The holiday season is in full swing and with the kids home for Thanksgiving break, there's plenty of opportunity to spend some quality time together and celebrate.
Asheville is always buzzing with fun events for families to get out and create some new holiday traditions while supporting local businesses and events.
Biltmore Candlelight Christmas Evenings
The beautiful Biltmore Estate offers a special tour of their stunning holiday decorations, that has become a post-Thanksgiving tradition for Asheville families. This self guided tour through the elegant light displays are the perfect way to kick off the holiday season with an evening of live music and Christmas spirit. Admission to the candlelight tour even includes admission to Antler Hill Village and Winery, the gardens and shops during the day. If you're looking for a relaxing night celebrating the start of the holiday season, The Biltmore House is a beautiful venue for an evening out with your family.
National Gingerbread House Competition
It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas, and gingerbread houses are easily one of the holiday's classic traditions. The Omni Grove Park Inn hosts an annual Gingerbread house building competition that features incredibly ornate structures that are entirely edible. With over 150 houses on display, a visit to Omni is an incredible experience that your kids will absolutely love. Admission is free, just pay to park the car and gather some inspiration for your own gingerbread village this holiday season.
Winter Lights at the North Carolina Arboretum
Once Disney's Frozen hopped on the scene in 2013, it has become a winter classic and household staple for families across the country. We've all been caught singing "Let it Go" and you are invited to belt it out at this year's Winter Lights event at the North Carolina Arboretum. Walk through the incredible gardens at the Arboretum with over 500,000 holiday lights and displays that would awaken the Frozen lover in anyone. Make the evening really special and catch a buffet style holiday dinner at the park's Savory Thyme Cafe during the weekend. Your family can bundle up and stroll the grounds sipping hot chocolate, spiced cider or craft beer while turning up some genuine. (Be sure to check the website or call ahead before you go - the smoke in the area from nearby wildfires has caused some closures.)
The Polar Express
The Polar Express is a holiday story that helps bring kids back to the true spirit of Christmas and has become a family favorite over the years. The Great Smoky Mountains Railroad offers a re-creation of the book's Polar Express ride to The North Pole for this fun holiday tradition. The kids can ride a real steam-powered locomotive, experience the story of the Polar Express like they never have before. Kids can sip cocoa and listen to the story read aloud to the soundtrack of the Motion Picture on their way to meet Santa where they'll receive their very own silver bell gift surprise. Make sure to book your tickets well in advance - they often sell out.
No matter what your holiday traditions may be, Asheville has no shortage of great seasonal events to celebrate the winter season with your family.
Experience everything Asheville has to offer and turn up the holiday cheer with your little ones in the jolly weeks ahead!