Asheville Holiday Events: Nov & Dec

Asheville Top 40 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. (Pic at top: Forest City Lights)

Top 40 Holiday Events, November & December

Fireplace in Historic Asheville B&B
Winter Events & Valentine Outings
Sunday, January 1, 2017 to Friday, March 31, 2017
See our top picks for things to do and events in January, February and March - including Valentine's Weekend!
Christmas at Biltmore
Christmas at Biltmore
Friday, November 3, 2017 to Sunday, January 7, 2018
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.
Weaverville Art Safari
Weaverville Art Safari
Saturday, November 4, 2017 to Sunday, November 5, 2017
One of our favorites for sure! This self-guided, make-your-own-agenda event throughout Weaverville and surrounding scenic valleys is a rare opportunity to interact with artists and see the process behind the development of their critically acclaimed works of art. And it's fun to buy directly from the artists!
Western North Carolina Pottery Festival
Western North Carolina Pottery Festival
Saturday, November 4, 2017
Meet 45 master potters from 17 states as they come together in Dillsboro for this premier art event. Buy amazing creations that you will treasure for a lifetime.
Polar Express Train
Polar Express Train
Friday, November 10, 2017 to Sunday, December 31, 2017
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. See our guide for all the details.
Studio Stroll River Arts District
River District Artists Studio Stroll
Saturday, November 11, 2017 to Sunday, November 12, 2017
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! 10-5. Free admission. See our guide for details.
Winter Lights NC Arboretum
Winter Lights at the NC Arboretum
Friday, November 17, 2017 to Sunday, December 31, 2017
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.
Asheville Holiday Parade
Asheville Holiday Parade
Saturday, November 18, 2017
Downtown, 11 AM. A fun and creative parade that kicks off Asheville's holiday season with marching bands, floats, dance & theater troupes, walking groups and Santa Claus himself.
Thanksgiving in Asheville
Thanksgiving Day & Weekend
Thursday, November 23, 2017 to Sunday, November 26, 2017
See things to do on the holiday weekend, including best restaurants open on Thanksgiving Day. Kick off the holiday season in style!
Forest City Christmas Lights
Forest City Hometown Holiday Lights
Thursday, November 23, 2017 to Tuesday, January 2, 2018
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.
Drive About Art Tour
Arts & Crafts Drive-About Tour
Friday, November 24, 2017 to Saturday, November 25, 2017
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.
National Gingerbread House Competition
National Gingerbread House Competition
Sunday, November 26, 2017 to Thursday, January 4, 2018
See the winning gingerbread houses and creations on display at The Omni Grove Park Inn, elaborately decorated for the season. Public viewing Sunday-Thursday. See our guide for all the details.
Old Fashioned Dickens of a Christmas Festival
Old Fashioned Dickens of a Christmas Festival
Friday, December 1, 2017 to Saturday, December 2, 2017
Enjoy many festivities including horse-drawn carriages, carolers, tree lighting, storytellers and instrumentalists in historic Biltmore Village. And chestnuts roasting on an open fire! Starts Fri at 6 PM. 
Art After Dark
Art After Dark
Friday, December 1, 2017
Downtown Waynesville and Frog Level galleries present special shows with refreshments and live music 6-9 PM. Very festive small town atmosphere.
Dillsboro Festival of Lights & Luminaries
Dillsboro Festival of Lights & Luminaries
Repeats every week 1 times.
Friday, December 1, 2017 to Saturday, December 2, 2017
Experience the magic as the entire town 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 1, 2017 to Sunday, December 3, 2017
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
Balsam Range
Balsam Range Art of Music Festival
Friday, December 1, 2017 to Saturday, December 2, 2017
A two-day festival at Lake Junaluska featuring top bluegrass and acoustic musicians, with Balsam Range, The Atlanta Pops Orchestra and more. Workshops throughout the day. Single concert tickets and weekend packages. 
Santa on the Chimney at Chimney Rock State Park
Santa on the Chimney
Repeats every week until Sat Dec 09 2017.
Saturday, December 2, 2017
Watch Santa practicing for his world-wide chimney-dropping tour on his "practice chimney", the 312 foot tall Chimney Rock monolith. Included with park admission.
Guild Artist Holiday Sale at the Folk Art Center
Guild Artist Holiday Sale at the Folk Art Center
Repeats every week until Sat Dec 09 2017.
Saturday, December 2, 2017
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
Brevard Twilight Tour
Holiday Twilight Tour
Saturday, December 2, 2017
Join the locals in a longtime favorite in downtown Brevard tradition. After the Christmas parade at 3 PM, Main Street will be closed to traffic so you can enjoy live music, horse-drawn carriages, bonfires, shopping, vendors and more, 4-8 PM.
Rutherfordton Christmas
Small Town Christmas, Rutherfordton
Saturday, December 2, 2017
Many events along Main Street throughout the day 1-7 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 PM at Courthouse. All free to attend.
 A Night Before Christmas
A Night Before Christmas
Saturday, December 9, 2017
Downtown Waynesville's Main Street area is filled with bright lights, friendly folks, the wonderful sounds of the Christmas season, special gallery openings, delicious food and drink. 6-9 PM
Santa on the Chimney at Chimney Rock State Park
Santa on the Chimney
Saturday, December 9, 2017
Watch Santa practicing for his world-wide chimney-dropping tour on his "practice chimney", the 312 foot tall Chimney Rock monolith. Included with park admission.
Guild Artist Holiday Sale at the Folk Art Center
Guild Artist Holiday Sale at the Folk Art Center
Saturday, December 9, 2017
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
Christmas Day Asheville
Christmas Day & Week Dining, Attractions
Saturday, December 23, 2017 to Monday, December 25, 2017
Find things to do and restaurants open on Christmas Day and Week in Asheville and the surrounding mountains.
New Year's Eve
New Year's Eve
Sunday, December 31, 2017
Head downtown Asheville for many choices for dining and music or dancing afterwards. See our New Year Celebrations and Things to Do.
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