We've done the research and pulled together a list of fabulous, fun, colorful and joyful ways you can Spree-ember this December in and around Asheville. From holiday shopping with candlelight strolls, roasting chestnuts and carolers to holiday film events and elves to driving or walking holiday light tours, we've got you covered. And best of all, we've got two great ideas to spend that last day of 2023... so read on....
All month long:
Winter Lights, North Carolina Arboretum, Every day in December 6pm - 10pm. (Advance tickets highly recommended) Winter Lights is a spectacular open-air walk-through light show made from over one million lights! Located at the North Carolina Arboretum in Asheville, North Carolina, this year’s event features favorites like the famously tall 50-foot lighted tree and the Quilt Garden, along with enchanting new details designed to delight and surprise.
Come experience the charm of Black Mountain and get in the Christmas spirit. You will discover beautifully decorated Christmas trees at the Monte Vista Hotel and in stores and businesses throughout Black Mountain and the Swannanoa Valley area.
Week ONE - Dec. 1 - 3 (Holiday Shopping Bonanza Kick Off - get ahead of it before everyone else)
Dicken’s Festival in the Historic Biltmore Village - Starting Friday, December 1st at 4pm and through Saturday, December 2, 2023 until 9pm, Historic Biltmore Village takes on new life as a quaint Victorian town for the Old World Dickens in the Village Festival. Biltmore Village is a unique shopping and dining destination in Asheville, located just outside of Biltmore Estate and just two miles from downtown. As you stroll the brick-lined streets of the Village during the festival, explore the many shops and galleries and pay a visit to the Roasting Chestnuts vendor! On Friday night, roving carolers, performers and musicians will invoke the feelings of an old time Christmas all around the Historic Biltmore Village shopping district beginning at 3 until 6 p.m and again Saturday from 11am until 5pm.
Holly Jolly Downtown Black Mountain, NC - Dec. 1, 5:30-8pm, Holiday Shopping in quaint and charming downtown Black Mountain NC with stores open late, refreshments, music, Santa, and more.
The Big Crafty - Dec. 2 & 3, noon - 6pm, at Harrah’s Cherokee Center (downtown Asheville, not the casino) features The Big Crafty, a hand-to-heart celebration of creative exuberance at the heart of Asheville, NC featuring artists of all kinds, juried prize-winners and more. A great way to support local artists!
This annual Holiday Sip & Shop is Friday/Saturday, December 8-9, from 11 am to 4 pm both days. In addition to 10 percent off select merchandise in the gallery, visitors can enjoy artist demonstrations and complimentary wine and warm cider.
Elf the Musical, Asheville Community Theatre, downtown Asheville Dec. 8 & 9, 7:30-10:30pm. Rest your feet and prepare your smile. Embrace the spirit of Christmas with Elf: The Musical, a heartwarming and hilarious adaptation of the beloved 2003 holiday film.
Candlelight Stroll, Main Street Weaverville, Dec. 8, 6-9pm, take a candlelight stroll through quaint downtown Weaverville, just 15 minutes north of Asheville. Free parking. Easy to stroll to restaurants, galleries, and shopping with many retailers offering holiday specials.
Princess Anne Hotel Special
December 14th Free Private Lazoom: Stay the night December 14th at Princess Anne and accompany them on a complimentary, private Holley Jolley Lazoom Tour on December 14th. Sure to be educational and sure to be funny! Book Here and let them know you're taking the tour.
Week THREE - Dec. 15 - 17 (Lights On: Ballet, Strolling, Walking)
A magically festive, full-length Nutcracker, featuring professional classical dancers and the Ballet Conservatory of Asheville’s celebrated pre-professional company. A full production with impressive sets and costumes.
Celebrate the Wonder of Winter with a live-action immersive story-walk on an OUTDOOR trail complete with live characters, lights, and a blustery guest, Jack Frost. The Winter Wonder Walk follows the pages of the storybook of Winterland- full of holiday magic for all ages! Guests will set out on a quest through the kingdom of Winterland to find Jack Frost and the Sugar Plum Fairy and stop a terrible blizzard while meeting many wonderful characters along the way. Created by Asheville Plays, Winter Wonder Walk is hosted by the Adventure Center of Asheville for the 3rd year.
(If you missed the candlelight tour at The Biltmore Estate, you can still get your Biltmore fix and watch The Hallmark Channel's, A Biltmore Christmas movie (which debuted Nov 26th) on various streaming services.
Week FIVE - Dec. 29 - 31 (Partaaaay Time! A little soul to end the night and the year)
New Year’s Eve: She’s Got Soul, Asheville Symphony, at Harrah’s Cherokee Center (downtown Asheville), December 31, 8:30pm
Ring in the New Year with soul, symphony, and style. The Asheville Symphony proudly presents a lineup of legendary divas such as Whitney Houston, Gladys Knight, Chaka Khan, Adele, and many others. These powerhouse vocals will be brought to life by none other than the fabulous Capathia Jenkins, joined by a talented trio of backup singers. Don’t miss this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to be swept away into 2024 by the soulful sounds of these iconic artists, all backed by your Asheville Symphony.
Already planning for 2024?
January 19-21, 2024 - Princess Anne Hotel is teaming up with the Golden Gays for our 2nd annual Golden Girls weekend, "Gold Girls Drag Brunch" event, January 19-21, 2024. This event sold out last year so book now! This 2-night stay package includes special events each day, LaZoom Comedy Tour, Scavenger Hunt + Costume Contest, Special Dinner Performance and a Sunday Brunch you won't forget and more!
For details and to book, contact Sam@princessannehotel.com.
Ends January 31, 2024 - Bent Creek Lodge's mid-week special ends January 31st. Book mid-week, 3 nights and get Tuesday night free.