Asheville, NC is always an amazing place to visit, but one of our favorite times to head downtown is during the holidays. The entire town gets into the holiday spirit with decorations, festive events, and special performances. The only trouble is, what should you see? The holiday season is a busy time, and it’s hard to fit every activity into one year, so here are a few of our favorite holiday events happening in Asheville this winter:

See the Nutcracker

There’s nothing more festive than the Nutcracker Ballet during the holidays. This year, you have two options for performances too! The Asheville Ballet is putting on the Nutcracker at the Diana Wortham Theatre, and the famous Moscow Ballet will be performing the Great Russian Nutcracker for one day only, December 8, at the U.S. Cellular Center in Asheville. Fun for the whole family, whichever company you choose is sure to give a spectacular performance.

Grove Arcade Winter Wonderland

Every year in November, the gorgeous historical Grove Arcade undergoes a transformation into a spectacular winter wonderland that you won’t want to miss. The Grove Arcade is home to a number of shops, restaurants, and businesses, so you can have lunch, run a few errands, or get that last-minute Christmas shopping done while you take in the amazing holiday decorations. This year, in partnership with the National Gingerbread House Competition, the Grove Arcade will also feature a gingerbread display like you’ve never seen before!

The Best Christmas Pageant Ever

If you’re looking for a bit of culture this holiday season, be sure to check out The Asheville Community Theatre’s “The Best Christmas Pageant Ever.” A quirky take on the classic Christmas pageant, this is the most popular holiday show in Asheville, sure to delight kids and adults alike. Find out more about the show, and purchase tickets here.

Winter Lights at North Carolina Arboretum

One of Asheville’s best holiday traditions, every year the North Carolina Arboretum dresses up in more than 500,000 LED holiday lights to bring some extra cheer to their winter gardens. Wander through their expansive gardens with some hot cocoa, stop to roast a s’more, and be sure to stay for the holiday buffet every weekend through the holiday season. The lighting displays are spectacular, and the food is amazing, so if you have a bit of time this weekend, be sure to check it out.

Christmas at the Biltmore

No list of holiday activities in Asheville, NC would be complete without Christmas at Biltmore. Asheville’s biggest claim to fame, the giant Biltmore estate is impressive on its own, but it’s truly breathtaking during the holiday season. Stop by during the day to tour through the estate in all of its holiday splendor, complete with more than 55 decorated trees within the home itself. If you’d rather visit at night, the Biltmore puts on an amazing Candlelight Christmas Evening where you can take in the home and outside grounds lit by hundreds of candles. Be sure to stop into their fully decorated winery for a free tasting, and check out their list of holiday classes and events going on to find the perfect date for your visit.

Polar Express

Nothing says winter wonderland like a nighttime train ride through the Blue Ridge Mountains, especially one that’s based on Chris Van Allsburg’s children’s book Polar Express. Adults and kids alike can don their pajamas as the train takes them through and around the Blue Ridge Mountains for a 1.5-hour trip. On your Polar Express train ride, Santa will come along to deliver gifts to every child, and you’ll be able to enjoy warm cookies and cocoa as you enjoy the wintertime view. For more information, check out the Great Smoky Railroad’s Polar Express page.

Aluminum Tree Museum

Just a short drive from downtown Asheville lies the Aluminum Tree and Ornament Museum in Brevard, NC. This is a pop-up event that only happens during the holiday season in the Transylvania Heritage Museum, and one that’s sure to delight anyone interested in museums, Christmas trees, or wacky, vintage ornaments. The museum showcases aluminum trees from the 50s, complete with their whimsical, themed ornaments. It’s a wonderful spot to stop on a day trip near Asheville, and it’s only open until December 23, so be sure to check it out soon!


There’s no place better to be than Asheville for the holidays. With just the right amount of snow and weather that’s chilly but not too cold, you can’t beat an Asheville winter. If you’ve been looking for a place to call home in Asheville this year, be sure to check out the properties available at High Hickory. Just a few minutes from downtown Asheville, our sustainable mountain community is a peaceful place to enjoy the holidays. To find out more about High Hickory, give our office a call at 866-936-5263 or contact us online today!