Festive & Free Holiday Events in Asheville

Looking for festive, fun and free holiday events in Asheville?  Hold onto your hat and get that hot cocoa locked and loaded because we’ve got the top holiday events in Asheville that will keep you in the holiday spirit for any age.

Winter Lights at the NC Arboretum

A walking tour featuring over 500,000 energy-efficient LED lights through out the gardens.  Hot Cocoa and snacks available for purchase.  Open nightly November 17 thru December 31, 6 – 10pm.

Adults: $18
Child: $12
Children 4 and under: FREE

NC Arboretum
100 Frederick Law Olmsted Way
Asheville, NC 28806
(828) 665-2492

Winter Lights Holiday Tour

Want a festive ride to the Winter Lights at the NC Arboretum?  This ticketed event offers visitors the chance to enjoy a holly, jolly ride from Asheville and Hendersonville to Winter Lights courtesy of The Trolley Company.  Upon arrival, tour guests will receive a complimentary cup of hot chocolate and access to the Winter Lights exhibit.

Pick up: 5:30pm
Drop off: 8:30pm
Asheville: Renaissance Hotel
Hendersonville: Cascades Mountain Resort

Tickets: $28.50 (children 4 and under are FREE)

holiday events in asheville
Photo Credit: Renaissance Asheville Hotel

The Trolley Company
(828) 606-8606

Winter Lights Downtown

The Arboretum is hosting a new display in downtown Asheville.  The light display, Winter Lights Downtown, is centered around the Vance Monument and Hoss Haley Fountain in the heart of the city.  Large trees are lit up in Pack Square with seven seasonal colors on rotation that make for a great show while shopping and dining downtown. 


holiday events in asheville
Winter Lights in downtown Asheville.  Photo Credit: Romantic Asheville

Lake Julian Festival of Lights

Lake Julian is illuminated with a drive-thru light show for their annual Lake Julian Festival of Lights event.  Visitors enjoying the lights will also be supporting a good cause, with 20% of ticket sales going to Buncombe County Special Olympics.  The season kicks off on December 1st where visitors can walk through the park to see the lights.  The remainder of the light festival will be drive -thru.

Walk through light show: December 1, 6 – 9pm: $5 adult, children FREE

Drive-thru light show: December 2 – 23, 6 – 9pm: $10 per vehicle, $20 for large vans, motor coaches and buses

holiday events in asheville
Festival of Lights at Lake Julian.  Photo Credit: Romantic Asheville

Lake Julian Park
406 Overlook Road Extension
Arden, NC 28704

Christmas at Biltmore

Behold the magic of Biltmore at Christmas!  See the 55 ft spruce tree decorated with 55,000 lights on the front lawn, along with 60 other decorated trees in the home.  The house is illuminated with candles and lights, along with Antler Hill Village, the Gardens and the Winery.

Candlelight Christmas Evenings tour is $85/adult, $42.50/youth (FREE for kids under 9)

Christmas at Biltmore runs November 3 – January 7

holiday events in Asheville
Biltmore: Antler Hill Village.  Photo Credit: @violetwiseman

1 Lodge St
Asheville, NC 28803

Dickens in the Village: Biltmore Village

December 1, 6 – 8pm: Historic Biltmore Village will celebrate the annual lighting of their 25′ Christmas Tree on the Village Green.  In addition to the opening celebration, there will be freshly roasted chestnuts plus horse-drawn carriage rides and roving acts throughout the Village until 8 PM.  Vance Elementary and Asheville High School will be performing at the tree lighting.  Also, the Montford Park players will be at the tree lighting with Santa and Mrs. Clause!

December 2, 1 – 5pm: Located throughout the Village and on the Village Green stage will be strolling carolers dressed in Dickensian period costumes, musicians, and other lively holiday entertainment. There will be horse-drawn carriage rides and freshly roasted chestnuts for sale all weekend to complete the holiday experience. 


holiday events in asheville
Carolers.  Photo Credit: Biltmore Village

Omni Grove Park Inn

Grab a mug of hot chocolate with house-made marshmallows and stroll through more than 150 entries in the National Gingerbread House Competition at the Omni Grove Park Inn.  Afterwards, take a load off in the Great Hall with giant fireplaces and rockers.

Gingerbread house display runs November 26 – January 4


holiday events in asheville
Fireplace and rockers in the Great Hall.  Photo Credit: Omni Hotels

Omni Grove Park Inn
290 Macon Ave
Asheville, NC 28804
(1-800) 438-5800

Biltmore Park Town Square

Saturday, December 2: 2:30pm – 6pm

Biltmore Park Town Square will kick off the holiday season with the annual celebration and lighting on Saturday, December 2, from 2:30pm – 6pm.  Get in the holiday spirit with festive music, free activities, carriage rides, and an appearance from Jolly Old Saint Nick and the wonderful tree lighting.  Check out more info about this free event on Biltmore Park’s event page.

Some event contributors:
Claying Around
Blackbeard Balloons
Luella’s Bar-B-Que
Asheville Face Painting


holiday events in asheville
Biltmore Park Town Square.  Photo Credit: Kevin Meechan

Biltmore Park Town Square
One Town Square Blvd
Asheville, NC 28803
(828) 210-1660

Deck The Trees in Black Mountain

The Monte Vista Hotel celebrates their 80th anniversary with their annual Deck The Trees event.  Enjoy twinkling lights, live music, drinks specials, decorated trees and so much more at the historic hotel.  Kick off the season with the November 30th Gala Cocktail Party!

