2021
This 2-day Arts & Craft event showcases a 3-D winter wonderland scene and holiday decorations in two large exhibit halls featuring over 80 local artists and crafters selling handmade jewelry, pottery, ornaments, home decor, soaps, garden art, and so much more. Also, enjoy an array of baked goods and the center’s boutiques and shops. Friday, 10 AM-6 PM. Saturday, 9 AM-5 PM.
Western North Carolina Pottery Festival
Western North Carolina Pottery Festival
Saturday, November 6, 2021
Meet 40+ master potters from across the country at this premier juried art event. Watch them in action and buy amazing creations that you will treasure for a lifetime.
Tryon Beer Fest
Tryon Beer Fest
Saturday, November 6, 2021
A festive time with outdoor oyster roast, games, live music, and a great selection of craft beers and ciders. Downtown Tryon. 1-6 PM. Tickets: $35/person through August. $75 after Sept 1. Tickets capped at 1,000.
Toe River Studio Tour
Toe River Studio Tour
Friday, November 12, 2021 to Sunday, November 14, 2021
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!
Polar Express Train
Polar Express Train
Friday, November 12, 2021 to Friday, December 31, 2021
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.
Studio Stroll River Arts District
River District Artists Studio Stroll
Saturday, November 13, 2021 to Sunday, November 14, 2021
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.
Asheville Holiday Parade
Asheville Holiday Parade
Saturday, November 20, 2021
Downtown, 11 AM. A fun and creative parade that kicks off Asheville's holiday season with marching bands, floats, dance and theater troupes, walking groups and Santa Claus himself.
Marshall Art Market
Marshall Handmade Market, Marshall
Saturday, November 20, 2021 to Sunday, November 21, 2021
This arts festival & holiday market is held indoors at Marshall High Studios on Blannahassatt Island in the French Broad River, 25 minutes north of Asheville. Classrooms-turned-studios open their doors for 60 artists to share process and art. Food trucks too. Free admission. 10 AM-5 PM
Thanksgiving in Asheville
Thanksgiving Day & Weekend
Thursday, November 25, 2021 to Sunday, November 28, 2021
See things to do on the holiday weekend, including the best restaurants open on Thanksgiving Day. Kick off the holiday season in style!
Hendersonville, NC, Christmas
Hendersonville Home for the Holidays
Friday, November 26, 2021 to Saturday, January 1, 2022
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 26, 2021 to Saturday, November 27, 2021
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.
Banner Elk Christmas
Small Town Christmas, Banner Elk
Friday, December 3, 2021 to Sunday, December 5, 2021
Many events during this weekend in our top ski town of Banner Elk. Tree lighting and variety show on Friday evening. Saturday highlights include a 5k, Alpaca Farm tours, Parade of Lights at 6 PM. Tate-Evans Park has train rides, luminaries, and light shows. Take home a Christmas Tree from a farm.
Santa on the Chimney at Chimney Rock State Park
Santa on the Chimney
Repeats every week until Sat Dec 11 2021.
Saturday, December 4, 2021
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.
Dillsboro Lights & Luminaries
Dillsboro Lights & Luminaries
Repeats every week every Friday and every Saturday 2 times.
Saturday, December 4, 2021
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.
Dillsboro Lights & Luminaries
Dillsboro Lights & Luminaries
Friday, December 10, 2021
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 11, 2021
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 11, 2021
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.
Christmas Day Asheville
Christmas Day & Week Things to Do
Saturday, December 18, 2021 to Sunday, December 26, 2021
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
Friday, December 31, 2021
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.
Golden Nugget Drop, Marion
New Years Eve Golden Nugget Drop
Friday, December 31, 2021
Gather on Main Street in downtown Marion on New Year's Eve night to watch the giant golden nugget drop into the 10-foot wide eatable donut that you get to sample after midnight. Many activities.
Fireplace in Historic Asheville B&B
Winter Events & Valentine Outings
Saturday, January 1, 2022 to Thursday, March 31, 2022
See our top picks for things to do and events in January, February and March - including Valentine's Weekend!

Past Events

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 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. 
Guild Artist Holiday Sale at the Folk Art Center
Guild Holiday Makers Sale at the Folk Art Center
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. 
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.
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.
Grove Arcade Winter Wonderland Asheville
Winter Wonderland, Grove Arcade
Tuesday, December 1, 2020 to Monday, January 4, 2021
The Grove Arcade is extra festive during the holiday season! Have a safe and jolly visit, shopping from local artisans and retailers for one-of-a-kind gifts, enjoying holiday-themed beverages, dining specials, and more. Give back and donate to MANNA FoodBank- drop-off barrels will be in several locations throughout.
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. 
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. 
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!
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.
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.
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).
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.
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