Gala Cocktail Party: November 30


Holiday Tree Tour: December 2 – 31


holiday events in asheville
Historic Monte Vista Hotel in Black Mountain.  Photo Credit: Tripadvisor

Monte Vista Hotel
308 W State St
Black Mountain, NC 28711

34th Annual Bernstein Family Christmas Spectacular

Want to enjoy something a little more adult-festive?  Asheville’s favorite, raunchy, screwball holiday comedy from The Magnetic Theatre returns this December with the 38th Annual Bernstein Family Christmas Spectacular!  See what new debaucherous sketches the Bernstein writing team has come up with for this annual local favorite.

Tickets: $25/person

7:30pm nightly, 10pm
November 30 – December 2
December 7 – 9, 14 – 16, 20 – 22
Late Showtimes: December 9 and 19

holiday events in asheville The Magnetic Theatre
375 Depot St
Asheville, NC 28801
(828) 239-9250

Christmas Spectacular at Flat Rock Playhouse

Experience the songs and festivities with an original revue that combines singing, dancing, and humor with all the traditional scenes in A Flat Rock Playhouse Christmas.  Audiences will be transported through the times of Charles Dickens, Santa’s Toy Shop and the Blue Ridge Mountains all while hearing your favorite holiday classics including The Most Wonderful Time of the Year, Joy to the World, Sleigh Ride and White Christmas.  Come celebrate the holidays – Vagabond style!

Tickets: $15 – $50

November 25 – December 22: 8pm

holiday events in asheville
A Flatrock Playhouse Christmas

Flat Rock Playhouse
2661 Greenville Hwy
Flat Rock, NC 28731
(828) 693-0731
Box Office hours: M-F, 10am – 5pm

The Twelve Dates of Christmas

Visit the NC Stage Company for The Twelve Dates of Christmas.  After seeing her fiancé on TV kissing another woman at the Thanksgiving Day Parade, Mary’s life falls apart — just in time for the holidays.  Over the next year, she stumbles back into the dating world, where “romance” ranges from weird and creepy to absurd and comical.  It seems nothing can help Mary’s growing cynicism, until the charm and innocence of a five-year-old boy unexpectedly brings a new outlook on life and love. This heartwarming one woman show offers a hilarious and modern alternative to the old standards of the holiday season.

Discretionary Content: Adult Language.

Tickets: $16 – $34

November 29 – December 23
Wednesday – Saturday: 7:30pm
Sunday: 2pm

Holiday events in asheville
Twelve Date of Christmas.  Photo Credit: NC Stage Company

NC Stage Company
15 Stage Lane
Asheville NC 28801
(828) 239-0263

‘All Is Calm – The Christmas Truce of 1914’

Also put on by the NC Stage Company is ‘All Is Calm: The Christmas Truce of 1914.  This concert relives a poignant moment in history when Allied and German soldiers laid down their arms to celebrate the holiday together during WWI. This dramatic concert presents traditional patriotic and holiday songs from both sides of the Western Front and is interspersed with text read from letters, journals, and interviews from the soldiers who lived it.

Tickets: $16 – $34

December 6 – December 30
Wednesday – Saturday: 7:30pm
Sunday: 2pm

holiday events in asheville
Photo Credit: The Biltmore Beacon

NC Stage Company
15 Stage Lane
Asheville NC 28801
(828) 239-0263

Free Holiday Wine Tasting 

Sample top shelf wines, along with other treats at Table Wine’s Free Christmas and Holiday Wine Tasting.

Saturday, December 9th: 2 – 5pm

holiday events in asheville
Free Holiday Wine Tasting

Table Wine
1550 Hendersonville Road
Suite #102
Asheville, NC 28803
(828) 505-8588

Holiday Spectacular Pop Up Shop

Find a gift for everyone on your list this holiday season at the Holiday Spectacular Pop Up Shop!  Shop the festive 14-day pop up shop featuring some of the area’s best in handmade and vintage.  Showcasing curated goods from over 125 local and indie makers, designers and vintage wares including clothing, jewelry, decor, greeting cards and more.  For a full list of vendors, see Show and Tell Pop Up Shop.  Event is held at The Asheville Masonic Temple

Preview Party: December 6,  5 – 9pm with a suggested entry donation of $5 to benefit Homeward Bound

FREE Entry December 7 – 20
Sun-Thurs: 10am – 7pm
Friday-Saturday: 10am – 9pm

holiday events in asheville
Holiday Pop Up Shop.  Photo Credit: Asheville.com

Holiday Spectacular Pop Up Shop
The Asheville Masonic Temple
87 Broadway St
Asheville, NC 28801

Jingle Bell Trolley Ride

Craggy Mountain Line is running its 6th Annual Jingle Bell Trolley Ride for the Holiday season!  Enjoy a trolley ride, hot cocoa and a visit from Santa!


December 16 – 23

holiday events in asheville
Craggy Mountain Line

Craggy Mountain Line Railroad
111 Woodfin Ave
Asheville, NC 28804
(828) 808-4877


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